[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dengue is the most prevalent arboviral infection, affecting millions of people every year. Attempts to control such infection are being made, and the development of a vaccine is a World Health Organization priority. Among the proteins being tested as vaccine candidates in preclinical settings is the non-structural protein 1 (NS1). In the present study, we tested the immune responses generated by targeting the NS1 protein to two different dendritic cell populations. Dendritic cells (DCs) are important antigen presenting cells, and targeting proteins to maturing DCs has proved to be an efficient means of immunization. Antigen targeting is accomplished by the use of a monoclonal antibody (mAb) directed against a DC cell surface receptor fused to the protein of interest. We used two mAbs (αDEC205 and αDCIR2) to target two distinct DC populations, expressing either DEC205 or DCIR2 endocytic receptors, respectively, in mice. The fusion mAbs were successfully produced, bound to their respective receptors, and were used to immunize BALB/c mice in the presence of polyriboinosinic: polyribocytidylic acid (poly (I:C)), as a DC maturation stimulus. We observed induction of strong anti-NS1 antibody responses and similar antigen binding affinity irrespectively of the DC population targeted. Nevertheless, the IgG1/IgG2a ratios were different between mouse groups immunized with αDEC-NS1 and αDCIR2-NS1 mAbs. When we tested the induction of cellular immune responses, the number of IFN-γ producing cells was higher in αDEC-NS1 immunized animals. In addition, mice immunized with the αDEC-NS1 mAb were significantly protected from a lethal intracranial challenge with the DENV2 NGC strain when compared to mice immunized with αDCIR2-NS1 mAb. Protection was partially mediated by CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells as depletion of these populations reduced both survival and morbidity signs. We conclude that targeting the NS1 protein to the DEC205(+) DC population with poly (I:C) opens perspectives for dengue vaccine development.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The dengue envelope glycoprotein (E) is the major component of virion surface and its ectodomain is composed of domains I, II and III. This protein is the main target for the development of a dengue vaccine with induction of neutralizing antibodies. In the present work, we tested two different vaccination strategies, with combined immunizations in a prime/booster regimen or simultaneous inoculation with a DNA vaccine (pE1D2) and a chimeric yellow fever/dengue 2 virus (YF17D-D2). The pE1D2 DNA vaccine encodes the ectodomain of the envelope DENV2 protein fused to t-PA signal peptide, while the YF17D-D2 was constructed by replacing the prM and E genes from the 17D yellow fever vaccine virus by those from DENV2. Balb/c mice were inoculated with these two vaccines by different prime/booster or simultaneous immunization protocols and most of them induced a synergistic effect on the elicited immune response, mainly in neutralizing antibody production. Furthermore, combined immunization remarkably increased protection against a lethal dose of DENV2, when compared to each vaccine administered alone. Results also revealed that immunization with the DNA vaccine, regardless of the combination with the chimeric virus, induced a robust cell immune response, with production of IFN-γ by CD8+ T lymphocytes.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(3):e58357. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The dengue non-structural 3 (NS3) is a multifunctional protein, containing a serino-protease domain, located at the N-terminal portion, and helicase, NTPase and RTPase domains present in the C-terminal region. This protein is considered the main target for CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses during dengue infection, which may be involved in protection. However, few studies have been undertaken evaluating the use of this protein as a protective antigen against dengue, as well as other flavivirus. In the present work, we investigate the protective efficacy of DNA vaccines based on the NS3 protein from DENV2. Different recombinant plasmids were constructed, encoding either the full-length NS3 protein or only its functional domains (protease and helicase), fused or not to a signal peptide (t-PA). The recombinant proteins were successfully expressed in transfected BHK-21 cells, and only plasmids encoding the t-PA signal sequence mediated protein secretion. Balb/c mice were immunized with the different DNA vaccines and challenged with a lethal dose of DENV2. Most animals immunized with plasmids encoding the full-length NS3 or the helicase domain survived challenge, regardless of the presence of the t-PA. However, some mice presented clinical signs of infection with high morbidity (hind leg paralysis and hunched posture), mainly in animal groups immunized with the DNA vaccines based on the helicase domain. On the other hand, inoculation with plasmids encoding the protease domain did not induce any protection, since mortality and morbidity rates in these mouse groups were similar to those detected in the control animals. The cellular immune response was analyzed by ELISPOT with a specific-CD8+ T cell NS3 peptide. Results revealed that the DNA vaccines based on the full-length protein induced the production of INF-γ, thus suggesting the involvement of this branch of the immune system in the protection.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(10):e25685. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two DNA vaccines were constructed encoding the ectodomain (domains I, II and III) of the DENV2 envelope protein (pE1D2) or only its domain III (pE2D2), fused to the human tissue plasminogen activator signal peptide (t-PA). The expression and secretion of recombinant proteins was confirmed in vitro in BHK cells transfected with the two plasmids, detected by immunofluorescence or immunoprecipitation of metabolically labeled gene products, using polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies against DENV2. Besides, results reveal that the ectodomain of the E protein can be efficiently expressed in vivo, in a mammalian system, without the prM protein that is hypothesized to act as a chaperonin during dengue infection. Balb/c mice were immunized with the DNA vaccines and challenged with a lethal dose of DENV2. All pE1D2-vaccinated mice survived challenge, while 45% of animals immunized with the pE2D2 died after infection. Furthermore, only 10% of pE1D2-immunized mice presented some clinical signs of infection after challenge, whereas most of animals inoculated with the pE2D2 showed effects of the disease with high morbidity degrees. Levels of neutralizing antibodies were significantly higher in pE1D2-vaccinated mice than in pE2D2-immunized animals, also suggesting that the pE1D2 vaccine was more protective than the pE2D2.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(7):e20528. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Membrane fusion is an essential step in the entry of enveloped viruses into their host cells. This process is triggered by conformational changes in viral surface glycoproteins. We have demonstrated previously that modification of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) with diethylpyrocarbonate (DEPC) abolished the conformational changes on VSV glycoprotein and the fusion reaction induced by the virus. Moreover, we observed that viral treatment with DEPC inactivates the virus, preserving the conformational integrity of its surface proteins. In the present work, we evaluated the potential use of DEPC as a viral inactivating chemical agent for the development of useful vaccines. Pathogenicity and viral replication in Balb/c mice were abolished by viral treatment with 0.5mM DEPC. In addition, antibodies elicited in mice after intraperitoneal immunization with DEPC-inactivated VSV mixed with adjuvants were able to recognize and neutralize the native virus and efficiently protected animals against the challenge with lethal doses of VSV. These results together suggest that viral inactivation with DEPC seems to be a suitable method for the development of safe vaccines.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dengue is one of the most important arboviral diseases in humans, and although efforts over the last decades have dealt with the development of a vaccine, this vaccine is not available yet. In order to evaluate the potential of a DNA vaccine based on the non-structural 1 (NS1) protein against dengue virus (DENV), we constructed the pcTPANS1 plasmid which contains the secretory signal sequence derived from human tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) fused to the full length of the DENV-2 NS1 gene. Results indicate that pcTPANS1 promotes correct expression of NS1 in eukaryotic cells and drives secretion of the recombinant protein to the surrounding medium in a dimeric form. Balb/c mice, intramuscularly inoculated with this plasmid, presented high levels of antibodies, recognizing mainly surface-exposed conformational epitopes present in the NS1 protein expressed by insect cells. Long-term antibody response was observed in animals 56 weeks after the first plasmid inoculation, and a rapid, efficient secondary response was observed after a DNA boost. Vaccinated animals were challenged against DENV-2 in two murine models, based on intracerebral (i.c.) and intraperitoneal (i.p.) virus inoculations, and in both cases, pcTPANS1-immunized mice were protected. Overall, these results provide further support for the use of such a plasmid in a possible approach for the development of a vaccine against DENV.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The antibody-inducing properties of a bacterial/viral bivalent DNA vaccine (pRECFA), expressing a peptide composed of N- and C-terminal amino acid sequences of the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) glycoprotein D (gD) fused with an inner segment encoding the major structural subunit of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) CFA/I fimbriae (CFA/I), was evaluated in BALB/c mice following intramuscular immunization. The bivalent pRECFA vaccine elicited serum antibody responses, belonging mainly to the IgG2a subclass, against both CFA/I and HSV gD proteins. pRECFA-elicited antibody responses cross-reacted with homologous and heterologous ETEC fimbrial antigens as well as with type 1 and type 2 HSV gD proteins, which could bind and inactivate intact HSV-2 particles. On the other hand, CFA/I-specific antibodies could bind but did not neutralize the adhesive functions of the bacterial CFA/I fimbriae. In spite of the functional restriction of the antibodies targeting the bacterial antigen, the present evidence suggests that fusion of heterologous peptides to the HSV gD protein represents an alternative for the design of bivalent DNA vaccines able to elicit serum antibody responses.