29 research outputs found

    JJo, a recombinant dimer of conformationally restricted peptide elicits protective response against Group A Streptococcus (GAS) isolates from a GAS-endemic region

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    A peptide (J14) containing conformationally restricted epitopes from the M protein of Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is capable of eliciting protective immune response against GAS infection. However, the protective response may be lost possibly due to its weak secondary-structure when the antigen is fused with other antigens in a recombinant polyepitope vaccine construct. We previously showed that JJo, a conformationally stabilized derivative of dimeric J14, overcomes this problem. We now show that anti JJo antibodies react with diverse GAS isolates found in the Indian sub-continent and that these antibodies are opsonic for GAS. The GAS strains used in this study were isolated from throat and skin swabs from Mumbai, Chennai and Vellore. Sera from mice immunized with recombinant JJo peptide were tested by ELISA, immunofluorescence, flow-cytometry, indirect bactericidal assay and mouse challenge assays to determine specific immunogenicity, opsonic functions and protection against an Indian isolate. We propose that JJo is a robust antigen suitable for inclusion in recombinant multi-epitope vaccines which are potentially affordable option for the pediatric population of developing countries

    Toward the Discovery of Vaccine Adjuvants: Coupling In Silico Screening and In Vitro Analysis of Antagonist Binding to Human and Mouse CCR4 Receptors

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    BACKGROUND: Adjuvants enhance or modify an immune response that is made to an antigen. An antagonist of the chemokine CCR4 receptor can display adjuvant-like properties by diminishing the ability of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) to down-regulate immune responses. METHODOLOGY: Here, we have used protein modelling to create a plausible chemokine receptor model with the aim of using virtual screening to identify potential small molecule chemokine antagonists. A combination of homology modelling and molecular docking was used to create a model of the CCR4 receptor in order to investigate potential lead compounds that display antagonistic properties. Three-dimensional structure-based virtual screening of the CCR4 receptor identified 116 small molecules that were calculated to have a high affinity for the receptor; these were tested experimentally for CCR4 antagonism. Fifteen of these small molecules were shown to inhibit specifically CCR4-mediated cell migration, including that of CCR4(+) Tregs. SIGNIFICANCE: Our CCR4 antagonists act as adjuvants augmenting human T cell proliferation in an in vitro immune response model and compound SP50 increases T cell and antibody responses in vivo when combined with vaccine antigens of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Plasmodium yoelii in mice

    Establishment of an in vitro transcription system for Peste des petits ruminant virus

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    Background: Peste-des-petits ruminants virus (PPRV) is a non segmented negative strand RNA virus of the genus Morbillivirus within Paramyxoviridae family. Negative strand RNA viruses are known to carry nucleocapsid (N) protein, phospho (P) protein and RNA polymerase (L protein) packaged within the virion which possess all activities required for transcription, post-transcriptional modification of mRNA and replication. In order to understand the mechanism of transcription and replication of the virus, an in vitro transcription reconstitution system is required. In the present work, an in vitro transcription system has been developed with ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex purified from virus infected cells as well as partially purified recombinant polymerase (L-P) complex from insect cells along with N-RNA (genomic RNA encapsidated by N protein) template isolated from virus infected cells. Results: RNP complex isolated from virus infected cells and recombinant L-P complex purified from insect cells was used to reconstitute transcription on N-RNA template. The requirement for this transcription reconstitution has been defined. Transcription of viral genes in the in vitro system was confirmed by PCR amplification of cDNAs corresponding to individual transcripts using gene specific primers. In order to measure the relative expression level of viral transcripts, real time PCR analysis was carried out. qPCR analysis of the transcription products made in vitro showed a gradient of polarity of transcription from 3' end to 5' end of the genome similar to that exhibited by the virus in infected cells. Conclusion: This report describes for the first time, the development of an in vitro transcription reconstitution system for PPRV with RNP complex purified from infected cells and recombinant L-P complex expressed in insect cells. Both the complexes were able to synthesize all the mRNA species in vitro, exhibiting a gradient of polarity in transcription

    Activated mouse T cells downregulate, process and present their surface TCR to cognate anti-idiotypic CD4<SUP>+</SUP> T cells

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    The ability of activated T cells to present foreign antigens through the MHC class II pathway has been shown in the case of human, rat and mouse T cells. In the present study, the ability of activated T cells to present their endogenous TCR in association with MHC class II molecules to CD4<SUP>+</SUP> T cells was shown. Upon activation mouse T cells downregulate their surface TCR, which are degraded into peptides in endosomal/lysosomal compartments. The idiopeptides (peptides derived from the variable region of the TCR) are presented to cognate anti-idiotypic CD4<SUP>+</SUP> T cells, resulting in activation and proliferation of these cells. Interaction of idiotypic and anti-idiotypic T cells brought about by presentation of TCR idiopeptide may have important implications for T-cell vaccination and perpetuation of T-cell memory not requiring persisting antigen or long-lived memory cells

    In vitro and in vivo regulation of assimilatory nitrite reductase from Candida utilis

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    The nitrate assimilation pathway in Candida utilis, as in other assimilatory organisms, is mediated by two enzymes: nitrate reductase and nitrite reductase. Purified nitrite reductase has been shown to be a heterodimer consisting of 58- and 66-kDa subunits. In the present study, nitrite reductase was found to be capable of utilising both NADH and NADPH as electron donors. FAD, which is an essential coenzyme, stabilised the enzyme during the purification process. The enzyme was modified by cysteine modifiers, and the inactivation could be reversed by thiol reagents. One cysteine was demonstrated to be essential for the enzymatic activity. In vitro, the enzyme was inactivated by ammonium salts, the end product of the path way, proving that the enzyme is assimilatory in function. In vivo, the enzyme was induced by nitrate and repressed by ammonium ions. During induction and repression, the levels of nitrite reductase mRNA, protein, and enzyme activity were modulated together, which indicated that the primary level of regulation of this enzyme was at the transcriptional level. When the enzyme was incubated with ammonium salts in vitro or when the enzyme was assayed in cells grown with the same salts as the source of nitrogen, the residual enzymatic activities were similar. Thus, a study of the in vitro inactivation can give a clue to understanding the mechanism of in vivo regulation of nitrite reductase in Candida utilis

    In vitro and in vivo regulation of assimilatory nitrite reductase from Candida utilis

    No full text
    The nitrate assimilation pathway in Candida utilis, as in other assimilatory organisms, is mediated by two enzymes: nitrate reductase and nitrite reductase. Purified nitrite reductase has been shown to be a heterodimer consisting of 58- and 66-kDa subunits. In the present study, nitrite reductase was found to be capable of utilising both NADH and NADPH as electron donors. FAD, which is an essential coenzyme, stabilised the enzyme during the purification process. The enzyme was modified by cysteine modifiers, and the inactivation could be reversed by thiol reagents. One cysteine was demonstrated to be essential for the enzymatic activity. In vitro, the enzyme was inactivated by ammonium salts, the end product of the pathway, proving that the enzyme is assimilatory in function. In vivo, the enzyme was induced by nitrate and repressed by ammonium ions. During induction and repression, the levels of nitrite reductase mRNA, protein and enzyme activity were modulated together, which indicated that the primary level of regulation of this enzyme was at the transcriptional level. When the enzyme was incubated with ammonium salts in vitro or when the enzyme was assayed in cells grown with the same salts as the source of nitrogen, the residual enzymatic activities were similar. Thus, a study of the in vitro inactivation can give a clue to understanding the mechanism of in vivo regulation of nitrite reductase in Candida utilis

    Immune responses to hemagglutinin-neuraminidase protein of peste des petits ruminants virus expressed in transgenic peanut plants in sheep

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    Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is an acute, highly contagious disease of small ruminants caused by a morbillivirus, Peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV). The disease is prevalent in equatorial Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent. A live attenuated vaccine is in use in some of the countries and has been shown to provide protection for at least three years against PPR. However, the live attenuated vaccine is not robust in terms of thermotolerance. As a step towards development of a heat stable subunit vaccine, we have expressed a hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) protein of PPRV in peanut plants (Arachis hypogea) in a biologically active form, possessing neuraminidase activity. Importantly. HN protein expressed in peanut plants retained its immunodominant epitopes in their natural conformation. The immunogenicity of the plant derived HN protein was analyzed in sheep upon oral immunization. Virus neutralizing antibody responses were elicited upon oral immunization of sheep in the absence of any mucosal adjuvant. In addition, anti-PPRV-HN specific cell-mediated immune responses were also detected in mucosally immunized sheep. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

    Paracrine action of sFLT-1 secreted by stably-transfected Ehrlich ascites tumor cells and therapy using sFLT-1 inhibits ascites tumor growth in vivo

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    Background: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is known to play a major role in angiogenesis. A soluble form of Flt-1, a VEGF receptor, is potentially useful as an antagonist of VEGF, and accumulating evidence suggests the applicability of sFlt-1 in tumor suppression. In the present study, we have developed and tested strategies targeted specifically to VEGF for the treatment of ascites formation. Methods: As an initial strategy, we produced recombinant sFLT-1 in the baculovirus expression system and used it as a trap to sequester VEGF in the murine ascites carcinoma model. The effect of the treatment on the weight of the animal, cell number, ascites volume and proliferating endothelial cells was studied. The second strategy involved, producing Ehrlich ascites tumor (EAT) cells stably transfected with vectors carrying cDNA encoding truncated form of Flt-1 and using these cells to inhibit ascites tumors in a nude mouse model. Results: The sFLT-1 produced by the baculovirus system showed potent anti-angiogenic activity as assessed by rat cornea and tube formation assay. sFLT-1 treatment resulted in reduced peritoneal angiogenesis with a concomitant decrease in tumor cell number, volume of ascites, amount of free VEGF and the number of invasive tumor cells as assayed by CD31 staining. EAT cells stably transfected with truncated form of Flt-1 also effectively reduced the tumor burden in nude mice transplanted with these cells, and demonstrated a reduction in ascites formation and peritoneal angiogenesis. Conclusions: The inhibition of peritoneal angiogenesis and tumor growth by sequestering VEGF with either sFlt-1 gene expression by recombinant EAT cells or by direct sFLT-1 protein therapy is shown to comprise a potential therapy
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