Assessment of contraceptive vaccines based on recombinant mouse sperm protein PH20.

Pest Animal Control Cooperative Research Centre, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, GPO Box 284, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.
Reproduction (Cambridge, England) (Impact Factor: 3.26). 04/2004; 127(3):325-34. DOI: 10.1530/rep.1.00016
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Mouse PH20 (mPH20), the mouse homologue to guinea pig hyaluronidase protein PH20 (gpPH20), was used to produce contraceptive vaccines that target both sexes of mice. Previously, immunization with a female gamete antigen (the zona pellucida subunit 3 protein) delivered in a recombinant murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV), or as a purified recombinant protein, has been shown to induce infertility in female mice. There is evidence, however, that sperm protein antigens could provide broader contraceptive coverage by affecting both males and females, and the most promising has been gpPH20 when tested in a guinea pig model. Mice were therefore either inoculated with a recombinant MCMV expressing mPH20 or immunized directly with purified recombinant mPH20 protein fused to maltose-binding protein. Mice treated with either vaccine formulation developed serum antibodies that cross-reacted to a protein band of 55 kDa corresponding to mPH20 in Western blots of mouse sperm. However, there was no significant reduction in the fertility of males or females compared with control animals with either formulation. We conclude from our data that recombinant mPH20 is not a useful antigen for inclusion in immunocontraceptive vaccines that target mice.

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    ABSTRACT: Vaccines based on gamete specific proteins have been proposed for fertility inhibition. In the present study, immunogenicity and contraceptive potential of E. coli-expressed recombinant fusion protein TT-KK-ZP3-GGG-Iz, comprising promiscuous T cell epitope of tetanus toxoid (TT) followed by dilysin linker (KK), a fragment of dog zona pellucida glycoprotein-3 (ZP3), triglycine spacer (GGG) and a fragment of dog Izumo (Iz) without any affinity tag has been evaluated in female FvB/J mice. In addition, recombinant TT-KK-ZP3 and Izumo linked to the promiscuous T cell epitope of bovine RNase (bRNase-KK-Iz) and their physical mixture were also used. SDS-PAGE and immunoblot studies revealed ∼32kDa band corresponding to TT-KK-ZP3-GGG-Iz, ∼22kDa band of TT-KK-ZP3 and ∼11kDa band of bRNase-KK-Iz. Groups of mice immunized with the above recombinant proteins led to the generation of high antibody titres against the respective proteins. Immunization with recombinant TT-KK-ZP3-GGG-Iz generated higher antibody titre as compared to mice immunized with physical mixture of TT-KK-ZP3 and bRNase-KK-Iz. Antibodies against TT-KK-ZP3-GGG-Iz and TT-KK-ZP3 recognized mouse and dog ZP and those against TT-KK-ZP3-GGG-Iz and bRNase-KK-Iz recognized mouse and dog acrosome-reacted sperm in an indirect immunofluorescence assay. Immune sera from groups of mice immunized with the above recombinant proteins led to a significant reduction in mouse in vitro fertilization. Mating studies revealed significant reduction in fertility as compared to adjuvant control group. Highest infertility was observed in group of mice immunized with TT-KK-ZP3 followed by TT-KK-ZP3-GGG-Iz. Infertility was associated with the antibody titres against ZP3, whereas no association in the inhibition of fertility and antibody titres against Izumo was observed. In conclusion, these studies revealed the contraceptive potential of ZP3, which could not be further enhanced by the inclusion of Izumo.
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