Algevir: An Expression System for Microalgae Based on Viral Vectors.
ABSTRACT: The use of recombinant algae for the production of valuable compounds is opening promising biotechnological applications. However, the development of efficient expression approaches is still needed to expand the exploitation of microalgae in biotechnology. Herein, the concept of using viral expression vectors in microalgae was explored for the first time. An inducible geminiviral vector leading to Rep-mediated replication of the expression cassette allowed the production of antigenic proteins at high levels. This system, called Algevir, allows the production of complex viral proteins (GP1 from Zaire ebolavirus) and bacterial toxin subunits (B subunit of the heat-labile Escherichia coli enterotoxin), which retained their antigenic activity. The highest achieved yield was 1.25 mg/g fresh biomass (6 mg/L of culture), which was attained 3 days after transformation. The Algevir system allows for a fast and efficient production of recombinant proteins, overcoming the difficulties imposed by the low yields and unstable expression patterns frequently observed in stably transformed microalgae at the nuclear level; as well as the toxicity of some target proteins.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus are genera of the virus family Filoviridae. Filoviruses cause rare but fatal viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) in remote villages of equatorial Africa with potential for regional and international spread. Point-of-care (POC) rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are critical for early epidemic detection, reponse and control. There are 2 RDTs for Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV), but not other Ebolavirus spp. or Marburg marburgvirus (MARV). We validate 3 conserved B cell epitopes of filovirus glycoprotein (GP) using ebola virus diseases (EVD) survivor samples, towards devising pan-filovirus RDTs. METHODS:In-silico Immuno-informatics:- (a) multiple and basic local alignments of amino-acid sequences of filovirus (4 Ebolavirus spp. & MARV) Gp1, 2 and epitope prediction and conservation analyses within context of ClusterW, BLAST-P and the immune epitope database analysis resource (IEDB-AR); alongside (b) in-vitro enzyme immuno-assays (EIAs) for SUDV Gp1, 2 antigen and host-specific antibodies (IgM and IgG) among 94 gamma irradiated EVD survivor serum and 9 negative controls. RESULTS:Linear B cell epitopes were present across the entire length of all Gp1, 2, most lying in the region between amino acids positioned 350 and 500. Three seperate epitopes 97/80_GAFFLYDRLAST, 39_YEAGEWAENCY and 500_CGLRQLANETTQALQLFLRATTELR (designated UG-Filo-Peptide-?1, 2 and 3 respectively) were conserved within all studied filovirus species Gp1, 2. Gp1, 2 host specific IgM levels were comparably low (av. ODs?<?0.04 [95% CI: 0.02837 to 0.04033]) among the 9 negative controls and 57 survivor samples analyzed. Host specific IgG levels, on the other hand, were elevated (av. ODs >?1.7525 [95% CI: 0.3010 to 3.1352]) among the 92 survivor samples relative to the 9 negative controls (av. ODs <?0.2.321 [95% CI: -0.7596 to 0.5372]). Filovirus Gp1, 2 antigen was not detected [av. ODs <?0.20] within EVD survivor serum relative to recombinant protein positive controls [av. ODs?=?0.50]. CONCLUSIONS:These conserved B cell epitopes of filovirus Gp1, 2 and their derivative antibodies are promising for research and development of RDTs for EVD, with potential for extension to detect MVD.
Project description:Filoviruses are enveloped viruses that cause sporadic outbreaks of severe hemorrhagic fever [CDC, MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 50:73-77, 2001; Colebunders and Borchert, J. Infect. 40:16-20, 2000; Colebunders et al., J. Infect. Dis. 196(Suppl. 2):S148-S153, 2007; Geisbert and Jahrling, Nat. Med. 10:S110-S121, 2004]. Previous studies revealed that endosomal cysteine proteases are host factors for ebolavirus Zaire (Chandran et al., Science 308:1643-1645, 2005; Schornberg et al., J. Virol. 80:4174-4178, 2006). In this report, we show that infection mediated by glycoproteins from other phylogenetically diverse filoviruses are also dependent on these proteases and provide additional evidence indicating that they cleave GP1 and expose the binding domain for the critical host factor Niemann-Pick C1. Using selective inhibitors and knockout-derived cell lines, we show that the ebolaviruses Zaire and Cote d'Ivoire are strongly dependent on cathepsin B, while the ebolaviruses Sudan and Reston and Marburg virus are not. Taking advantage of previous studies of cathepsin B inhibitor-resistant viruses (Wong et al., J. Virol. 84:163-175, 2010), we found that virus-specific differences in the requirement for cathepsin B are correlated with sequence polymorphisms at residues 47 in GP1 and 584 in GP2. We applied these findings to the analysis of additional ebolavirus isolates and correctly predicted that the newly identified ebolavirus species Bundibugyo, containing D47 and I584, is cathepsin B dependent and that ebolavirus Zaire-1995, the single known isolate of ebolavirus Zaire that lacks D47, is not. We also obtained evidence for virus-specific differences in the role of cathepsin L, including cooperation with cathepsin B. These studies strongly suggest that the use of endosomal cysteine proteases as host factors for entry is a general property of members of the family Filoviridae.
Project description:Filoviruses (Ebola and Marburg viruses) cause severe and often fatal haemorrhagic fever in humans and non-human primates. The US Centers for Disease Control identifies Ebola and Marburg viruses as 'category A' pathogens (defined as posing a risk to national security as bioterrorism agents), which has lead to a search for vaccines that could prevent the disease. Because the use of such vaccines would be in the service of public health, the cost of production is an important component of their development. The use of plant biotechnology is one possible way to cost-effectively produce subunit vaccines. In this work, a geminiviral replicon system was used to produce an Ebola immune complex (EIC) in Nicotiana benthamiana. Ebola glycoprotein (GP1) was fused at the C-terminus of the heavy chain of humanized 6D8 IgG monoclonal antibody, which specifically binds to a linear epitope on GP1. Co-expression of the GP1-heavy chain fusion and the 6D8 light chain using a geminiviral vector in leaves of N. benthamiana produced assembled immunoglobulin, which was purified by ammonium sulphate precipitation and protein G affinity chromatography. Immune complex formation was confirmed by assays to show that the recombinant protein bound the complement factor C1q. Size measurements of purified recombinant protein by dynamic light scattering and size-exclusion chromatography also indicated complex formation. Subcutaneous immunization of BALB/C mice with purified EIC resulted in anti-Ebola virus antibody production at levels comparable to those obtained with a GP1 virus-like particle. These results show excellent potential for a plant-expressed EIC as a human vaccine.
Project description:Filoviruses (viruses in the genus Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus in the family Filoviridae) cause severe haemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates. Rapid, highly sensitive, and reliable filovirus-specific assays are required for diagnostics and outbreak control. Characterisation of antigenic sites in viral proteins can aid in the development of viral antigen detection assays such immunochromatography-based rapid diagnosis. We generated a panel of mouse monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to the nucleoprotein (NP) of Ebola virus belonging to the species Zaire ebolavirus. The mAbs were divided into seven groups based on the profiles of their specificity and cross-reactivity to other species in the Ebolavirus genus. Using synthetic peptides corresponding to the Ebola virus NP sequence, the mAb binding sites were mapped to seven antigenic regions in the C-terminal half of the NP, including two highly conserved regions among all five Ebolavirus species currently known. Furthermore, we successfully produced species-specific rabbit antisera to synthetic peptides predicted to represent unique filovirus B-cell epitopes. Our data provide useful information for the development of Ebola virus antigen detection assays.
Project description:Ebolavirus vaccines based on several adenoviral vectors have been investigated in preclinical studies and clinical trials. The use of adenovirus serotype 2 as a vector for ebolavirus vaccine has not been reported. Herein, we generated rAd2-ZGP, a recombinant replication-incompetent adenovirus serotype 2 expressing codon-optimized Zaire ebolavirus glycoprotein, and evaluated its immunogenicity in mice and rhesus macaques. rAd2-ZGP induced significant antibody and cell-mediated immune responses at 2 weeks after a single immunization. The glycoprotein (GP)-specific immune responses could be further enhanced with a booster immunization. Compared to protein antigens, Zaire ebolavirus GP and Zaire ebolavirus-like particles, rAd2-ZGP could induce stronger cross-reactive antibody and cell-mediated immune responses to heterologous Sudan ebolavirus in mice and rhesus macaques. In rAd2-ZGP-immunized macaques, GP-specific CD8+ T cells could secret IFN-? and IL-2, indicating a Th1-biased response. In adenovirus serotype 5 seropositive macaques, rAd2-ZGP could induce robust antibody and cell-mediated immune responses, suggesting that the efficacy of rAd2-ZGP is not affected by pre-existing immunity to adenovirus serotype 5. These results demonstrated that rAd2-ZGP can be considered an alternative ebolavirus vaccine for use in adenovirus serotype 5 seropositive subjects or as a sequential booster vaccine after the subjects have been immunized with a recombinant adenovirus serotype 5-based vaccine.
Project description:Ebola virus causes severe hemorrhagic fever, often leading to death in humans. The trimeric fusion glycoprotein (GP) is the sole target for neutralizing antibodies and is the major focus of vaccine development. Soluble GP ectodomains are unstable and mostly monomeric when not fused to a heterologous trimerization domain. Here, we report structure-based designs of Ebola and Marburg GP trimers based on a stabilizing mutation in the hinge loop in refolding region 1 and substitution of a partially buried charge at the interface of the GP1 and GP2 subunits. The combined substitutions (T577P and K588F) substantially increased trimer expression for Ebola GP proteins. We determined the crystal structure of stabilized GP from the Makona Zaire ebolavirus strain without a trimerization domain or complexed ligand. The structure reveals that the stabilized GP adopts the same trimeric prefusion conformation, provides insight into triggering of GP conformational changes, and should inform future filovirus vaccine development.
Project description:Out of an estimated 31,100 cases since their discovery in 1976, ebolaviruses have caused approximately 13,000 deaths. The vast majority (∼11,000) of these occurred during the 2013-2016 West African epidemic. Three out of five species in the genus are known to cause Ebola Virus Disease in humans. Several monoclonal antibodies against the ebolavirus glycoprotein are currently in development as therapeutics. However, there is still a paucity of monoclonal antibodies that can cross-react between the glycoproteins of different ebolavirus species, and the mechanism of these monoclonal antibody therapeutics is still not understood in detail. Here, we generated a panel of eight murine monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) utilizing a prime-boost vaccination regimen with a Zaire ebolavirus glycoprotein expression plasmid followed by infection with a vesicular stomatitis virus expressing the Zaire ebolavirus glycoprotein. We tested the binding breadth of the resulting monoclonal antibodies using a set of recombinant surface glycoproteins from Reston, Taï Forest, Bundibugyo, Zaire, Sudan, and Marburg viruses and found two antibodies that showed pan-ebolavirus binding. An in vivo Stat2-/- mouse model was utilized to test the ability of these MAbs to protect from infection with a vesicular stomatitis virus expressing the Zaire ebolavirus glycoprotein. Several of our antibodies, including the broadly binding ones, protected mice from mortality despite lacking neutralization capability in vitro, suggesting their protection may be mediated by Fc-FcR interactions. Indeed, three antibodies displayed cellular phagocytosis and/or antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity in vitro Our antibodies, specifically the two identified cross-reactive monoclonal antibodies (KL-2E5 and KL-2H7), might add to the understanding of anti-ebolavirus humoral immunity.IMPORTANCE This study describes the generation of a panel of novel anti-ebolavirus glycoprotein monoclonal antibodies, including two antibodies with broad cross-reactivity to all known ebolavirus species. The antibodies were raised using a heterologous DNA-viral vector prime-boost regimen, resulting in a high proportion of cross-reactive antibodies (25%). Similar vaccination regimens have been used successfully to induce broad protection against influenza viruses in humans, and our limited data indicate that this might be a useful strategy for filovirus vaccines as well. Several of our antibodies showed protective efficacy when tested in a novel murine challenge model and may be developed into future therapeutics.
Project description:There are currently no licensed therapeutic treatment or preventive vaccines against Ebolavirus disease, and the 2013-2016 West African outbreak of Ebolavirus disease spread rapidly and resulted in almost 30,000 cases and more than 11,000 deaths. However, the devastating outbreak has spurred the development of novel Ebolavirus vaccines. Here, we demonstrate that alphavirus-based DNA-launched self-replicating RNA replicon vaccines (DREP) encoding either the glycoprotein (GP) gene or co-expressing the GP and VP40 genes of Sudan or Zaire Ebolavirus are immunogenic in mice inducing both binding and neutralizing antibodies as well as CD8 T cell responses. In addition, antibodies were cross-reactive against another Ebolavirus, although the specificity was higher for the vaccination antigen. DREP vaccines were more immunogenic than recombinant MVA vaccines expressing the same Ebolavirus antigens. However, a DREP prime followed by an MVA boost immunization regimen improved vaccine immunogenicity as compared to DREP and MVA homologous prime-boost immunizations. Moreover, we show that a bivalent approach targeting both Sudan and Zaire Ebolavirus can be employed without significant loss of immunity. This opens for further investigation of a pan-Ebolavirus or even a pan-filovirus vaccine.
Project description:Ebolavirus causes severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and non-human primates. Entry of ebolavirus is mediated by the viral glycoprotein, GP; however, the required host factors have not been fully elucidated. A screen utilizing a recombinant Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) encoding Zaire ebolavirus GP identified four Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cell lines resistant to GP-mediated viral entry. Susceptibility to vectors carrying SARS coronavirus S or VSV-G glycoproteins suggests that endocytic and processing pathways utilized by other viruses are intact in these cells. A cathepsin-activated form of the ebolaviral glycoprotein did not overcome the entry restriction, nor did expression of several host factors previously described as important for ebolavirus entry. Conversely, expression of the recently described ebolavirus host entry factor Niemann-Pick Type C1 (NPC1) restored infection. Resistant cells encode distinct mutations in the NPC1 gene, resulting in loss of protein expression. These studies reinforce the importance of NPC1 for ebolavirus entry.
Project description:Recovery from ebolavirus infection in humans is associated with the development of both cell-mediated and humoral immune responses. According to recent studies, individuals that did not survive infection with ebolaviruses appear to have lacked a robust adaptive immune response and the expression of several early innate response markers. However, a comprehensive protective immune profile has yet to be described. Here, we examine cellular memory immune responses among survivors of two separate Ebolavirus outbreaks (EVDs) due to Sudan virus (SUDV) infection in Uganda-Gulu 2000-2001 and Kibaale 2012. Freshly collected blood samples were stimulated with inactivated SUDV, as well as with recombinant SUDV or Ebola virus (EBOV) GP (GP1-649). In addition, ELISA and plaque reduction neutralization assays were performed to determine anti-SUDV IgG titers and neutralization capacity. Cytokine expression was measured in whole blood cultures in response to SUDV and SUDV GP stimulation in both survivor pools, demonstrating recall responses that indicate immune memory. Cytokine responses between groups were similar but had distinct differences. Neutralizing, SUDV-specific IgG activity against irradiated SUDV and SUDV recombinant proteins were detected in both survivor cohorts. Furthermore, humoral and cell-mediated crossreactivity to EBOV and EBOV recombinant GP1-649 was observed in both cohorts. In conclusion, immune responses in both groups of survivors demonstrate persistent recognition of relevant antigens, albeit larger cohorts are required in order to reach greater statistical significance. The differing cytokine responses between Gulu and Kibaale outbreak survivors suggests that each outbreak may not yield identical memory responses and promotes the merits of studying the immune responses among outbreaks of the same virus. Finally, our demonstration of cross-reactive immune recognition suggests that there is potential for developing cross-protective vaccines for ebolaviruses.