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Rational Engineering of Recombinant Picornavirus Capsids to Produce Safe, Protective Vaccine Antigen

DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003255 DOI Help
PMID: 23544011 PMID Help

Authors: Claudine Porta (University of Oxford) , Abhay Kotecha (University of Oxford) , Alison Burman , Terry Jackson , Jingshan Ren , Silvia Loureiro , Ian M. Jones , Elizabeth E. Fry , Dave Stuart (Diamond Light Source) , Bryan Charleston
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: PLoS Pathogens , VOL 9 (3)

State: Published (Approved)
Published: March 2013
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 8423

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Foot-and-mouth disease remains a major plague of livestock and outbreaks are often economically catastrophic. Current inactivated virus vaccines require expensive high containment facilities for their production and maintenance of a cold-chain for their activity. We have addressed both of these major drawbacks. Firstly we have developed methods to efficiently express recombinant empty capsids. Expression constructs aimed at lowering the levels and activity of the viral protease required for the cleavage of the capsid protein precursor were used; this enabled the synthesis of empty A-serotype capsids in eukaryotic cells at levels potentially attractive to industry using both vaccinia virus and baculovirus driven expression. Secondly we have enhanced capsid stability by incorporating a rationally designed mutation, and shown by X-ray crystallography that stabilised and wild-type empty capsids have essentially the same structure as intact virus. Cattle vaccinated with recombinant capsids showed sustained virus neutralisation titres and protection from challenge 34 weeks after immunization. This approach to vaccine antigen production has several potential advantages over current technologies by reducing production costs, eliminating the risk of infectivity and enhancing the temperature stability of the product. Similar strategies that will optimize host cell viability during expression of a foreign toxic gene and/or improve capsid stability could allow the production of safe vaccines for other pathogenic picornaviruses of humans and animals.

Journal Keywords: Antigens ; Viral ; Biomedical; Capsid; Cattle ; Cattle; Cercopithecus; Crystallography ; X-Ray ; Foot-and-Mouth; Genetic; HEK293; Humans ; Models ; Molecular ; Picornaviridae ; Recombinant; Sf9; Spodoptera ; Vaccination ; Vaccinia; Viral Vaccines

Subject Areas: Biology and Bio-materials, Chemistry, Medicine

Instruments: I24-Microfocus Macromolecular Crystallography

Added On: 30/03/2013 21:14

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