Structures of Coxsackievirus A16 Capsids with Native Antigenicity: Implications for Particle Expansion, Receptor Binding, and Immunogenicity.
ABSTRACT: UNLABELLED:Enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16) are the primary causes of the epidemics of hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) that affect more than a million children in China each year and lead to hundreds of deaths. Although there has been progress with vaccines for EV71, the development of a CVA16 vaccine has proved more challenging, and the EV71 vaccine does not give useful cross-protection, despite the capsid proteins of the two viruses sharing about 80% sequence identity. The structural details of the expanded forms of the capsids, which possess nonnative antigenicity, are now well understood, but high resolution information for the native antigenic form of CVA16 has been missing. Here, we remedy this with high resolution X-ray structures of both mature and natural empty CVA16 particles and also of empty recombinant viruslike particles of CVA16 produced in insect cells, a potential vaccine antigen. All three structures are unexpanded native particles and antigenically identical. The recombinant particles have recruited a lipid moiety to stabilize the native antigenic state that is different from the one used in a natural virus infection. As expected, the mature CVA16 virus is similar to EV71; however, structural and immunogenic comparisons highlight differences that may have implications for vaccine production. IMPORTANCE:Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a serious public health threat to children in Asian-Pacific countries, resulting in millions of cases. EV71 and CVA16 are the two dominant causative agents of the disease that, while usually mild, can cause severe neurological complications, leading to hundreds of deaths. EV71 vaccines do not provide protection against CVA16. A CVA16 vaccine or bivalent EV71/CVA16 vaccine is therefore urgently needed. We report atomic structures for the mature CVA16 virus, a natural empty particle, and a recombinant CVA16 virus-like particle that does not contain the viral genome. All three particles have similar structures and identical antigenicity. The recombinant particles, produced in insect cells (a system suitable for making vaccine antigen), are stabilized by recruiting from the insect cells a small molecule that is different from that used by the virus in a normal infection. We present structural and immunogenic comparisons with EV71 to facilitate structure-based drug design and vaccine development.
Project description:Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is an infectious disease that mainly affects infants and children, causing considerable morbidity and mortality worldwide. HFMD is commonly caused by enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackieviruses A16 (CVA16), A6 (CVA6), and A10 (CVA10). Formalin-inactivated EV71 vaccines are currently available in China; however, these vaccines fail to confer cross-protection against infections by other HFMD-causing enteroviruses, highlighting the necessity of developing a multivalent HFMD vaccine. Our previous studies demonstrated that recombinant virus-like particles (VLP) of EV71, CVA16, and CVA6 are capable of inducing protective immunity against homologous virus challenges in mice. In this study, we generated CVA10-VLP using a baculovirus-insect cell expression system and then combined CVA10-VLP with EV71-VLP, CVA16-VLP, and CVA6-VLP to formulate a tetravalent VLP vaccine. Immunogenicity and protective efficacy of tetravalent VLP vaccine was compared with that of monovalent VLP vaccines. Mouse immunization studies revealed that the tetravalent vaccine elicited antigen-specific and long-lasting serum antibody responses comparable to those elicited by its corresponding monovalent vaccines. Moreover, tetravalent vaccine immune sera strongly neutralized EV71, CVA16, CVA10, and CVA6 strains with neutralization titers similar to those of their monovalent counterparts, indicating a good compatibility among the four antigens in the combination vaccine. Importantly, passively transferred tetravalent vaccine-immunized sera conferred efficient protection against single or mixed infections with EV71, CVA16, CVA10, and CVA6 viruses in mice, whereas the monovalent vaccines could only protect mice against homotypic virus infections but not heterotypic challenges. These results demonstrate that the tetravalent VLP vaccine represents a promising broad-spectrum HFMD vaccine candidate.
Project description:Enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16) are major causative agents of hand, foot, and mouth diseases (HFMDs), and EV71 is now recognized as an emerging neurotropic virus in Asia. Effective medications and/or prophylactic vaccines against HFMD are not available. The current results from mouse immunogenicity studies using in-house standardized RD cell virus neutralization assays indicate that (1) VP1 peptide (residues 211-225) formulated with Freund's adjuvant (CFA/IFA) elicited low virus neutralizing antibody response (1/32 titer); (2) recombinant virus-like particles produced from baculovirus formulated with CFA/IFA could elicit good virus neutralization titer (1/160); (3) individual recombinant EV71 antigens (VP1, VP2, and VP3) formulated with CFA/IFA, only VP1 elicited antibody response with 1/128 virus neutralization titer; and (4) the formalin-inactivated EV71 formulated in alum elicited antibodies that cross-neutralized different EV71 genotypes (1/640), but failed to neutralize CVA16. In contrast, rabbits antisera could cross-neutralize strongly against different genotypes of EV71 but weakly against CVA16, with average titers 1/6400 and 1/32, respectively. The VP1 amino acid sequence dissimilarity between CVA16 and EV71 could partially explain why mouse antibodies failed to cross-neutralize CVA16. Therefore, the best formulation for producing cost-effective HFMD vaccine is a combination of formalin-inactivated EV71 and CAV16 virions.
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) 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 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:Enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackieviruses (CV) are the major causative agents of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD). There is not currently a vaccine available against HFMD, even though a newly developed formalin-inactivated EV71 (FI-EV71) vaccine has been tested in clinical trial and has shown efficacy against EV71. We have designed and genetically engineered a recombinant adenovirus Ad-EVVLP with the EV71 P1 and 3CD genes inserted into the E1/E3-deleted adenoviral genome. Ad-EVVLP were produced in HEK-293A cells. In addition to Ad-EVVLP particles, virus-like particles (VLPs) formed from the physical association of EV71 capsid proteins, VP0, VP1, and VP3 expressed from P1 gene products. They were digested by 3CD protease and confirmed to be produced by Ad-EVVLP-producing cells, as determined using transmission electron microscopy and western blotting. Mouse immunogenicity studies showed that Ad-EVVLP-immunized antisera neutralized the EV71 B4 and C2 genotypes. Activation of VLP-specific CD4+ and CD8+/IFN-? T cells associated with Th1/Th2-balanced IFN-?, IL-17, IL-4, and IL-13 was induced; in contrast, FI-EV71 induced only Th2-mediated neutralizing antibody against EV71 and low VLP-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses. The antiviral immunity against EV71 was clearly demonstrated in mice vaccinated with Ad-EVVLP in a hSCARB2 transgenic (hSCARB2-Tg) mouse challenge model. Ad-EVVLP-vaccinated mice were 100% protected and demonstrated reduced viral load in both the CNS and muscle tissues. Ad-EVVLP successfully induced anti-CVA16 immunities. Although antisera had no neutralizing activity against CVA16, the 3C-specific CD4+ and CD8+/IFN-? T cells were identified, which could mediate protection against CVA16 challenge. FI-EV71 did not induce 3C-mediated immunity and had no efficacy against the CVA16 challenge. These results suggest that Ad-EVVLP can enhance neutralizing antibody and protective cellular immune responses to prevent EV71 infection and cellular immune responses against CV infection.
Project description:Hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) remains a major health concern in the Asia-Pacific regions, and its major causative agents include human enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackievirus A16. A desirable vaccine against HFMD would be multivalent and able to elicit protective responses against multiple HFMD causative agents. Previously, we have demonstrated that a thermostable recombinant EV71 vaccine candidate can be produced by the insertion of a foreign peptide into the BC loop of VP1 without affecting viral replication. Here we present crystal structures of two different naturally occurring empty particles, one from a clinical C4 strain EV71 and the other from its recombinant virus containing an insertion in the VP1 BC loop. Crystal structure analysis demonstrated that the inserted foreign peptide is well exposed on the particle surface without significant structural changes in the capsid. Importantly, such insertions do not seem to affect the virus uncoating process as illustrated by the conformational similarity between an uncoating intermediate of another recombinant virus and that of EV71. Especially, at least 18 residues from the N terminus of VP1 are transiently externalized. Altogether, our study provides insights into vaccine development 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:Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is a major agent of hand, foot and mouth disease in children that can cause severe central nervous system disease and death. No vaccine or antiviral therapy is available. High-resolution structural analysis of the mature virus and natural empty particles shows that the mature virus is structurally similar to other enteroviruses. In contrast, the empty particles are markedly expanded and resemble elusive enterovirus-uncoating intermediates not previously characterized in atomic detail. Hydrophobic pockets in the EV71 capsid are collapsed in this expanded particle, providing a detailed explanation of the mechanism for receptor-binding triggered virus uncoating. These structures provide a model for enterovirus uncoating in which the VP1 GH loop acts as an adaptor-sensor for cellular receptor attachment, converting heterologous inputs to a generic uncoating mechanism, highlighting new opportunities for therapeutic intervention.
Project description:Human enterovirus 71 (EV71) is a major causative pathogen of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) and has caused outbreaks with significant mortality among young children in the Asia-Pacific region in recent years. Towards developing a vaccine for this disease, we have expressed and purified EV71 virus-like particles (VLPs), which resemble the authentic virus in appearance, capsid structure and protein sequence, from insect cells (Sf9) using a multistep chromatography process. We demonstrated intracellular localization of the VLPs in host cells by in situ immunogold detection, electron microscopy and immunofluorescence. Characteristics of these EV71 VLPs were studied using a variety of immunological and physicochemical techniques, which aimed to reveal that the purified EV71 VLPs have good morphology and structure consistent with natural EV71 empty capsids. Results of the amino acid analysis, SDS-PAGE, Western blotting and high-performance liquid chromatography confirmed the high purity of the EV71 VLPs. However the sedimentation coefficient of the VLPs showed that they were smaller than that of secreted EV71 VLPs purified by discontinuous cesium chloride density gradients, they were similar to the empty capsids of natural EV71 virions reported previously. Combined with the previous study that EV71 VLPs purified by a multistep chromatography process were able to elicit strong humoral immune responses in mice, our results further supported the conclusion that our EV71 VLPs had well-preserved molecular and structural characteristics. The EV71 VLPs produced from the baculovirus expression system and purified by a multistep chromatography process displayed key structural and immunological features, which would contribute to their efficacy as a HFMD vaccine.