Continuing transmissions of highly pathogenic H5N1 viruses in poultry and humans underscores the need for a rapid response to potential pandemic in the form of vaccine. Recombinant technologies for production of immunogenic hemagglutinin (HA) could provide an advantage over the traditional inactivated vaccine manufacturing process. Generation of stably transfected mammalian cells secreting properly folded HA proteins is important for scalable controlled manufacturing.
We have developed a Flp-In based 293 stable cell lines through targeted site-specific recombination for expression of secreted hemagglutinin (HA) proteins and evaluated their immunogenicity. H5N1 globular domain HA1(1-330) and HA0(1-500) proteins were purified from the supernatants of 293 Flp-In stable cell lines. Both proteins were properly folded as confirmed by binding to H5N1-neutralizing conformation-dependent human monoclonal antibodies. The HA0 (with unmodified cleavage site) was monomeric, while the HA1 contained oligomeric forms. Upon rabbit immunization, both HA proteins elicited neutralizing antibodies against the homologous virus (A/Vietnam/1203/2004, clade 1) as well as cross-neutralizing antibodies against heterologous H5N1 clade 2 strains, including A/Indonesia/5/2005. These results exceeded the human antibody responses against the inactivated sub-virion H5N1 vaccine.
Our data suggest that the 293 Flp-In system could serve as a platform for rapid expression of HA immunogens in mammalian cells from emerging influenza strains.
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"Another important requirement for a stable mammalian cell line is a defined integration site(s). The Flp-In™ system seemed an appropriate choice; it has, for example, been used to produce influenza hemagglutinin-based vaccines . Here, we show that the Flp-In™ method can be used to make both 293 T and CHO cell lines that yield substantial amounts (up to 12–15 mg from 1 × 10 9 cells) of high quality trimers. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Recombinant soluble, cleaved HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein SOSIP.664 gp140 trimers based on the subtype A BG505 sequence are being studied structurally and tested as immunogens in animals. For these trimers to become a vaccine candidate for human trials, they would need to be made in appropriate amounts at an acceptable quality. Accomplishing such tasks by transient transfection is likely to be challenging. The traditional way to express recombinant proteins in large amounts is via a permanent cell line, usually of mammalian origin. Making cell lines that produce BG505 SOSIP.664 trimers requires the co-expression of the Furin protease to ensure that the cleavage site between the gp120 and gp41 subunits is fully utilized.
We designed a vector capable of expressing Env and Furin, and used it to create Stable 293 T and CHO Flp-InTMcell lines through site-specific recombination. Both lines produce high quality, cleaved trimers at yields of up to 12-15 mg per 1 x 109 cells. Trimer expression at such levels was maintained for up to 30 days (10 passages) after initial seeding and was consistently superior to what could be achieved by transient transfection. Electron microscopy studies confirm that the purified trimers have the same native-like appearance as those derived by transient transfection and used to generate high-resolution structures. They also have appropriate antigenic properties, including the presentation of the quaternary epitope for the broadly neutralizing antibody PGT145.
The BG505 SOSIP.664 trimer-expressing cell lines yield proteins of an appropriate quality for structural studies and animal immunogenicity experiments. The methodology is suitable for making similar lines under Good Manufacturing Practice conditions, to produce trimers for human clinical trials. Moreover, any env gene can be incorporated into this vector system, allowing the manufacture of SOSIP trimers from multiple genotypes, either by transient transfection or from stable cell lines.
"In the Flp-Ine system, cDNA construct was inserted into a single highly transcribed and targeted integration site which allows for comparison of protein expression of different constructs. Previously, the Flp-Ine system has been used to express monoclonal antibodies in CHO cells (Wiberg et al. 2006; Huang et al. 2007) and hemagglutinin proteins in HEK-293 cells (Lu et al. 2011). In this study, stable HEK-BMP2 wt and mS1 cell lines were generated using the Flp-In system. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Proteolytic cleavage of precursor bone morphogenetic protein (proBMP) is an important step in generating the active mature BMP. ProBMP-2 contains two proprotein convertase (PC) recognition sites (S1 and S2) and is postulated to be cleaved by PCs at those sites. Cell lines expressing proBMP-2, with a silenced S1 site (mS1) that inhibited PC cleavage, secreted the 20-kDa form BMP-2, while cells expressing wild type (wt) BMP-2 secreted 18- and 20-kDa mature BMP-2 N-terminal isoforms. The mS1 cells secreted 15-fold more mature BMP-2 than the wt, despite their similar mRNA levels. Mutant-secreted BMP-2 demonstrated biological activity in vitro; however, its activity was reduced compared with wt. These data demonstrate that proBMP-2 can be cleaved at an alternative cleavage site without prior S1 site cleavage in cell lines overexpressing BMP-2 and more importantly suggest that the presence of the 2-kDa linker peptide can affect activity and secretion of the mature protein.
No preview · Article · May 2012 · Growth factors (Chur, Switzerland)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Transmission of pathogenic avian influenza viruses (AIV) from wild birds to domestic poultry and humans is continuing in multiple countries around the world. In preparation for a potential AIV pandemic, multiple vaccine candidates are under development. In the case of H5N1 AIV, a clear shift in transmission from clade 1 to clade 2 viruses occurred in recent years. The virus-like particle (VLP) represents an economical approach to pandemic vaccine development. In the current study, we evaluated the humoral immune response in humans vaccinated with H5N1 A/Indonesia/05/2005 (clade 2.1) VLP vaccine manufactured in Sf9 insect cells. The VLPs were comprised of the influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA), neuraminidase (NA), and matrix 1 (M1) proteins. In an FDA-approved phase I/II human clinical study, two doses of H5N1 VLPs at 15, 45, or 90 μg HA/dose resulted in seroconversion and production of functional antibodies. Moreover, cross-reactivity against other clade 2 subtypes was demonstrated using virus neutralization assays. H5N1 whole-genome fragment phage display libraries (GFPDL) were used to elucidate the antibody epitope repertoire in postvaccination human sera. Diverse epitopes in HA1/HA2 and NA were recognized by postvaccination sera from the two high-dose groups, including large segments spanning the HA1 receptor binding domain. Importantly, the vaccine elicited sera that preferentially bound to an oligomeric form of recombinant HA1 compared with monomeric HA1. The oligomeric/monomeric HA1 binding ratios of the sera correlated with the virus neutralizing titers. Additionally, the two high-dose VLP vaccine groups generated NA-inhibiting antibodies that were associated with binding to a C-terminal epitope close to the sialic acid binding site. These findings represent the first report describing the quality of the antibody responses in humans following AIV VLP immunization and support further development of such vaccines against emerging influenza virus strains.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2011 · Journal of Virology