H5N1 Virus-Like Particle Vaccine Elicits Cross-Reactive Neutralizing Antibodies That Preferentially Bind to the Oligomeric Form of Influenza Virus Hemagglutinin in Humans

Division of Viral Products, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
Journal of Virology (Impact Factor: 4.44). 08/2011; 85(21):10945-54. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.05406-11
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Transmission of pathogenic avian influenza viruses (AIV) from wild birds to domestic poultry and humans is continuing in multiple countries around the world. In preparation for a potential AIV pandemic, multiple vaccine candidates are under development. In the case of H5N1 AIV, a clear shift in transmission from clade 1 to clade 2 viruses occurred in recent years. The virus-like particle (VLP) represents an economical approach to pandemic vaccine development. In the current study, we evaluated the humoral immune response in humans vaccinated with H5N1 A/Indonesia/05/2005 (clade 2.1) VLP vaccine manufactured in Sf9 insect cells. The VLPs were comprised of the influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA), neuraminidase (NA), and matrix 1 (M1) proteins. In an FDA-approved phase I/II human clinical study, two doses of H5N1 VLPs at 15, 45, or 90 μg HA/dose resulted in seroconversion and production of functional antibodies. Moreover, cross-reactivity against other clade 2 subtypes was demonstrated using virus neutralization assays. H5N1 whole-genome fragment phage display libraries (GFPDL) were used to elucidate the antibody epitope repertoire in postvaccination human sera. Diverse epitopes in HA1/HA2 and NA were recognized by postvaccination sera from the two high-dose groups, including large segments spanning the HA1 receptor binding domain. Importantly, the vaccine elicited sera that preferentially bound to an oligomeric form of recombinant HA1 compared with monomeric HA1. The oligomeric/monomeric HA1 binding ratios of the sera correlated with the virus neutralizing titers. Additionally, the two high-dose VLP vaccine groups generated NA-inhibiting antibodies that were associated with binding to a C-terminal epitope close to the sialic acid binding site. These findings represent the first report describing the quality of the antibody responses in humans following AIV VLP immunization and support further development of such vaccines against emerging influenza virus strains.

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Available from: Nitin Verma, Sep 27, 2015
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    • "Higher protein yields may be attributed to lower metabolic burden due to virus replication and to the higher susceptibility of the two Trichoplusia ni cell lines. To date, still many secreted glycoproteins are generated in Sf9 cells, such as influenza virus HA and various virus-like particles (Cox 2008; Khurana et al. 2011; Liu et al. 2013; Tretyakova et al. 2013). However, our findings suggest the high applicability of cell lines derived from Trichoplusia ni for recombinant protein expression, especially in the case of secreted proteins. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose of work: A comparative analysis of new and established insect cell lines, in regard to process relevant parameters, provide data that can be exploited for designing more robust and effective protein production processes. The baculovirus-insect cell expression system has been efficiently used for the production of heterologous proteins. Three different insect cell lines Tnao38, High Five and Sf9 were compared in terms of virus susceptibility, baculovirus production and product yield of an intra-cellularly (YFP) and extra-cellularly (influenza A virus hemagglutinin)-expressed recombinant protein. The Tnao38 and High Five cell lines exhibited higher (tenfold) susceptibility to baculovirus infection than Sf9 cells, whereas Sf9 cells showed a higher (100-fold) capacity for production of infectious virus particles. Analysis of recombinant protein expression revealed considerably higher product yields in Tnao38 and High Five cells as compared to Sf9 cells, for both model proteins. Overall, the two Trichoplusia ni-derived cell lines, High Five and Tnao38, were significantly more efficient in terms of secreting proteins such as the glycoprotein hemagglutinin of influenza A virus.
    Biotechnology Letters 12/2013; 36(4). DOI:10.1007/s10529-013-1429-6 · 1.59 Impact Factor
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    • "In addition, studies with A(H5N1) vaccines have generally required 2 × 90 ␮g unadjuvanted or lower doses of adjuvanted vaccine to achieve adequate levels of HAI antibodies in a majority of subjects. However, mouse immunogenicity studies of recombinant influenza A(H5N1) VLP vaccine were predictive of immunogenicity in man [9] [11]. Bright et al. [11] reported cross-clade protective immune response of an A(H5N1) VLP vaccine in mice. "
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    ABSTRACT: The recent emergence of severe human illness caused by avian-origin influenza A(H7N9) viruses in China has precipitated a global effort to rapidly develop and test vaccine candidates. To date, non-A(H7N9) H7 subtype influenza vaccine candidates have been poorly immunogenic and difficulties in production of A(H7N9) virus seed strains have been encountered. A candidate recombinant A(H7N9) vaccine consisting of full length, unmodified hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) from the A/Anhui/1/2013 and the matrix 1 (M1) protein from the A/Indonesia/05/2005 (H5N1) were cloned into a baculovirus vector. Baculovirus infected Spodoptera frugiperda (Sf9) insect cells secreted virus like particles (VLP) composed of HA, NA, and M1 that resemble mature influenza virions. Genetic construction of vaccine from acquisition of an H7N9 genomic sequence to production of A(H7N9) VLP occurred in 26 days. The immunogenicity and efficacy of A/Anhui/1/2013 (H7N9) VLP vaccine administered on days 0 and 14 were evaluated in a lethal wild-type challenge Balb/c mouse model. Control groups included a non-homologous H7 vaccine (A/chicken/Jalisco/CPA1/2012 (H7N3)-VLP), and A/Indonesia/05/2005 (H5N1)-VLP, or placebo. All vaccines were administered with or without ISCOMATRIX. A(H7N9) VLP elicited hemagglutination-inhibition (HAI) antibody titers of ≥1:64 against the homologous virus, cross-reactive HAI against the heterologous A(H7N3), and 3- to 4-fold higher HAI responses in corresponding ISCOMATRIX subgroups. Similarly, all doses of H7N9 VLP elicited anti-neuraminidase (NA) antibody, with 3- to 4-fold higher responses measured in the corresponding ISCOMATRIX subgroups. The non-homologous H7 vaccine induced both H7N3 and H7N9 HAI but no N9 anti-NA antibodies. A lethal murine wild-type A/Anhui/1/2013 (H7N9) challenge demonstrated 100% survival of all animals receiving A(H7N9) and A(H7N3) vaccine, versus 0% survival in A(H5N1) vaccine and placebo groups. Together, the data demonstrate that recombinant H7N9 vaccine can be rapidly developed that was immunogenic and efficacious supporting testing in man as a pandemic influenza H7N9 vaccine candidate.
    Vaccine 07/2013; 31(40). DOI:10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.07.043 · 3.62 Impact Factor
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    • "It should be noted that the vaccines designed to maintain suitable conformational structure of HA are expected to produce stronger immune responses. In fact, it has been revealed that 1) the trimeric form of HA may significantly improve immunogenicity over that of monomeric HA in vaccinated mice against influenza A virus (IAV) infection, and 2) a H5N1 virus-like particle vaccine elicits cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies preferentially binding to the oligomeric form of influenza virus HA in humans [13], [14]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 viruses, especially the laboratory-generated H5N1 mutants, have demonstrated the potential to cross the species barrier and infect mammals and humans. Consequently, the design of an effective and safe anti-H5N1 vaccine is essential. We previously demonstrated that the full-length hemagglutinin 1 (HA1) could induce significant neutralizing antibody response and protection. Here, we intended to identify the critical neutralizing domain (CND) in an optimal conformation that can elicit strong cross-neutralizing antibodies and protection against divergent H5N1 strains. We thus constructed six recombinant proteins covering different regions of HA1 of A/Anhui/1/2005(H5N1), each of which was fused with foldon (Fd) and Fc of human IgG. We found that the critical fragment fused with Fd/Fc (HA-13-263-Fdc, H5 numbering) that could elicit the strongest neutralizing antibody response is located in the N-terminal region of HA1 (residues 13-263), which covers the receptor-binding domain (RBD, residues 112-263). We then constructed three additional recombinants fused with Fd plus His tag (HA-13-263-Fd-His), Fc only (HA-13-263-Fc), and His tag only (HA-13-263-His), respectively. We found that the HA-13-263-Fdc, which formed an oligomeric conformation, induced the strongest neutralizing antibody response and cross-protection against challenges of two tested H5N1 virus strains covering clade 1: A/VietNam/1194/2004 (VN/1194) or clade 2.3.4: A/Shenzhen/406H/06 (SZ/406H), while HA-13-263-Fc dimer and HA-13-263-Fd-His trimer elicited higher neutralizing antibody response and protection than HA-13-263-His monomer. These results suggest that the oligomeric form of the CND containing the RBD can be further developed as an effective and safe vaccine for cross-protection against divergent strains of H5N1 viruses.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e53568. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0053568 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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