Dengue and Zika Virus Domain III-Flagellin Fusion and Glycan-Masking E Antigen for Prime-Boost Immunization.
ABSTRACT: The viral E proteins of dengue virus (DENV) and Zika virus (ZIKV) are the major viral proteins involved in receptor binding and fusion, and for the induction of protective antibodies against viral infections. DIII of the E proteins is an independent domain and stretches out on the virion surface that can elicit type-specific neutralizing antibodies. For recombinant DIII vaccine development, prime-boost immunizations can provide an advantage of eliciting more type-specific neutralizing antibodies by recalling DIII antigens after DIII booster to improve protection. Methods: The DIII of the E genes of DENV and ZIKV were fused with bacterial fliC gene for the expression of flagellin-DIII (FliC-DIII) fusion proteins. Prime-boost immunization strategies by the second-dose booster of four DENV serotype or ZIKV FliC-DIII fusion proteins were used to investigate the induction of neutralizing antibodies and protection against viral infections. Cross-reactive non-neutralizing antibodies in each group of antisera were also examined using in vitro antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) assay. A series of glycan-masking E antigens were finally constructed for prime-boost immunizations to abolish the elicitation of cross-reactive non-neutralizing antibodies for ADE activity. Results: We showed that inclusion of a bivalent live-attenuated vaccine with a FliC-DIII booster is superior in eliciting neutralization titers and protection in vivo against all four-serotype DENVs. We also demonstrated that recombinant adenovirus vectors encoding four-serotype DENV prMEs with a FliC-DIII prime-boost scheme is capable of eliciting good antibody responses. In contract, recombinant adenovirus vector of ZIKV prME gene priming, followed by ZIKV FliC-DIII booster did not improve vaccine efficacy. The glycan-masking mutation on the ZIKV E protein ij loop (E-248NHT), but not on DENV2 E protein ij loop (E-242NHT), resulted in abolishing the elicitation of cross-reactive antibodies for DENV and ZIKV infection enhancements. Conclusions: Our findings can provide useful information for designing novel immunogens and vaccination strategies in an attempt to develop a safe and efficacious DENV or ZIKV vaccine.
Project description:Zika virus (ZIKV) has caused significant disease, with widespread cases of neurological pathology and congenital neurologic defects. Rapid vaccine development has led to a number of candidates capable of eliciting potent ZIKV-neutralizing antibodies (reviewed in refs. 1-3). Despite advances in vaccine development, it remains unclear how ZIKV vaccination affects immune responses in humans with prior flavivirus immunity. Here we show that a single-dose immunization of ZIKV purified inactivated vaccine (ZPIV)4-7 in a dengue virus (DENV)-experienced human elicited potent cross-neutralizing antibodies to both ZIKV and DENV. Using a unique ZIKV virion-based sorting strategy, we isolated and characterized multiple antibodies, including one termed MZ4, which targets a novel site of vulnerability centered on the Envelope (E) domain I/III linker region and protects mice from viremia and viral dissemination following ZIKV or DENV-2 challenge. These data demonstrate that Zika vaccination in a DENV-experienced individual can boost pre-existing flavivirus immunity and elicit protective responses against both ZIKV and DENV. ZPIV vaccination in Puerto Rican individuals with prior flavivirus experience yielded similar cross-neutralizing potency after a single vaccination, highlighting the potential benefit of ZIKV vaccination in flavivirus-endemic areas.
Project description:Prime/boost vaccination strategies for HIV/SIV vaccine development have been used since the early 1990s and have become an established method for eliciting cell and antibody mediated immunity. Here we focus on induction of protective antibodies, both broadly neutralizing and non-neutralizing, with the viral envelope being the key target antigen. Prime/boost approaches are complicated by the diversity of autologous and heterologous priming vectors, and by various forms of envelope booster immunogens, many still in development as structural studies aim to design stable constructs with exposure of critical epitopes for protective antibody elicitation. This review discusses individual vaccine components, reviews recent prime/boost strategies and their outcomes, and highlights complicating factors arising as greater knowledge concerning induction of adaptive, protective immunity is acquired.
Project description:Zika virus (ZIKV) is an emerging mosquito-transmitted flavivirus that shares a considerable degree of homology with dengue virus (DENV). Here, we examined longitudinal antibody response against ZIKV during natural infection in 2 convalescent individuals. By decomposing the antibody recognition into DI/DII and DIII of the E glycoprotein, we showed their development in humans followed a spatiotemporal hierarchy. Plasma binding to DI/DII appeared to peak and wane during early infection with extensive cross-reactivity with DI/DII of DENV. Binding to DIII, however, peaked early but persisted months into the infection without detectable cross-reactivity with DIII of DENV. A clear trend of increase in DIII-specific neutralizing activity was observed over the course of infection. mAbs isolated during early infection are largely DI/DII specific, weakly neutralizing, and highly cross-reactive with DENV, while those from later infection are more diverse in recognition, potently neutralizing, and ZIKV specific. The most potent neutralizing mAb targeting the DIII provided 100% protection in mice from lethal ZIKV infection and could therefore serve as a promising candidate for antibody-based therapy and prevention. The dynamic features unveiled here will assist us to better understand the pathogenesis of ZIKV infection and inform rational design of vaccines.
Project description:West Nile virus (WNV) has caused multiple global outbreaks with increased frequency of neuroinvasive disease in recent years. Despite many years of research, there are no licensed therapeutics or vaccines available for human use. One of the major impediments of vaccine development against WNV is the potential enhancement of infection by related flaviviruses in vaccinated subjects through the mechanism of antibody-dependent enhancement of infection (ADE). For instance, the recent finding of enhancement of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection by pre-exposure to WNV further complicates the development of WNV vaccines. Epidemics of WNV and the potential risk of ADE by current vaccine candidates demand the development of effective and safe vaccines. We have previously reported that the domain III (DIII) of the WNV envelope protein can be readily expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves, purified to homogeneity, and promote antigen-specific antibody response in mice. Herein, we further investigated the in vivo potency of a plant-made DIII (plant-DIII) in providing protective immunity against WNV infection. Furthermore, we examined if vaccination with plant-DIII would enhance the risk of a subsequent infection by ZIKV and Dengue virus (DENV). Plant-DIII vaccination evoked antigen-specific cellular immune responses as well as humoral responses. DIII-specific antibodies were neutralizing and the neutralization titers met the threshold correlated with protective immunity by vaccines against multiple flaviviruses. Furthermore, passive administration of anti-plant DIII mouse serum provided full protection against a lethal challenge of WNV infection in mice. Notably, plant DIII-induced antibodies did not enhance ZIKV and DENV infection in Fc gamma receptor-expressing cells, addressing the concern of WNV vaccines in inducing cross-reactive antibodies and sensitizing subjects to subsequent infection by heterologous flavivirus. This study provides the first report of a WNV subunit vaccine that induces protective immunity, while circumventing induction of antibodies with enhancing activity for ZIKV and DENV infection.
Project description:Zika virus (ZIKV) specific neutralizing antibodies hold great promise for antibody-based interventions and vaccine design against ZIKV infection. However, their development in infected patients remains unclear. Here, we applied next-generation sequencing (NGS) to probe the dynamic development of a potent and protective ZIKV E DIII-specific antibody ZK2B10 isolated from a ZIKV convalescent individual. The unbiased repertoire analysis showed dramatic changes in the usage of antibody variable region germline genes. However, lineage tracing of ZK2B10 revealed limited somatic hypermutation and transient expansion during the 12 months following the onset of symptoms. The NGS-derived, germline-like ZK2B10 somatic variants neutralized ZIKV potently and protected mice from lethal challenge of ZIKV without detectable cross-reactivity with Dengue virus (DENV). Site-directed mutagenesis identified two residues within the ? chain, N31 and S91, that are essential to the functional maturation of ZK2B10. The repertoire and lineage features unveiled here will help elucidate the developmental process and protective potential of E DIII-directed antibodies against ZIKV infection.
Project description:Antibody protection against flaviviruses is associated with the development of neutralizing antibodies against the viral envelope (E) protein. Prior studies with West Nile virus (WNV) identified therapeutic mouse and human monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) that recognized epitopes on domain III (DIII) of the E protein. To identify an analogous panel of neutralizing antibodies against DENV type-1 (DENV-1), we immunized mice with a genotype 2 strain of DENV-1 virus and generated 79 new MAbs, 16 of which strongly inhibited infection by the homologous virus and localized to DIII. Surprisingly, only two MAbs, DENV1-E105 and DENV1-E106, retained strong binding and neutralizing activity against all five DENV-1 genotypes. In an immunocompromised mouse model of infection, DENV1-E105 and DENV1-E106 exhibited therapeutic activity even when administered as a single dose four days after inoculation with a heterologous genotype 4 strain of DENV-1. Using epitope mapping and X-ray crystallographic analyses, we localized the neutralizing determinants for the strongly inhibitory MAbs to distinct regions on DIII. Interestingly, sequence variation in DIII alone failed to explain disparities in neutralizing potential of MAbs among different genotypes. Overall, our experiments define a complex structural epitope on DIII of DENV-1 that can be recognized by protective antibodies with therapeutic potential.
Project description:Infections with dengue virus (DENV) and Zika virus (ZIKV) can induce cross-reactive antibody responses. Two immunodominant epitopes-one to precursor membrane protein and one to the fusion loop epitope on envelope (E) protein-are recognized by cross-reactive antibodies1-3 that are not only poorly neutralizing, but can also promote increased viral replication and disease severity via Fc? receptor-mediated infection of myeloid cells-a process termed antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE)1,4,5. ADE is a significant concern for both ZIKV and DENV vaccines as the induction of poorly neutralizing cross-reactive antibodies may prime an individual for ADE on natural infection. In this report, we describe the design and production of covalently stabilized ZIKV E dimers, which lack precursor membrane protein and do not expose the immunodominant fusion loop epitope. Immunization of mice with ZIKV E dimers induces dimer-specific antibodies, which protect against ZIKV challenge during pregnancy. Importantly, the ZIKV E-dimer-induced response does not cross-react with DENV or induce ADE of DENV infection.
Project description:Neutralization of flaviviruses in vivo correlates with the development of an antibody response against the viral envelope (E) protein. Previous studies demonstrated that monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against an epitope on the lateral ridge of domain III (DIII) of the West Nile virus (WNV) E protein strongly protect against infection in animals. Based on X-ray crystallography and sequence analysis, an analogous type-specific neutralizing epitope for individual serotypes of the related flavivirus dengue virus (DENV) was hypothesized. Using yeast surface display of DIII variants, we defined contact residues of a panel of type-specific, subcomplex-specific, and cross-reactive MAbs that recognize DIII of DENV type 2 (DENV-2) and have different neutralizing potentials. Type-specific MAbs with neutralizing activity against DENV-2 localized to a sequence-unique epitope on the lateral ridge of DIII, centered at the FG loop near residues E383 and P384, analogous in position to that observed with WNV-specific strongly neutralizing MAbs. Subcomplex-specific MAbs that bound some but not all DENV serotypes and neutralized DENV-2 infection recognized an adjacent epitope centered on the connecting A strand of DIII at residues K305, K307, and K310. In contrast, several MAbs that had poor neutralizing activity against DENV-2 and cross-reacted with all DENV serotypes and other flaviviruses recognized an epitope with residues in the AB loop of DIII, a conserved region that is predicted to have limited accessibility on the mature virion. Overall, our experiments define adjacent and structurally distinct epitopes on DIII of DENV-2 which elicit type-specific, subcomplex-specific, and cross-reactive antibodies with different neutralizing potentials.
Project description:Dengue virus (DENV), the causative agent of dengue disease, is among the most important mosquito-borne pathogens worldwide. DENV is composed of four closely related serotypes and belongs to the Flaviviridae family alongside other important arthropod-borne viral pathogens such as Zika virus (ZIKV), West Nile virus (WNV) and Yellow Fever virus (YFV). After infection, the antibody response is mostly directed to the viral E glycoprotein which is composed of three structural domains named DI, DII and DIII that share variable degrees of homology among different viruses. Recent evidence supports a close serological interaction between ZIKV and DENV. The possibility of worse clinical outcomes as a consequence of antibody-dependent enhancement of infection (ADE) due to cross-reactive antibodies with poor neutralisation activity is a matter of concern. We tested polyclonal sera from groups of female Balb/C mice vaccinated with DNA constructs expressing DI/DII, DIII or the whole sE from different DENV serotypes and compared their activity in terms of cross-reactivity, neutralisation of virus infection and ADE. Our results indicate that the polyclonal antibody responses against the whole sE protein are highly cross-reactive with strong ADE and poor neutralisation activities due to DI/DII immunodominance. Conversely, anti-DIII polyclonal antibodies are type-specific, with no ADE towards ZIKV, WNV and YFV, and strong neutralisation activity restricted only to DENV.
Project description:The four serotypes of dengue virus (DENV) cause the most important mosquito-borne viral disease in humans. The envelope (E) protein is the major target of neutralizing antibodies and contains 3 domains (domain I [DI], DII, and DIII). Recent studies reported that human monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) recognizing DIII, the D1/DII hinge, the E-dimer epitope, or a quaternary epitope involving DI/DII/DIII are more potently neutralizing than those recognizing the fusion loop (FL) of DII. Due to inefficient cleavage of the premembrane protein, DENV suspensions consist of a mixture of mature, immature, and partially immature particles. We investigated the neutralization and binding of 22 human MAbs to DENV serotype 1 (DENV1) virions with differential maturation status. Compared with FL MAbs, DIII, DI/DII hinge, and E-dimer epitope MAbs showed higher maximum binding and avidity to mature particles relative to immature particles; this feature may contribute to the strong neutralizing potency of such MAbs. FL-specific MAbs required 57 to 87% occupancy on mature particles to achieve half-maximal neutralization (NT50), whereas the potently neutralizing MAbs achieved NT50 states at 20 to 38% occupancy. Analysis of the MAb repertoire and polyclonal sera from patients with primary DENV1 infection supports the immunodominance of cross-reactive anti-E antibodies over type-specific antibodies. After depletion with viral particles from a heterologous DENV serotype, the type-specific neutralizing antibodies remained and showed binding features shared by potent neutralizing MAbs. Taken together, these findings suggest that the use of homogeneous mature DENV particles as an immunogen may induce more potent neutralizing antibodies against DENV than the use of immature or mixed particles.IMPORTANCE With an estimated 390 million infections per year, the four serotypes of dengue virus (DENV) cause the most important mosquito-borne viral disease in humans. The dengue vaccine Dengvaxia was licensed; however, its low efficacy among dengue-naive individuals and increased risk of causing severe dengue in children highlight the need for a better understanding of the role of human antibodies in immunity against DENV. DENV suspensions contain mature, immature, and partially immature particles. We investigated the binding of 22 human monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to the DENV envelope protein on particles with different maturation states. Potently neutralizing MAbs had higher relative maximum binding and avidity to mature particles than weakly neutralizing MAbs. This was supported by analysis of MAb repertoires and polyclonal sera from patients with primary DENV infection. Together, these findings suggest that mature particles may be the optimal form of presentation of the envelope protein to induce more potent neutralizing antibodies against DENV.