Preparation of quadri-subtype influenza virus-like particles using bovine immunodeficiency virus gag protein.
ABSTRACT: Influenza VLPs comprised of hemagglutinin (HA), neuraminidase (NA), and matrix (M1) proteins have been previously used for immunological and virological studies. Here we demonstrated that influenza VLPs can be made in Sf9 cells by using the bovine immunodeficiency virus gag (Bgag) protein in place of M1. We showed that Bgag can be used to prepare VLPs for several influenza subtypes including H1N1 and H10N8. Furthermore, by using Bgag, we prepared quadri-subtype VLPs, which co-expressed within the VLP the four HA subtypes derived from avian-origin H5N1, H7N9, H9N2 and H10N8 viruses. VLPs showed hemagglutination and neuraminidase activities and reacted with specific antisera. The content and co-localization of each HA subtype within the quadri-subtype VLP were evaluated. Electron microscopy showed that Bgag-based VLPs resembled influenza virions with the diameter of 150-200nm. This is the first report of quadri-subtype design for influenza VLP and the use of Bgag for influenza VLP preparation.
Project description:Avian influenza viruses represent a growing threat of an influenza pandemic. The co-circulation of multiple H9N2 genotypes over the past decade has been replaced by one predominant genotype-G57 genotype, which displays a changed antigenicity and improved adaptability in chickens. Effective H9N2 subtype avian influenza virus vaccines for poultry are urgently needed.In this study, we constructed H9N2 subtype avian influenza virus-like particle (VLP) and evaluated its protective efficacy in specific pathogen-free (SPF) chickens to lay the foundation for developing an effective vaccine against influenza viruses.Expression of influenza proteins in VLPs was confirmed by Western blot, hemagglutination inhibition (HI), and neuraminidase inhibition (NI). The morphology was observed by electron microscopy. A group of 15 three-week-old SPF chickens was divided into three subgroups of five chickens immunized with VLP, commercial vaccine, and PBS. Challenge study was performed to evaluate efficacy of VLP vaccine.The hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) proteins were co-expressed in the infected cells, self-assembled, and were released into the culture medium in the form of VLPs of diameter ~80 nm. The VLPs exhibited some functional characteristics of a full influenza virus, including hemagglutination and neuraminidase activity. In SPF chickens, the VLPs elicited serum antibodies specific for H9N2 and induced a higher HI titer (as detected by a homologous antigen) than did a commercial H9N2 vaccine (A/chicken/Shanghai/F/1998). Viral shedding from VLP vaccine subgroup was reduced compared with commercial vaccine subgroup and control subgroup.
Project description:Human infection with avian influenza A virus (H7N9) was first reported in China in March 2013. Since then, hundreds of cases have been confirmed showing severe symptoms with a high mortality rate. The virus was transmitted from avian species to humans and has spread to many neighboring areas, raising serious concerns over its pandemic potential. Towards containing the disease, the goal of this study is to prepare a virus-like particle (VLP) that consists of hemagglutinin (HA), neuraminidase (NA) and matrix protein 1 (M1) derived from the human isolate A/Taiwan/S02076/2013(H7N9) for potential vaccine development.Full length HA, NA, and M1 protein genes were cloned and expressed using a baculoviral expression system, and the VLPs were generated by co-infecting insect cells with three respective recombinant baculoviruses. Nanoparticle tracking analysis and transmission electron microscopy were applied to verify the VLPs' structure and antigenicity, and the multiplicity of infection of the recombinant baculoviruses was adjusted to achieve the highest hemagglutination activity. In animal experiments, BALB/c mice and specific-pathogen-free chickens receiving the VLP immunization showed elevated hemagglutination inhibition serum titer and antibodies against NA and M1 proteins. In addition, examination of cellular immunity showed the VLP-immunized mice and chickens exhibited an increased splenic antigen-specific cytokines production.The H7N9 VLPs possess desirable immunogenicity in vivo and may serve as a candidate for vaccine development against avian influenza A (H7N9) infection.
Project description:In the present study, virus-like particles (VLPs) were evaluated as a candidate poultry vaccine against avian influenza virus (AIV) subtype H9N2. Specific pathogen-free chickens received a single injection of the VLP vaccine expressing HA and M1 protein of AIV H9N2 (H9 HA VLP) at escalating doses in the presence or absence of ISA70 water-in-oil adjuvant. At 3 weeks post vaccination, we performed hemagglutination inhibition (HI) test and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to determine serological immune responses, and challenge studies using SPF chickens. A single dose of H9 HA VLP vaccine induced high levels of HI antibodies and lowered frequencies of virus isolation after the wild-type virus challenge. The addition of ISA70 adjuvant significantly increased the immunogenicity of H9 HA VLP vaccines. Furthermore, it allows differentiation of AIV-infected chickens from vaccinated chickens with an ELISA using nucleocapsid antigen, which offers a promising strategy to differentiate infected from vaccinated animals (DIVA). These results provide support for continued development of the VLP as an animal vaccine against influenza virus.
Project description:The highly conserved cytoplasmic tail of influenza virus glycoprotein hemagglutinin (HA) contains three cysteines, posttranslationally modified by covalently bound fatty acids. While viral HA acylation is crucial in virus replication, its physico-chemical role is unknown. We used virus-like particles (VLP) to study the effect of acylation on morphology, protein incorporation, lipid composition, and membrane fusion. Deacylation interrupted HA-M1 interactions since deacylated mutant HA failed to incorporate an M1 layer within spheroidal VLP, and filamentous particles incorporated increased numbers of neuraminidase (NA). While HA acylation did not influence VLP shape, lipid composition, or HA lateral spacing, acylation significantly affected envelope curvature. Compared to wild-type HA, deacylated HA is correlated with released particles with flat envelope curvature in the absence of the matrix (M1) protein layer. The spontaneous curvature of palmitate was calculated by molecular dynamic simulations and was found to be comparable to the curvature values derived from VLP size distributions. Cell-cell fusion assays show a strain-independent failure of fusion pore enlargement among H2 (A/Japan/305/57), H3 (A/Aichi/2/68), and H3 (A/Udorn/72) viruses. In contradistinction, acylation made no difference in the low-pH-dependent fusion of isolated VLPs to liposomes: fusion pores formed and expanded, as demonstrated by the presence of complete fusion products observed using cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET). We propose that the primary mechanism of action of acylation is to control membrane curvature and to modify HA's interaction with M1 protein, while the stunting of fusion by deacylated HA acting in isolation may be balanced by other viral proteins which help lower the energetic barrier to pore expansion.IMPORTANCE Influenza A virus is an airborne pathogen causing seasonal epidemics and occasional pandemics. Hemagglutinin (HA), a glycoprotein abundant on the virion surface, is important in both influenza A virus assembly and entry. HA is modified by acylation whose removal abrogates viral replication. Here, we used cryo-electron tomography to obtain three-dimensional images to elucidate a role for HA acylation in VLP assembly. Our data indicate that HA acylation contributes to the capability of HA to bend membranes and to HA's interaction with the M1 scaffold protein during virus assembly. Furthermore, our data on VLP and, by hypothesis, virus suggests that HA acylation, while not critical to fusion pore formation, contributes to pore expansion in a target-dependent fashion.
Project description:Each year, influenza is responsible for hundreds of thousand cases of illness and deaths worldwide. Due to the virus' fast mutation rate, the World Health Organization (WHO) is constantly on alert to rapidly respond to emerging pandemic strains. Although anti-viral therapies exist, the most proficient way to stop the spread of disease is through vaccination. The majority of influenza vaccines on the market are produced in embryonic hen's eggs and are composed of purified viral antigens from inactivated whole virus. This manufacturing system, however, is limited in its production capacity. Cell culture produced vaccines have been proposed for their potential to overcome the problems associated with egg-based production. Virus-like particles (VLPs) of influenza virus are promising candidate vaccines under consideration by both academic and industry researchers.In this study, VLPs were produced in HEK293 suspension cells using the Bacmam transduction system and Sf9 cells using the baculovirus infection system. The proposed systems were assessed for their ability to produce influenza VLPs composed of Hemagglutinin (HA), Neuraminidase (NA) and Matrix Protein (M1) and compared through the lens of bioprocessing by highlighting baseline production yields and bioactivity. VLPs from both systems were characterized using available influenza quantification techniques, such as single radial immunodiffusion assay (SRID), HA assay, western blot and negative staining transmission electron microscopy (NSTEM) to quantify total particles.For the HEK293 production system, VLPs were found to be associated with the cell pellet in addition to those released in the supernatant. Sf9 cells produced 35 times more VLPs than HEK293 cells. Sf9-VLPs had higher total HA activity and were generally more homogeneous in morphology and size. However, Sf9 VLP samples contained 20 times more baculovirus than VLPs, whereas 293 VLPs were produced along with vesicles.This study highlights key production hurdles that must be overcome in both expression platforms, namely the presence of contaminants and the ensuing quantification challenges, and brings up the question of what truly constitutes an influenza VLP candidate vaccine.
Project description:In April 2013, human infections with a novel avian influenza (H7N9) virus emerged in China. It has caused serious concerns for public health throughout the world. However, there is presently no effective treatment, and an A (H7N9) H7 subtype influenza vaccine is not available. Vaccination with virus-like particles (VLPs) has showed considerable promise for many other subtype influenza viruses. To produce H7N9 VLPs, full length, unmodified hemagglutinin (HA), neuraminidase (NA), and matrix1 (M1) genes from the A/Wuxi/1/2013(H7N9) were cloned into a pCDNA5.1 FRT vector. By co-transfection, VLPs containing HA, NA, and M1 were secreted by 293T cells. VLPs were purified by ultracentrifugation and injected into mice by the intramuscular route. In animal experiments, humoral and cellular immunoresponse were all triggered by H7N9 VLPs. High levels of specific antibodies and the isotypes of IgG were detected by ELISA. Anamnestic cellular immune responses were examined by detecting specific cytotoxic T cell for IFN-? production in ELISPOT assay. The hemagglutination-inhibition (HAI) against the homologous virus was more than 1:64, and cross-reactive HAI titers against the heterologous virus (H1N1 and H3N2) were more than 1:16. Moreover, VLPs immunized mice showed a rapid increase of neutralizing antibodies, with neutralizing antibody titers more than 1:8, which increased four-fold against PBS immunized mice in week four. By week six, the mice had high neutralization ability against the given strain and held a potent homologous virus neutralizing capacity. Thus, VLPs represent a potential strategy for the development of a safe and effective vaccine against novel avian influenza (H7N9) virus.
Project description:The conventional egg-grown influenza vaccines are trivalent. To test the feasibility of using multivalent influenza virus-like particles (VLPs) as an alternative influenza vaccine, we developed cell-derived influenza VLPs containing the hemagglutinin (HA) of the H1 subtype virus A/PR/8/34 or the H3 subtype virus A/Aichi/2/68 (X31). Mice immunized intramuscularly with bivalent influenza VLPs containing H1 and H3 HAs induced neutralizing activities against the homologous and closely related H1N1 strains A/PR/8/34 and A/WSN/33 as well as the H3N2 strains A/Aichi/2/68 (X31) and A/Hong Kong/68, but not the A/Philippines/2/82 strain isolated 14 years later. HA sequence and structure analysis indicated that antigenic distance could be a major factor in predicting cross-protection by VLP vaccines. The bivalent influenza VLP vaccine demonstrated advantages in broadening the protective immunity after lethal challenge infections when compared to a monovalent influenza VLP vaccine. High levels of the inflammatory cytokine IL-6 were observed in naïve or unprotected immunized mice but not in protected mice upon lethal challenge. These results indicate that multivalent influenza VLP vaccines can be an effective antigen for developing safe and alternative vaccine to control the spread of influenza viruses.
Project description:Vaccination is the most effective means to prevent influenza virus infection, although current approaches are associated with suboptimal efficacy. Here, we generated virus-like particles (VLPs) composed of the hemagglutinin (HA), neuraminidase (NA) and matrix protein (M1) of A/Changchun/01/2009 (H1N1) with or without either membrane-anchored cholera toxin B (CTB) or ricin toxin B (RTB) as molecular adjuvants. The intranasal immunization of mice with VLPs containing membrane-anchored CTB or RTB elicited stronger humoral and cellular immune responses when compared to mice immunized with VLPs alone. Administration of VLPs containing CTB or RTB significantly enhanced virus-specific systemic and mucosal antibody responses, hemagglutination inhibiting antibody titers, virus neutralizing antibody titers, and the frequency of virus-specific IFN-? and IL-4 secreting splenocytes. VLPs with and without CTB or RTB conferred complete protection against lethal challenge with a mouse-adapted homologous virus. When challenged with an antigenically distinct H1N1 virus, all mice immunized with VLPs containing CTB or RTB survived whereas mice immunized with VLPs alone showed only partial protection (80% survival). Our results suggest that membrane-anchored CTB and RTB possess strong adjuvant properties when incorporated into an intranasally-delivered influenza VLP vaccine. Chimeric influenza VLPs containing CTB or RTB may represent promising vaccine candidates for improved immunological protection against homologous and antigenically distinct influenza viruses.
Project description:During the past decade, H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses have diversified genetically and antigenically, suggesting the need for multiple H5N1 vaccines. However, preparation of multiple vaccines from live H5N1 HPAI viruses is difficult and economically not feasible representing a challenge for pandemic preparedness. Here we evaluated a novel multi-clade recombinant H5N1 virus-like particle (VLP) design, in which H5 hemagglutinins (HA) and N1 neuraminidase (NA) derived from four distinct clades of H5N1 virus were co-localized within the VLP structure. The multi-clade H5N1 VLPs were prepared by using a recombinant baculovirus expression system and evaluated for functional hemagglutination and neuraminidase enzyme activities, particle size and morphology, as well as for the presence of baculovirus in the purified VLP preparations. To remove residual baculovirus, VLP preparations were treated with beta-propiolactone (BPL). Immunogenicity and efficacy of multi-clade H5N1 VLPs were determined in an experimental ferret H5N1 HPAI challenge model, to ascertain the effect of BPL on immunogenicity and protective efficacy against lethal challenge. Although treatment with BPL reduced immunogenicity of VLPs, all vaccinated ferrets were protected from lethal challenge with influenza A/VietNam/1203/2004 (H5N1) HPAI virus, indicating that multi-clade VLP preparations treated with BPL represent a potential approach for pandemic preparedness vaccines.
Project description:We have constructed virus-like particles (VLPs) harboring hemagglutinin (HA), neuraminidase (NA), matrix protein 1 (M1) ,and proton channel protein (M2) using baculovirus as a vector in the SF9 insect cell. The size of the expressed VLP was estimated to be ~100 nm by light scattering experiment and transmission electron microscopy. Recognition of HA on the VLP surface by the HA2-specific monoclonal antibody IIF4 at acidic pH, as probed by surface plasmon resonance, indicated the pH-induced structural rearrangement of HA. Uptake of the particle by A549 mediated by HA-sialylose receptor interaction was visualized by the fluorescent-labeled VLP. The HA-promoted cell-virus fusion activity was illustrated by fluorescence imaging on the Jurkat cells incubated with rhodamine-loaded VLP performed at fusogenic pH. Furthermore, the green fluorescence protein (GFP) was fused to NA to produce VLP with a pH-sensitive probe, expanding the use of VLP as an antigen carrier and a tool for viral tracking.