An influenza A vaccine based on tetrameric ectodomain of matrix protein 2.
ABSTRACT Matrix protein 2 (M2) of influenza A is a tetrameric type III membrane protein that functions as a proton-selective channel. The extracellular domain (M2e) has remained nearly invariable since the first human influenza strain was isolated in 1933. By linking a modified form of the leucine zipper of the yeast transcription factor GCN4 to M2e, we obtained a recombinant tetrameric protein, M2e-tGCN4. This protein mimics the quaternary structure of the ectodomain of the natural M2 protein. M2e-tGCN4 was purified, biochemically characterized, and used to immunize BALB/c mice. High M2e-specific serum IgG antibody titers were obtained following either intraperitoneal or intranasal administration. Immunized mice were protected fully against a potentially lethal influenza A virus challenge. Antibodies raised by M2e-tGCN4 immunization specifically bound to the surface of influenza-infected cells and to an M2-expressing cell line. Using a M2e peptide competition enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with M2-expressing cells as target, we obtained evidence that M2e-tGCN4 induces antibodies that are specific for the native tetrameric M2 ectodomain. Therefore, fusion of an oligomerization domain to the extracellular part of a transmembrane protein allows it to mimic the natural quaternary structure and can promote the induction of oligomer-specific antibodies.
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ABSTRACT: Current influenza vaccines based on the hemagglutinin protein are strain specific and do not provide good protection against drifted viruses or emergence of new pandemic strains. An influenza vaccine that can confer cross-protection against antigenically different influenza A strains is highly desirable for improving public health. To develop a cross protective vaccine, we generated influenza virus-like particles containing the highly conserved M2 protein in a membrane-anchored form (M2 VLPs), and investigated their immunogenicity and breadth of cross protection. Immunization of mice with M2 VLPs induced anti-M2 antibodies binding to virions of various strains, M2 specific T cell responses, and conferred long-lasting cross protection against heterologous and heterosubtypic influenza viruses. M2 immune sera were found to play an important role in providing cross protection against heterosubtypic virus and an antigenically distinct 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus, and depletion of dendritic and macrophage cells abolished this cross protection, providing new insight into cross-protective immune mechanisms. These results suggest that presenting M2 on VLPs in a membrane-anchored form is a promising approach for developing broadly cross protective influenza vaccines.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(1):e14538. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: A generic system for the expression and purification of soluble and stable influenza neuraminidase.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The influenza surface glycoprotein neuraminidase (NA) is essential for the efficient spread of the virus. Antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu (oseltamivir) and Relenza (zanamivir) that inhibit NA enzyme activity have been shown to be effective in the treatment of influenza infections. The recent 'swine flu' pandemic and world-wide emergence of Tamiflu-resistant seasonal human influenza A(H1N1) H(274)Y have highlighted the need for the ongoing development of new anti-virals, efficient production of vaccine proteins and novel diagnostic tools. Each of these goals could benefit from the production of large quantities of highly pure and stable NA. This publication describes a generic expression system for NAs in a baculovirus Expression Vector System (BEVS) that is capable of expressing milligram amounts of recombinant NA. To construct NAs with increased stability, the natural influenza NA stalk was replaced by two different artificial tetramerization domains that drive the formation of catalytically active NA homotetramers: GCN4-pLI from yeast or the Tetrabrachion tetramerization domain from Staphylothermus marinus. Both recombinant NAs are secreted as FLAG-tagged proteins to allow for rapid and simple purification. The Tetrabrachion-based NA showed good solubility, increased stability and biochemical properties closer to the original viral NA than the GCN4-pLI based construct. The expressed quantities and high quality of the purified recombinant NA suggest that this expression system is capable of producing recombinant NA for a broad range of applications including high-throughput drug screening, protein crystallisation, or vaccine development.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(2):e16284. · 4.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The extracellular domain of the matrix protein 2 (M2e) of influenza viruses is highly conserved among all influenza A subtypes, making it a suitable target for a universal influenza vaccine. In this study, we demonstrated an enhanced immune response and protection of a chimeric M2e vaccine against influenza A viruses using our newly developed vaccine platform, the norovirus P particle, to present the M2e peptide. The 23-amino acid peptide was inserted into one of the surface loops of the P protein, resulting in 24 copies of M2e presented on each P particle. Significantly (P<0.001) increased antibody responses to M2e were observed in mice immunized with the P particle-M2e chimera compared with those immunized with the free M2e peptides. Mice immunized with the P particle-M2e vaccine were fully protected (100% survived) against lethal challenge of a mouse adapted human influenza virus PR8 (H1N1), while only low survival rates (<12.5%) were found in mice immunized with the free M2e peptides or wild type P particle. In addition, the mouse sera collected after immunization with the P particle-M2e vaccine were able to block the binding of norovirus virus-like particle and P particle to histo-blood group antigen receptors. These results suggest that the P particle-M2e chimera can be used as dual vaccine against both noroviruses and influenza viruses.Vaccine 08/2011; 29(44):7670-7. · 3.77 Impact Factor