Escherichia coli-derived virus-like particles in vaccine development.
ABSTRACT: Recombinant virus-like particle-based vaccines are composed of viral structural proteins and mimic authentic native viruses but are devoid of viral genetic materials. They are the active components in highly safe and effective vaccines for the prevention of infectious diseases. Several expression systems have been used for virus-like particle production, ranging from Escherichia coli to mammalian cell lines. The prokaryotic expression system, especially Escherichia coli, is the preferred expression host for producing vaccines for global use. Hecolin, the first licensed virus-like particle vaccine derived from Escherichia coli, has been demonstrated to possess good safety and high efficacy. In this review, we focus on Escherichia coli-derived virus-like particle based vaccines and vaccine candidates that are used for prevention (immunization against microbial pathogens) or disease treatment (directed against cancer or non-infectious diseases). The native-like spatial or higher-order structure is essential for the function of virus-like particles. Thus, the tool box for analyzing the key physicochemical, biochemical and functional attributes of purified virus-like particles will also be discussed. In summary, the Escherichia coli expression system has great potentials for producing a range of proteins with self-assembling properties to be used as vaccine antigens given the proper epitopes were preserved when compared to those in the native pathogens or disease-related target molecules.
Project description:Successful live attenuated vaccines mimic natural exposure to pathogens without causing disease and have been successful against several viruses. However, safety concerns prevent the development of attenuated human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as a vaccine candidate. If a safe, replicating virus vaccine could be developed, it might have the potential to offer significant protection against HIV infection and disease. Described here is the development of a novel self-replicating chimeric virus vaccine candidate that is designed to provide natural exposure to a lentivirus-like particle and to incorporate the properties of a live attenuated virus vaccine without the inherent safety issues associated with attenuated lentiviruses. The genome from the alphavirus Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEE) was modified to express SHIV89.6P genes encoding the structural proteins Gag and Env. Expression of Gag and Env from VEE RNA in primate cells led to the assembly of particles that morphologically and functionally resembled lentivirus virions and that incorporated alphavirus RNA. Infection of CD4? cells with chimeric lentivirus-like particles was specific and productive, resulting in RNA replication, expression of Gag and Env, and generation of progeny chimeric particles. Further genome modifications designed to enhance encapsidation of the chimeric virus genome and to express an attenuated simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) protease for particle maturation improved the ability of chimeric lentivirus-like particles to propagate in cell culture. This study provides proof of concept for the feasibility of creating chimeric virus genomes that express lentivirus structural proteins and assemble into infectious particles for presentation of lentivirus immunogens in their native and functional conformation.
Project description:Hepatitis E virus (HEV), a pathogen that causes acute viral hepatitis, is a small icosahedral, quasi-enveloped, positive ssRNA virus. Its genome has three open reading frames (ORFs), with ORF1 and ORF3 encoding for nonstructural and regulatory proteins, respectively, while ORF2 is translated into the structural, capsid protein. ORF2 is most widely used for vaccine development in viral hepatitis. Hepatitis E virus-like particles (VLPs) are potential vaccine candidates against HEV infection. VLPs are composed of capsid subunits mimicking the natural configuration of the native virus but lack the genetic material needed for replication. As a result, VLPs are unable to replicate and cause disease, constituting safe vaccine platforms. Currently, the recombinant VLP-based vaccine Hecolin® against HEV is only licensed in China. Herein, systematic information about the expression of various HEV ORF2 sequences and their ability to form VLPs in different systems is provided.
Project description: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:Poliovirus (PV) is the causative agent of poliomyelitis, a crippling human disease known since antiquity. PV occurs in two distinct antigenic forms, D and C, of which only the D form elicits a robust neutralizing response. Developing a synthetically produced stabilized virus-like particle (sVLP)-based vaccine with D antigenicity, without the drawbacks of current vaccines, will be a major step towards the final eradication of poliovirus. Such a sVLP would retain the native antigenic conformation and the repetitive structure of the original virus particle, but lack infectious genomic material. In this study, we report the production of synthetically stabilized PV VLPs in plants. Mice carrying the gene for the human PV receptor are protected from wild-type PV when immunized with the plant-made PV sVLPs. Structural analysis of the stabilized mutant at 3.6?Å resolution by cryo-electron microscopy and single-particle reconstruction reveals a structure almost indistinguishable from wild-type PV3.Despite the success of current vaccination against poliomyelitis, safe, cheap and effective vaccines remain sought for continuing eradication effort. Here the authors use plants to express stabilized virus-like particles of type 3 poliovirus that can induce a protective immune response in mice transgenic for the human poliovirus receptor.
Project description:Noroviruses (NoVs) are the leading cause of nonbacterial acute gastroenteritis worldwide in people of all ages. The P particle is a novel vaccine candidate derived from the protruding (P) domain of the NoV VP1 capsid protein. This study utilized the neonatal gnotobiotic pig model to evaluate the protective efficacies of primary infection, P particles, and virus-like particles (VLPs) against NoV infection and disease and the T cell responses to these treatments. Pigs either were vaccinated intranasally with GII.4/1997 NoV (VA387)-derived P particles or VLPs or were inoculated orally with a GII.4/2006b NoV variant. At postinoculation day (PID) 28, pigs either were euthanized or were challenged with the GII.4/2006b variant and monitored for diarrhea and virus shedding for 7 days. The T cell responses in intestinal and systemic lymphoid tissues were examined. Primary NoV infection provided 83% homologous protection against diarrhea and 49% homologous protection against virus shedding, while the P particle and VLP vaccines provided cross-variant protection (47% and 60%, respectively) against diarrhea. The protection rates against diarrhea are significantly inversely correlated with T cell expansion in the duodenum and are positively correlated with T cell expansion in the ileum and spleen. The P particle vaccine primed for stronger immune responses than VLPs, including significantly higher numbers of activated CD4+ T cells in all tissues, gamma interferon-producing (IFN-?+) CD8+ T cells in the duodenum, regulatory T cells (Tregs) in the blood, and transforming growth factor ? (TGF-?)-producing CD4+ CD25- FoxP3+ Tregs in the spleen postchallenge, indicating that P particles are more immunogenic than VLPs at the same dose. In conclusion, the P particle vaccine is a promising vaccine candidate worthy of further development.The norovirus (NoV) P particle is a vaccine candidate derived from the protruding (P) domain of the NoV VP1 capsid protein. P particles can be easily produced in Escherichia coli at high yields and thus may be more economically viable than the virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine. This study demonstrated, for the first time, the cross-variant protection (46.7%) of the intranasal P particle vaccine against human NoV diarrhea and revealed in detail the intestinal and systemic T cell responses by using the gnotobiotic pig model. The cross-variant protective efficacy of the P particle vaccine was comparable to that of the VLP vaccine in pigs (60%) and to the homologous protective efficacy of the VLP vaccine in humans (47%). NoV is now the leading cause of pediatric dehydrating diarrhea, responsible for approximately 1 million hospital visits for U.S. children and 218,000 deaths in developing countries. The P particle vaccine holds promise for reducing the disease burden and mortality.
Project description:Canine parvovirus (CPV) has been considered to be an important pathogen, which can cause acute infectious disease in canids. Although current vaccines are effective in preventing CPV infection, safety problems still remain unsolved. In this study, a subunit vaccine against CPV based on virus-like particles (VLPs) with good safety and immunogenicity is reported. Soluble CPV VP2 protein was produced by co-expression of chaperone trigger factor (Tf16) in Escherichia coli (E.coli), and assembled into CPV VLPs which could be affected by NaCl and pH. At 250 mM NaCl pH 8.0, the VLPs co-expressed with Tf16 had similar size (25 nm) and shape with the authentic virus capsid under the transmission electron microscopy (TEM), which is also in accordance with the dynamic light scattering (DLS) data. Immunization with these particles could induce high-titer hemagglutination inhibition (1:12288) and neutralizing antibodies (1:6144) in guinea pigs. Splenic cells of them could secrete IFN-? and IL-4 after stimulation by CPV. Thus, the VLPs produced by the new approach with high yield and immunogenicity could be a potential candidate for CPV vaccine.
Project description:Global vaccination programs using live-attenuated oral and inactivated polio vaccine (OPV and IPV) have almost eradicated poliovirus (PV) but these vaccines or their production pose significant risk in a polio-free world. Recombinant PV virus-like particles (VLPs), lacking the viral genome, represent safe next-generation vaccines, however their production requires optimisation. Here we present an efficient mammalian expression strategy producing good yields of wild-type PV VLPs for all three serotypes and a thermostabilised variant for PV3. Whilst the wild-type VLPs were predominantly in the non-native C-antigenic form, the thermostabilised PV3 VLPs adopted the native D-antigenic conformation eliciting neutralising antibody titres equivalent to the current IPV and were indistinguishable from natural empty particles by cryo-electron microscopy with a similar stabilising lipidic pocket-factor in the VP1 ?-barrel. This factor may not be available in alternative expression systems, which may require synthetic pocket-binding factors. VLPs equivalent to these mammalian expressed thermostabilized particles, represent safer non-infectious vaccine candidates for the post-eradication era.
Project description:The yeast retrovirus-like element Ty3 GAG3 gene encodes a Gag3 polyprotein analogous to retroviral Gag. Gag3 lacks matrix, but contains capsid, spacer, and nucleocapsid domains. Expression of a Ty3 Gag3 or capsid domain optimized for expression in Escherichia coli was sufficient for Ty3 particle assembly. Virus-like ordered particles assembled from Gag3 were similar in size to immature particles from yeast and contained nucleic acid. However, particles assembled from the CA domain were variable in size and displayed much less organization than native particles. These results indicate that assembly can be driven through interactions among capsid subunits in the particle, but that the nucleocapsid domain, likely in association with RNA, confers order upon this process.
Project description:Hepatitis E virus infections have been continuously reported in Indian subcontinent, Africa, southeast and central Asia, posing great health threats to the public, especially to pregnant women. Hecolin® is the only licensed HEV vaccine developed by Xiamen Innovax Biotech Co., Ltd. Extensive characterizations on antigenicity, physicochemical properties, efficacy in clinical trials, and manufacturing capability have made Hecolin® a promising vaccine for HEV control. However, there are many obstacles in large scale application of Hecolin®. Efforts are needed to further evaluate safety and efficacy in HEV risk populations, and to complement HEV standards for quality control. Passing World Health Organization prequalification and licensing outside China are priorities as these are also hindering Hecolin® promotion. Multilateral cooperation among Chinese vaccine manufacturers, Chinese National Regulatory Authorization (NRA) and WHO will expedite the entrance of Hecolin® into international market, so that Hecolin® could play its due role in global hepatitis E control.
Project description:Various adjuvant effects on the immunogenicity of the candidate inactivated Puumala virus vaccine were detected in BALB/c mice. Adjuvants under study were: aluminum hydroxide, spherical particles of Tobacco mosaic virus coat protein, B subunit of heat-labile enterotoxin of Escherichia coli, and low endotoxic lipopolysaccharide of Shigella sonnei. Aluminum hydroxide (1 mg/ml) did not affect neutralizing antibodies' induction and vaccine stability during storage compared to immunization with the vaccine without adjuvant. B subunit of heat-labile enterotoxin (0.2 µg/ml), low endotoxic lipopolysaccharide (50 µg/ml), and plant virus-based spherical particles (300 µg/ml) significantly enhance the humoral immune response of vaccine (p < 0.0001). Pronounced stimulation of IL-12 and IFN-? was observed when mice were immunized with vaccines both with adjuvants (except of aluminum hydroxide) and without adjuvants. It has been shown that low endotoxic lipopolysaccharide contributes not only to enhance the immune response but also to stabilize vaccine immunogenicity during at least 1 year storage.