Vaccines against botulism

Medical College of Wisconsin, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics BSB-256, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA.
Current opinion in microbiology (Impact Factor: 7.22). 06/2012; 15(3):317-24. DOI: 10.1016/j.mib.2012.05.009
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The clostridial neurotoxins (CNTs) are the most toxic proteins for humans and include botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) and tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT). CNT neurotropism is based upon the preferred binding and entry into neurons and specific cleavage of neuronal SNARE proteins. While chemically inactive TeNT toxoid remains an effect vaccine, the current pentavalent vaccine against botulism is in limited supply. Recent advances have facilitated the development of the next generation of BoNT vaccines, utilizing non-catalytic full-length BoNT or a subunit vaccine composed of the receptor binding domain of BoNT as immunogens. This review describes the issues and progress towards the production of a vaccine against botulism that will be effective against natural BoNT variants.

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    ABSTRACT: Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most toxic substances known and cause botulism in vertebrates. They have also emerged as effective and powerful reagents for cosmetic and medical applications. One important prerequisite for understanding BoNT function in disease, and the further development of the toxins for cosmetic and medical applications, is a detailed knowledge of BoNT interactions with non-toxic neurotoxin-associated proteins and cell surface receptors. Based on the substantial recent progress in obtaining high-resolution crystal structures of key BoNT complexes, we summarize the major advances in understanding BoNT interactions and discuss the resulting potential implications, in particular those relating to BoNT serotype A.
    Trends in Biochemical Sciences 09/2014; 39(11). DOI:10.1016/j.tibs.2014.08.009 · 13.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Botulinum neurotoxins are one of the most potent toxins found in nature, with broad medical applications from cosmetics to the treatment of various neuropathies. Additionally, these toxins are classified as Category A-Tier 1 agents, with human lethal doses calculated at as little as 90 ng depending upon the route of administration. Of the eight distinct botulinum neurotoxin serotypes, the most common causes of human illness are from serotypes /A, /B, and /E. Protection can be achieved by eliciting antibody responses against the receptor-binding domain of the neurotoxin. Our previous research has shown that recombinant rabies virus–based particles can effectively present heterologous antigens. Here, we describe a novel strategy using recombinant rabies virus particles that elicits a durable humoral immune response against the botulinum neurotoxin receptor binding domains from serotypes /A, /B, and /E. Following intramuscular administration of β-propiolactone-inactivated rabies virus particles, mice elicited specific immune responses against the cognate antigen. Administration of a combination of these vectors also demonstrated antibody responses against all three serotypes based on enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) measurements, with mini- mal decay within the study timeline. Complete protection was achieved against toxin challenge from the serotypes /A and /B and partial protection for /E, indicating that a multivalent approach is feasible.
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    ABSTRACT: The recombinant Hc proteins of botulinum neurotoxins and tetanus toxin are exclusively produced by intracellular heterologous expression in Pichia pastoris for use in subunit vaccines; the same Hc proteins produced by secreted heterologous expression are hyper-glycosylated and immunologically inert. Here, several different recombinant secreted Hc proteins of botulinum neurotoxin serotype B (BHc) were expressed in yeast and we characterized and assessed their immunological activity in detail. Recombinant low-glycosylated secreted BHc products (BSK) were also immunologically inert, similar to hyper-glycosylated BHc products (BSG), although deglycosylation restored their immunological activities. Unexpectedly, deglycosylated proBHc contained an unexpected pro-peptide of an α-factor signal and fortuitous N-linked glycosylation sites in the non-cleaved pro-peptide sequences, but not in the BHc sequences. Notably, a non-glycosylated secreted homogeneous BHc isoform (mBHc), which we successfully prepared after deleting the pro-peptide and removing its single potential glycosylation site, was immunologically active and could confer effective protective immunity, similarly to non-glycosylated rBHc. In summary, we conclude that a non-glycosylated secreted BHc isoform can be prepared in yeast by deleting the pro-peptide of the α-factor signal and mutating its single potential glycosylation site. This approach provides a rational and feasible strategy for the secretory expression of botulism or other toxin antigens.
    Scientific Reports 01/2015; 5:7678. DOI:10.1038/srep07678 · 5.08 Impact Factor