Recombinant allergens and especially their hypoallergenic variants are promising candidates for a more effective and safer specific immunotherapy.
Physicochemical and immunological characteristics of a folding variant of recombinant Bet v 1 (rBet v 1-FV) were investigated in comparison to natural Bet v 1 (nBet v 1) and the correctly folded recombinant Bet v 1 (rBet v 1-WT) by SDS-PAGE, size exclusion chromatography, multi-angle light scattering, circular dichroism, immunoblotting and enzyme allergosorbent test inhibition assay for detection of IgE reactivity and ELISA with Bet v 1-specific monoclonal antibodies. The functional IgE reactivity of the different Bet v 1 proteins was investigated using basophil activation in terms of CD203c expression and histamine release. T cell reactivity was investigated using T cell lines raised from birch pollen-allergic subjects against nBet v 1. Immunogenicity was investigated in mice.
Physicochemical characterization revealed purity, homogeneity and monomeric properties of rBet v 1-FV. Unlike nBet v 1 and rBet v 1-WT, rBet v 1-FV showed almost no IgE binding in immunoblots. The reduction of allergenicity was further proved by IgE-binding inhibition assays, basophil activation and histamine release. T cell reactivity was completely conserved, as demonstrated by proliferation of Bet v 1-specific T cell lines with multiple epitope specificities. rBet v 1-FV showed strong immunogenicity in mice.
Due to its reduced IgE reactivity and decreased capacity to activate basophils, but retained T cell reactivity and strong immunogenicity, rBet v 1-FV proved to be a very promising candidate for specific immunotherapy in birch pollen-allergic subjects.
"Nevertheless, the high IgG titers induced by the hypoallergens plus the fact that de novo sensitizations, a common phenomenon of extract SIT, were not observed using recombinant hypoallergens encouraged further developments in this direction.54 The topic was therefore picked up by the group of Fiebig who developed a Bet v 1 hypoallergen by chemically altering the structure of the protein resulting in a fold variant of the major birch pollen allergen (Bet v 1-FV).55 Presently, the protein has been evaluated in clinical safety, efficacy, and dose finding studies. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Presently, allergy diagnosis and therapy procedures are undergoing a transition phase in which allergen extracts are being step-by-step replaced by molecule-based products. The new developments will allow clinicians to obtain detailed information on sensitization patterns, more accurate interpretation of allergic symptoms, and thus improved patients' management. In this respect, recombinant technology has been applied to develop this new generation of molecule-based allergy products. The use of recombinant allergens allows full validation of identity, quantity, homogeneity, structure, aggregation, solubility, stability, IgE-binding and the biologic potency of the products. In contrast, such parameters are extremely difficult to assay and standardize for extract-based products. In addition to the possibility of bulk production of wild type molecules for diagnostic purposes, recombinant technology opened the possibility of developing safer and more efficacious products for allergy therapy. A number of molecule-based hypoallergenic preparations have already been successfully evaluated in clinical trials, bringing forward the next generation of allergy vaccines. In this contribution, we review the latest developments in allergen characterization, molecule-based allergy diagnosis, and the application of recombinant allergens in therapeutic setups. A comprehensive overview of clinical trials using recombinant allergens as well as synthetic peptides is presented.
Yonsei Medical Journal 07/2014; 55(4):839-52. DOI:10.3349/ymj.2014.55.4.839 · 1.29 Impact Factor
"The degree of modification determines the stability of the protein, which may expose buried cysteine residues or broken disulfide bridges, allowing for the measurement of the free thiols as a quality attribute for ensuring the safety and efficacy of a biopharmaceutical product. During the last years spectroscopic techniques used for recombinant protein characterization are gaining interest in order to identify specific structural properties, folding phenomena, and stability based on the absorptivity response, fluorescence, and light dispersion effects [8–10]. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Protein structure depends on weak interactions and covalent bonds, like disulfide bridges, established according to the environmental conditions. Here, we present the validation of two spectroscopic methodologies for the measurement of free and unoxidized thiols, as an attribute of structural integrity, using 5,5'-dithionitrobenzoic acid (DTNB) and DyLight Maleimide (DLM) as derivatizing agents. These methods were used to compare Rituximab and Etanercept products from different manufacturers. Physicochemical comparability was demonstrated for Rituximab products as DTNB showed no statistical differences under native, denaturing, and denaturing-reducing conditions, with Student's t-test P values of 0.6233, 0.4022, and 0.1475, respectively. While for Etanercept products no statistical differences were observed under native (P = 0.0758) and denaturing conditions (P = 0.2450), denaturing-reducing conditions revealed cysteine contents of 98% and 101%, towards the theoretical value of 58, for the evaluated products from different Etanercept manufacturers. DLM supported equality between Rituximab products under native (P = 0.7499) and denaturing conditions (P = 0.8027), but showed statistical differences among Etanercept products under native conditions (P < 0.001). DLM suggested that Infinitam has fewer exposed thiols than Enbrel, although DTNB method, circular dichroism (CD), fluorescence (TCSPC), and activity (TNF α neutralization) showed no differences. Overall, this data revealed the capabilities and drawbacks of each thiol quantification technique and their correlation with protein structure.
Journal of Analytical Methods in Chemistry 05/2014; 2014(7):950598. DOI:10.1155/2014/950598 · 0.79 Impact Factor
"Another way to modify the structure of recombinant allergens is the production of folding variants by reduction and alkylation, as was demonstrated for Bet v 1 [41, 42]. In a dose-finding study using the resulting vaccine, individuals treated with the rBet v 1 folding variant exhibited lower symptom medication scores than the extract-treated control group . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Opinion statement
Allergic diseases are among the most common health issues worldwide. Specific immunotherapy has remained the only disease-modifying treatment, but it is not effective in all patients and may cause side effects. Over the last 25 years, allergen molecules from most prevalent allergen sources have been isolated and produced as recombinant proteins. Not only are these molecules useful in improved allergy diagnosis, but they also have the potential to revolutionize the treatment of allergic disease by means of immunotherapy. Panels of unmodified recombinant allergens have already been shown to effectively replace natural allergen extracts in therapy. Through genetic engineering, several molecules have been designed with modified immunological properties. Hypoallergens have been produced that have reduced IgE binding capacity but retained T cell reactivity and T cell peptides which stimulate allergen-specific T cells, and these have already been investigated in clinical trials. New vaccines have been recently created with both reduced IgE and T cell reactivity but retained ability to induce protective allergen-specific IgG antibodies. The latter approach works by fusing per se non-IgE reactive peptides derived from IgE binding sites of the allergens to a virus protein, which acts as a carrier and provides the T-cell help necessary for immune stimulation and protective antibody production. In this review, we will highlight the different novel approaches for immunotherapy and will report on prior and ongoing clinical studies.
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