Development and characterization of an enterovirus 71 (EV71) virus-like particles (VLPs) vaccine produced in Pichia pastoris.
ABSTRACT: Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is one of the major causative agents for hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in children. Although there are three inactivated virus-based HFMD vaccines licensed in China, alternative approaches have been taken to produce an effective and safer vaccine that is easier to manufacture in large scale. Among these, a virus-like particles (VLPs) based EV71 vaccine is under active development. For this purpose, an efficient methodology for the production of EV71-VLPs by recombinant technology is needed. We here report the construction and expression of the P1 and 3C genes of EV71 in Pichia pastoris for producing VLP-based EV71 vaccine antigen with a high yield and simple manufacturing process. Based on codon-optimized P1 and 3C genes, EV71-VLPs were efficiently expressed in Pichia pastoris system, and the expression level reached 270 mg/L. Biochemical and biophysical analyses showed that the produced EV71-VLPs consisted of processed VP0, VP1, and VP3 present as ~35nm spherical particles. The immune response as a function of EV71-VLPs and adjuvant dose ratio was investigated for vaccine development. Immunization with EV71-VLPs of 1-5 µg/dose and adjuvant of 225 µg/dose induced robust neutralizing antibody responses in mice and provided effective protection against lethal challenge in both maternally transferred antibody and passive transfer protection mouse models. Therefore, the yeast produced EV71-VLPs antigen is a promising candidate for the development of a vaccine against HFMD.
Project description:Human enterovirus 71 (EV71) plays an important role in hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD), which recently caused the death of hundreds of children in the Asia-Pacific region. However, there are no specific treatments available for EV71 infections; thus, a safe and effective vaccine is needed urgently. In this study, we developed an effective and economical method for producing EV71 polyprotein (P1 protein) in Pichia pastoris. Furthermore, we evaluated the potential of P1 protein as a candidate vaccine against EV71 virus. The data revealed that P1 protein induced persistent high cross-neutralization antibodies for different EV71 subtypes, and elicited significant splenocyte proliferation. The high levels of interleukin-10(IL-10) and interferon-gamma (IFN-?) showed that P1 protein induced Th1 and Th2 immune responses. Interestingly, vaccinating female mice with the P1 protein conferred cross-protection against different EV71 subtypes to their neonatal offspring.Compared with heat-inactivated EV71, the P1 protein elicited improved humoral and cellular immune responses and showed good cross-protection with different EV71 subtypes. Therefore, the EV71-P1 protein produced by P. pastoris is a promising candidate vaccine against EV71.
Project description:BACKGROUND Coxsackievirus A16 (CA16) is one of the main causative agents of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD), and the development of a safe and effective vaccine has been a top priority among CA16 researchers. MATERIAL AND METHODS In this study, we developed a Pichia pastoris yeast system for secretory expression of the virus-like particles (VLPs) for CA16 by co-expression of the P1 and 3CD proteins of CA16. SDS-PAGE, Western blot, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were performed to identify the formation of VLPs. Immunogenicity and vaccine efficacy of the CA16 VLPs were assessed in BABL/c mouse models. RESULTS Biochemical and biophysical analysis showed that the yeast-expressed CA16 VLPs were composed of VP0, VP1, and VP3 capsid subunit proteins, and present spherical particles with a diameter of 30 nm, similar to the parental infectious CA16 virus. Furthermore, CA16 VLPs elicited potent humoral and cellular immune responses, and VLPs-immunized sera conferred efficient protection to neonatal mice against lethal CA16 challenge. CONCLUSIONS Our results demonstrate that VLPs produced in Pichia pastoris represent a safe and effective vaccine strategy for CA16.
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:Enterovirus (EV) 71 is the main pathogen associated with hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) and can lead to the disease with severe mortality in children. Since 2009, in the Republic of Korea, an outbreak of EV71 C4a infection with neurologic involvement emerged, where in HFMD involvement was identified and central nervous system complications were reported. In this study, EV71 C4a virus-like particles (VLPs) produced by recombinant technology were generated in a baculovirus expression system. To improve the production yield, EV71 VLP was constructed using the dual promoter system baculovirus P1 and 3CD (baculo-P1-3CD), which harbored both the structural protein-encoding P1 region under the control of the polyhedron promoter and the 3CD protease gene under the regulation of the CMV-IE, lef3, gp41, or chitinase promoters to augment the level of gene transcription. Efficient VLP expression was demonstrated through optimization of incubation time and insect cell type. In addition, to evaluate the potential of VLP as a vaccine candidate, we tested the neutralizing antibodies and total anti-EV71 IgG from the purified EV71 C4a VLP serum. The recombinant EV71 VLP exhibited the morphology of self-assembled VLP, as determined by electron microscopy. Use of baculo-P1-3CD-gp41 led to a high yield (11.3mg/L < 40kDa) of VLPs in High-FiveTM cells at 3 days post-infection. Furthermore, the potential of VLP as a vaccine was evaluated through the neutralizing ability elicited by the purified EV71 VLP after immunization of BALB/c mice, which was shown to induce potent and long-lasting humoral immune responses as evidenced by the cross-neutralization titer. Our results could be used to expedite the developmental process for vaccines under clinical trials and to ensure manufacturing consistency for licensing requirements.
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-? and 5.5-? 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 coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16) are the major causative agents of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD), which is prevalent in Asia. Thus far, there are no prophylactic or therapeutic measures against HFMD. The 3C proteases from EV71 and CVA16 play important roles in viral replication and are therefore ideal drug targets. By using biochemical, mutational, and structural approaches, we broadly characterized both proteases. A series of high-resolution structures of the free or substrate-bound enzymes were solved. These structures, together with our cleavage specificity assay, well explain the marked substrate preferences of both proteases for particular P4, P1, and P1' residue types, as well as the relative malleability of the P2 amino acid. More importantly, the complex structures of EV71 and CVA16 3Cs with rupintrivir, a specific human rhinovirus (HRV) 3C protease inhibitor, were solved. These structures reveal a half-closed S2 subsite and a size-reduced S1' subsite that limit the access of the P1' group of rupintrivir to both enzymes, explaining the reported low inhibition activity of the compound toward EV71 and CVA16. In conclusion, the detailed characterization of both proteases in this study could direct us to a proposal for rational design of EV71/CVA16 3C inhibitors.
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: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.
Project description:For enteroviruses such as poliovirus (PV), empty capsids, which are antigenically indistinguishable from mature virions, are produced naturally during viral infection. The production of such capsids recombinantly, in heterologous systems such as yeast, have great potential as virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine candidates. Here, using PV as an exemplar, we show the production of VLPs in <i>Pichia pastoris</i> by coexpression of the structural precursor protein P1 and the viral protease 3CD. The level of expression of the potentially cytotoxic protease relative to that of the P1 precursor was modulated by three different approaches: expression of the P1 precursor and protease from different transcription units, separation of the P1 and protease proteins using the <i>Thosea asigna</i> virus (TaV) 2A translation interruption sequence, or separation of the P1 and protease-coding sequences by an internal ribosome entry site sequence from <i>Rhopalosiphum padi</i> virus (RhPV). We also investigate the antigenicity of VLPs containing previously characterized mutations when produced in <i>Pichia</i> Finally, using transmission electron microscopy and two-dimensional classification, we show that <i>Pichia</i>-derived VLPs exhibited the classical icosahedral capsid structure displayed by enteroviruses.<b>IMPORTANCE</b> Although the current poliovirus immunization program has been extremely successful in reducing the number of cases of paralytic polio worldwide, now more cases are caused by vaccine-derived polioviruses than by wild poliovirus. Switching to inactivated poliovirus vaccines will reduce this over time; however, their production requires the growth of large amounts of virus. This biosafety concern can be addressed by producing just the virus capsid. The capsid serves to protect the genetic material, which causes disease when introduced into a cell. Therefore, empty capsids (virus-like particles [VLPs]), which lack the viral RNA genome, are safe both to make and to use. We exploit yeast as a versatile model expression system to produce VLPs, and here we specifically highlight the potential of this system to supply next-generation poliovirus vaccines to secure a polio-free world for the future.
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.