Cryo-electron microscopy study of insect cell-expressed enterovirus 71 and coxsackievirus a16 virus-like particles provides a structural basis for vaccine development.
ABSTRACT: Enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CA16) are the two most common etiological agents responsible for the epidemics of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD), a childhood illness with occasional severe neurological complications. A number of vaccine candidates against EV71 or CA16 have been reported; however, no vaccine is currently available for clinical use. Here, we generated a secreted version of EV71 and CA16 virus-like particles (VLPs) using a baculovirus-insect cell expression system and reconstructed the three-dimensional (3D) structures of both VLPs by cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) single-particle analysis at 5.2-Å and 5.5-Å resolutions, respectively. The reconstruction results showed that the cryo-EM structures of EV71 and CA16 VLPs highly resemble the recently published crystal structures for EV71 natural empty particles and CA16 135S-like expanded particles, respectively. Our cryo-EM analysis also revealed that the majority of previously identified linear neutralizing epitopes are well preserved on the surface of EV71 and CA16 VLPs. In addition, both VLPs were able to induce efficiently neutralizing antibodies against various strains of EV71 and CA16 viruses in mouse immunization. These studies provide a structural basis for the development of insect cell-expressed VLP vaccines and for a potential bivalent VLP vaccine against both EV71- and CA16-associated HFMD.The recent outbreaks of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) in the Asia Pacific region spurred the search for effective vaccines against EV71 and CA16 viruses, the two most common etiological agents responsible for HFMD. In this paper, we show that secreted versions of EV71 and CA16 VLPs generated in the baculovirus-insect cell expression system highly resemble the crystal structures of their viral conterparts and that the majority of previously identified linear neutralizing epitopes are well preserved on the VLP surfaces. In addition, the generated VLPs can efficiently induce neutralizing antibodies against various strains of EV71 and CA16 viruses in mouse immunization. These studies provide a structural basis for the development of insect cell-expressed VLP vaccines and for a potential bivalent VLP vaccine against both EV71- and CA16-associated HFMD.
Project description:Human enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CA16) are the major etiological agents of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) and are often associated with neurological complications. Currently, several vaccine types are being developed for EV71 and CA16. In this study, we constructed a bivalent chimeric virus-like particle (VLP) presenting the VP1 (aa208-222) and VP2 (aa141-155) epitopes of EV71 using hepatitis B virus core protein (HBc) as a carrier, designated HBc-E1/2. Immunization with the chimeric VLPs HBc-E1/2 induced higher IgG titers and neutralization titers against EV71 and CA16 in vitro than immunization with only one epitope incorporated into HBc. Importantly, passive immunization with the recombinant HBc-E2 particles protected neonatal mice against lethal EV71 and CA16 infections. We demonstrate that anti-VP2 (aa141-155) sera bound authentic CA16 viral particles, whereas anti-VP1 (aa208-222) sera could not. Moreover, the anti-VP2 (aa141-155) antibodies inhibited the binding of human serum to virions, which demonstrated that the VP2 epitope is immunodominant between EV71 and CA16. These results illustrated that the chimeric VLP HBc-E1/2 is a promising candidate for a broad-spectrum HFMD vaccine, and also reveals mechanisms of protection by the neighboring linear epitopes of the VP1 GH and VP2 EF loops.
Project description:Enterovirus (EV) 71 is the main pathogen associated with hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) and can lead to the disease with severe mortality in children. Since 2009, in the Republic of Korea, an outbreak of EV71 C4a infection with neurologic involvement emerged, where in HFMD involvement was identified and central nervous system complications were reported. In this study, EV71 C4a virus-like particles (VLPs) produced by recombinant technology were generated in a baculovirus expression system. To improve the production yield, EV71 VLP was constructed using the dual promoter system baculovirus P1 and 3CD (baculo-P1-3CD), which harbored both the structural protein-encoding P1 region under the control of the polyhedron promoter and the 3CD protease gene under the regulation of the CMV-IE, lef3, gp41, or chitinase promoters to augment the level of gene transcription. Efficient VLP expression was demonstrated through optimization of incubation time and insect cell type. In addition, to evaluate the potential of VLP as a vaccine candidate, we tested the neutralizing antibodies and total anti-EV71 IgG from the purified EV71 C4a VLP serum. The recombinant EV71 VLP exhibited the morphology of self-assembled VLP, as determined by electron microscopy. Use of baculo-P1-3CD-gp41 led to a high yield (11.3mg/L < 40kDa) of VLPs in High-FiveTM cells at 3 days post-infection. Furthermore, the potential of VLP as a vaccine was evaluated through the neutralizing ability elicited by the purified EV71 VLP after immunization of BALB/c mice, which was shown to induce potent and long-lasting humoral immune responses as evidenced by the cross-neutralization titer. Our results could be used to expedite the developmental process for vaccines under clinical trials and to ensure manufacturing consistency for licensing requirements.
Project description:Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is one of the major causative agents for hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in children. Although there are three inactivated virus-based HFMD vaccines licensed in China, alternative approaches have been taken to produce an effective and safer vaccine that is easier to manufacture in large scale. Among these, a virus-like particles (VLPs) based EV71 vaccine is under active development. For this purpose, an efficient methodology for the production of EV71-VLPs by recombinant technology is needed. We here report the construction and expression of the P1 and 3C genes of EV71 in Pichia pastoris for producing VLP-based EV71 vaccine antigen with a high yield and simple manufacturing process. Based on codon-optimized P1 and 3C genes, EV71-VLPs were efficiently expressed in Pichia pastoris system, and the expression level reached 270 mg/L. Biochemical and biophysical analyses showed that the produced EV71-VLPs consisted of processed VP0, VP1, and VP3 present as ~35nm spherical particles. The immune response as a function of EV71-VLPs and adjuvant dose ratio was investigated for vaccine development. Immunization with EV71-VLPs of 1-5 µg/dose and adjuvant of 225 µg/dose induced robust neutralizing antibody responses in mice and provided effective protection against lethal challenge in both maternally transferred antibody and passive transfer protection mouse models. Therefore, the yeast produced EV71-VLPs antigen is a promising candidate for the development of a vaccine against HFMD.
Project description:Human enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16) are the two major causative agents for hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD). Previously, we demonstrated that a virus-like particle (VLP) for EV71 produced from Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a potential vaccine candidate against EV71 infection, and an EV71/CVA16 chimeric VLP can elicit protective immune responses against both virus infections. Here, we presented the crystal structures of both VLPs, showing that both the linear and conformational neutralization epitopes identified in EV71 are mostly preserved on both VLPs. The replacement of only 4 residues in the VP1 GH loop converted strongly negatively charged surface patches formed by portions of the SP70 epitope in EV71 VLP into a relatively neutral surface in the chimeric VLP, which likely accounted for the additional neutralization capability of the chimeric VLP against CVA16 infection. Such local variations in the amino acid sequences and the surface charge potential are also present in different types of polioviruses. In comparison to EV71 VLP, the chimeric VLP exhibits structural changes at the local site of amino acid replacement and the surface loops of all capsid proteins. This is consistent with the observation that the VP1 GH loop located near the pseudo-3-fold junction is involved in extensive interactions with other capsid regions. Furthermore, portions of VP0 and VP1 in EV71 VLP are at least transiently exposed, revealing the structural flexibility of the VLP. Together, our structural analysis provided insights into the structural basis of enterovirus neutralization and novel vaccine design against HFMD and other enterovirus-associated diseases.Our previous studies demonstrated that the enterovirus 71 (EV71) virus-like particle (VLP) produced from yeast is a vaccine candidate against EV71 infection and that a chimeric EV71/coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16) VLP with the replacement of 4 amino acids in the VP1 GH loop can confer protection against both EV71 and CVA16 infections. This study reported the crystal structures of both the EV71 VLP and the chimeric EV71/CVA16 VLP and revealed that the major neutralization epitopes of EV71 are mostly preserved in both VLPs. In addition, the mutated VP1 GH loop in the chimeric VLP is well exposed on the particle surface and exhibits a surface charge potential different from that contributed by the original VP1 GH loop in EV71 VLP. Together, this study provided insights into the structural basis of enterovirus neutralization and evidence that the yeast-produced VLPs can be developed into novel vaccines against hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) and other enterovirus-associated diseases.
Project description:Coxsackievirus A6 (CVA6) has recently emerged as one of the predominant causative agents of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD). The structure of the CVA6 mature viral particle has not been solved thus far. Our previous work shows that recombinant virus-like particles (VLPs) of CVA6 represent a promising CVA6 vaccine candidate. Here, we report the first cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structure of the CVA6 VLP at 3.0-Å resolution. The CVA6 VLP exhibits the characteristic features of enteroviruses but presents an open channel at the 2-fold axis and an empty, collapsed VP1 pocket, which is broadly similar to the structures of the enterovirus 71 (EV71) VLP and coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16) 135S expanded particle, indicating that the CVA6 VLP is in an expanded conformation. Structural comparisons reveal that two common salt bridges within protomers are maintained in the CVA6 VLP and other viruses of the Enterovirus genus, implying that these salt bridges may play a critical role in enteroviral protomer assembly. However, there are apparent structural differences among the CVA6 VLP, EV71 VLP, and CVA16 135S particle in the surface-exposed loops and C termini of subunit proteins, which are often antigenic sites for enteroviruses. By immunological assays, we identified two CVA6-specific linear B-cell epitopes (designated P42 and P59) located at the GH loop and the C-terminal region of VP1, respectively, in agreement with the structure-based prediction of antigenic sites. Our findings elucidate the structural basis and important antigenic sites of the CVA6 VLP as a strong vaccine candidate and also provide insight into enteroviral protomer assembly.IMPORTANCE Coxsackievirus A6 (CVA6) is becoming one of the major pathogens causing hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD), leading to significant morbidity and mortality in children and adults. However, no vaccine is currently available to prevent CVA6 infection. Our previous work shows that recombinant virus-like particles (VLPs) of CVA6 are a promising CVA6 vaccine candidate. Here, we present a 3.0-Å structure of the CVA6 VLP determined by cryo-electron microscopy. The overall architecture of the CVA6 VLP is similar to those of the expanded structures of enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16), but careful structural comparisons reveal significant differences in the surface-exposed loops and C termini of each capsid protein of these particles. In addition, we identified two CVA6-specific linear B-cell epitopes and mapped them to the GH loop and the C-terminal region of VP1, respectively. Collectively, our findings provide a structural basis and important antigenic information for CVA6 VLP vaccine development.
Project description:Enterovirus 71(EV71) has caused severe epidemics of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in the Asia Pacific in recent years, particularly in infants and pre-school children. It has become a serious public health threat, as currently there are no approved vaccines or antiviral drugs for EV71 infection. Many EV71 vaccines have been under development worldwide, however the main focus is inactivated EV71 vaccines. For example, the inactivated EV71 vaccine has recently finished phase III clinical trial in Mainland China. There have been very few studies on EV71 virus like particles (VLPs). In this study, the immunogenicity and protective potency of the EV71 VLPs produced in insect cells were evaluated in mice with different dosages. Our results showed that EV71 VLPs could elicit high titers of neutralizing antibodies (NTAbs) in a dose-dependent manner and NTAbs were sustained after the second injection with an average GMT (geometric mean titer) level from 19 to 2960 in immunized mice. Survival rates were 100%, 100%, 85%, and 40% after challenge with 15 LD50 (median lethal dose) of EV71 in these newborn mice, respectively. ED50 (50% effective dose) of VLPs was 0.20 ?g/dose in newborn mice, while NTAb titer under this dosage was about 50. Passive protection was determined with 2 methods and demonstrated that the survival rates were positively correlated with NTAb titers, which at 24 and 54 induced 50% survival rates in experimental animals. The ED50 of VLP vaccines and the passive NTAb titers were also analyzed. The maternal NTAb titer was similar as the passive NTAb titer in the mouse model challenged with our lethal mouse EV71 strain. Hence, our work has provided preliminary data on the protection potency of VLPs as a vaccine candidate and would facilitate future VLP vaccine development.
Project description:Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is an important public health problem that has emerged over the past several years. HFMD predominantly infects children under seven years old and occasionally causes severe disease in adults. Among the enteroviruses, enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackievirus 16 (CA16) are the major causative agents of HFMD. In addition, adenovirus cocirculates with enterovirus and has become a possible additional pathogenic factor for HFMD in some cases. Here, we have investigated the neutralizing antibody responses to both enterovirus and adenovirus in adults, with the aim of exploring the prevalence trends of these viruses and the nature of protective immunity in humans to these viral infections. Sera from 391 healthy adults from 21 provinces and cities in China were tested for the presence of antibodies against EV71, CA16, adenovirus human serotype 5 (AdHu5) and chimpanzee adenovirus pan7 (AdC7) using neutralization tests. High seroprevalence rates of EV71, CA16 and AdHu5 were found in the population (85.7%, 58.8% and 74.2%, respectively). The coseropositivity rate of these three viruses was 39.4% (154 of 391), with median neutralizing antibody titers of 80, 40 and 640, respectively, and the neutralizing antibody titer for EV71 was found to be correlated with those of CA16 and AdHu5. AdC7 was found to be a rare adenovirus serotype in the human population, with a seropositivity rate of 11.8%, suggesting that it could be a good choice for a vaccine carrier that could be used in vaccine development.
Project description:Enterovirus 71 (EV71) and Coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16) have caused severe epidemics of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in the Asia Pacific in recent years, particularly in infants and young children. This disease has become a serious public health problem, as no vaccines or antiviral drugs have been approved for EV71 and CA16 infections. In this study, we compared four monovalent vaccines, including formalin-inactivated EV71 virus (iEV71), EV71 virus-like particles (VLPs) (vEV71), formalin-inactivated CVA16 virus (iCVA16) and CVA16 VLPs (vCVA16), along with two bivalent vaccines, including equivalent doses of formalin-inactivated EV71+CVA16 virus (iEV71+iCVA16) and EV71+CVA16 VLPs (vEV71+vCVA16). The IgG titers and neutralization antibodies titers demonstrated that there are no immune interference exists between the two immunogens of EV71 and CVA16. IgG subclass isotyping revealed that IgG1 and IgG2b were induced primarily in all vaccine groups. Furthermore, cross-neutralization antibodies were elicited in mouse sera against other sub-genotypes of EV71 and CVA16. In vivo challenge experiments showed that the immune sera from vaccinated animals could confer passive protection to newborn mice against lethal challenge with 14 LD50 of EV71 and 50 LD50 of CVA16. Our results indicated that bivalent vaccination is promising for HFMD vaccine development. With the advantage of having a better safety profile than inactivated virus vaccines, VLPs should be used to combine both EV71 and CVA16 antigens as a candidate vaccine for prevention of HFMD virus transmission.
Project description:Enterovirus type 71 (EV71) and coxsackievirus A 16 (CA16) are the major pathogens of human hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD). In our previous study, intramuscular immunization with the inactivated EV71 vaccine elicited effective immunity, while immunization with the inactivated CA16 vaccine did not. In this report, we focused on innate immune responses elicited by inactivated EV71 and CA16 antigens administered intradermally or intramuscularly. The distributions of the EV71 and CA16 antigens administered intradermally or intramuscularly were not obviously different, but the antigens were detected for a shorter period of time when administered intradermally. The expression levels of NF-κB pathway signaling molecules, which were identified as being capable of activating DCs, ILCs, and T cells, were higher in the intradermal group than in the intramuscular group. Antibodies for the EV71 and CA16 antigens colocalized with ILCs and DCs in skin and muscle tissues under fluorescence microscopy. Interestingly, ILC colocalization decreased over time, while DC colocalization increased over time. ELISpot analysis showed that coordination between DCs and ILCs contributed to successful adaptive immunity against vaccine antigens in the skin. EV71 and/or CA16 antigen immunization via the intradermal route was more capable of significantly increasing neutralizing antibody titers and activating specific T cell responses than immunization via the intramuscular route. Furthermore, neonatal mice born to mothers immunized with the EV71 and CA16 antigens were 100% protected against wild-type EV71 or CA16 viral challenge. Together, our results provide new insights into the development of vaccines for HFMD.
Project description:The coxsackie A16 virus (CA16), along with enterovirus 71 (EV71), is a primary pathogen that causes hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD). To control HFMD, CA16, and EV71 vaccines are needed. In this study, an experimental inactivated CA16 vaccine was prepared using human diploid cells, and the vaccine's immunogenicity was analyzed in mice and rhesus monkeys. The results showed that the neutralizing antibody was developed in a dose-dependent manner, and was sustained for 70 days with an average GMT (geometric mean titer) level of 80 to 90 in immunized mouse and for 56 days with GMT of higher than 300 in monkeys. The neutralizing antibody had a cross-neutralizing activity against different viral strains (genotype A and B), and the specific IFN-?-secreting cell response was activated by these virus strains in an ELISPOT assay. This study provides evidence for the potential use of inactivated CA16 as a candidate for use in vaccines.