[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Staphylococcus aureus and other staphylococci cause severe human disease, and there are currently no vaccines available. We evaluated whether manganese transport protein C (MntC), which is conserved across the staphylococcal species group, could confer protection against S. aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis. In vivo analysis of S. aureus MntC expression revealed that expression occurs very early during the infectious cycle. Active immunization with MntC was effective at reducing the bacterial load associated with S. aureus and S. epidermidis infection in an acute murine bacteremia model. Anti-MntC monoclonal antibodies have been identified that can bind S. aureus and S. epidermidis cells and are protective in an infant rat passive protection model and induce neutrophil respiratory burst activity. This is the first description of a protein that has the potential to provide protection across the staphylococcal species group.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 04/2012; 205(11):1688-96. · 5.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clumping factors A (ClfA) and B (ClfB) are Staphylococcus aureus virulence proteins that are displayed on the cell surface of the organism and have potential as vaccine antigens for the prevention of S. aureus disease. Here we evaluate the phylogeny of S. aureus in the context of antigenic variation of these two surface proteins. ClfA and ClfB gene sequences, along with epidemiological markers (MLST, spa and capsule genotype) were obtained for 224 S. aureus isolates including both historical strains and a collection representative of current MRSA isolates from the United States. Variation within ClfA and ClfB was consistent with the established population biology of S. aureus, namely, that S. aureus strains belong to a relatively small number of clonal lineages, with evolution proceeding mainly by mutation and with little to no recombination between clades. Thus most variation in ClfA and ClfB occurs between but not within lineages, and particular groups of ClfA and ClfB variants are closely linked. This has important implications for vaccine development and assessment as it suggests that a relatively small survey of strains will be representative of the total population variation, whereas for species that evolve mainly by recombination, such as Neisseria meningitidis, analysis of a much larger number of strains is needed to accomplish the same purpose. Our study also revealed evidence for the de-evolution of ClfB and therefore its reduced suitability as a target for vaccine development compared to ClfA.
Human vaccines 01/2011; 7 Suppl:51-9. · 3.14 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neisseria meningitidis is a major cause of meningitis. Although protective vaccination is available against some pathogenic serogroups, serogroup B meningococci have been a challenge for vaccinologists. A family of outer membrane lipoproteins, LP2086 (or factor H binding proteins, fHbp), has been shown to elicit bactericidal antibodies and is currently part of a cocktail vaccine candidate. The NMR structure of the variant LP2086-B01 in micellar solution provided insights on the topology of this family of proteins on the biological membrane. Based on flow cytometry experiments on whole meningococcal cells, binding experiments with monoclonal antibodies, and the NMR structure in micellar solution, we previously proposed that LP2086-B01 anchors the outer bacterial membrane through its lipidated N-terminal cysteine, while a flexible 20 residue linker positions the protein above the layer of lipo-oligosaccharides that surrounds the bacteria. This topology was suggested to increase the antigen exposure to the immune system. In the present work, using micellar solution as a membrane mimicking system, we characterized the backbone dynamics of the variant LP2086-B01 in both its lipidated and unlipidated forms. In addition, binding experiments with a Fab fragment derived from the monoclonal MN86-1042-2 were also performed. Our data suggests that due to the length and flexibility of the N-terminal linker, the antigen is not in contact with the micelle, thus making both N- and C-domains highly available to the host immune system. This dynamic model, combined with the binding data obtained with MN86-1042-2, supports our previously proposed arrangement that LP2086-B01 exposes one face to the extracellular space. Binding of MN86-1042-2 antibody shows that the N-domain is the primary target of this monoclonal, providing further indication that this domain is immunologically important for this family of proteins.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 10/2009; 1798(2):87-93. · 4.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recombinant forms of Neisseria meningitidis human factor H binding protein (fHBP) are undergoing clinical trials in candidate vaccines against invasive meningococcal serogroup B disease. We report an extensive survey and phylogenetic analysis of the diversity of fhbp genes and predicted protein sequences in invasive clinical isolates obtained in the period 2000-2006.
Nucleotide sequences of fhbp genes were obtained from 1837 invasive N. meningitidis serogroup B (MnB) strains from the United States, Europe, New Zealand, and South Africa. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis was performed on a subset of the strains.
Every strain contained the fhbp gene. All sequences fell into 1 of 2 subfamilies (A or B), with 60%-75% amino acid identity between subfamilies and at least 83% identity within each subfamily. One fHBP sequence may have arisen via inter-subfamily recombination. Subfamily B sequences were found in 70% of the isolates, and subfamily A sequences were found in 30%. Multiple fHBP variants were detected in each of the common MLST clonal complexes. All major MLST complexes include strains in both subfamily A and subfamily B.
The diversity of strains observed underscores the importance of studying the distribution of the vaccine antigen itself rather than relying on common epidemiological surrogates such as MLST.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 07/2009; 200(3):379-89. · 5.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: LP2086 is a lipidated outer membrane protein from Neisseria meningitidis that elicits bactericidal antibodies and represents a promising vaccine candidate against meningococcal infections. Here we report the backbone and side-chain assignment for two forms of LP2086: non-lipidated in aqueous buffer and the lipidated protein in micellar solution.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is a clear unmet medical need for a vaccine that would prevent infections from Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). To validate antigens as potential vaccine targets it has to be demonstrated that the antigens are expressed in vivo. Using murine bacteremia and wound infection models, we demonstrate that the expression of clumping factor A (ClfA) and capsular polysaccharide antigens are heterogeneous and dependent on the challenge strains examined and the in vivo microenvironment. We also demonstrate opsonophagocitic activity mediated by either antigen is not impeded by the presence of the other antigen. The data presented in this report support a multiantigen approach for the development of a prophylactic S. aureus vaccine to ensure broad coverage against this versatile pathogen.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: LP2086 is a family of outer membrane lipoproteins from Neisseria meningitidis, which elicits bactericidal antibodies and are currently undergoing human clinical trials in a bivalent formulation where each antigen represents one of the two known LP2086 subfamilies. Here we report the NMR structure of the recombinant LP2086 variant B01, a representative of the LP2086 subfamily B. The structure reveals a novel fold composed of two domains: a "taco-shaped" N-terminal beta-sheet and a C-terminal beta-barrel connected by a linker. The structure in micellar solution is consistent with a model of LP2086 anchored to the outer membrane bilayer through its lipidated N terminus. A long flexible chain connects the folded part of the protein to the lipid anchor and acts as spacer, making both domains accessible to the host immune system. Antibodies broadly reactive against members from both subfamilies have been mapped to the N terminus. A surface of subfamily-defining residues was identified on one face of the protein, offering an explanation for the induction of subfamily-specific bactericidal antibodies.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 01/2009; 284(13):8738-46. · 4.65 Impact Factor