Pertussis toxin in its detoxified form is a major component of all current acellular pertussis vaccines. Here we report the membrane translocation and internalization activities of pertussis toxin and various pertussis toxoids using Chinese hamster ovary cells and confocal microscopy based on indirect immunofluorescence labeling. Chemically detoxified pertussis toxoids were able to translocate/internalize into cells at the concentration about 1,000 times higher than the native toxin. Pertussis toxoids detoxified with different procedures (glutaraldehyde, glutaraldehyde plus formaldehyde, hydrogen peroxide or genetic mutation) showed differences in fluorescence intensity under the same condition, indicating toxoids from different detoxification methods may have different translocation/internalization activities on cells.
CHO cells; confocal microscopy; detoxification; pertussis toxin; toxoid; translocation
This collaborative study developed a Vero cell DNA reference for standardizing dot blot hybridization, an assay widely employed to measure residual DNA contents of viral vaccines prepared with Vero cells. High purity of Vero cell DNA was extracted and characterized by Hind III enzyme digestion and DNA sequencing. Then, with a cooperative calibration, the concentration of Vero cell DNA reference bulk solution was determined (64.0 ± 1.9 μg/mL, OD260/OD280 = 1.87) and diluted (40 ng/mL) with Tris-EDTA buffer containing bovine serum albumin as freeze-dried excipients. With industrial filling apparatus, the diluted bulk was loaded into ampoules (0.5 mL each) which were heat sealed after nitrogen filling. Finally, a collaborative study showed that the Vero cell DNA reference could reach a sensitivity of 1 to 5 pg/dot and maintained good stability after accelerated destruction test. The successful establishment of the Vero cell DNA quantitative reference will facilitate the standardization of dot blot hybridization for testing residual host cell DNA.
Vero cell genomic DNA; quantitative reference standard; dot blot; standardization
A recombinant antitumor/antiviral protein (Novaferon, Nova) is a new type of interferon, which is produced by artificial design technology combining DNA-shuffling and High Throughput Screening (HTS).
The in vitro biological activities, such as anti-tumor activity and antiviral activity of Nova and recombinant human interferon alpha-2b (rhIFN-α2b) was performed; in vivo anti-tumor activity in nude mice was also tested. Flow cytometry, histo-pathological analysis including HE staining and immunohistochemistry, and surface plasmon resonance assay were performed to investigate the underlying mechanisms analysis.
Nova exhibited stronger anti-cancer effects compared to rhIFN-α2b in vitro and in vivo. The antitumor mechanisms of Nova may be related to S phase arrest, pro-apoptosis, and inhibition of tumor angiogenesis. Moreover, Nova exhibited a higher binding affinity for IFN receptor 2 (IFNR2) than rhIFN-α2b, which is one of the possible reasons accounting for its stronger actions against tumor cells compared with rhIFN-α2b.
Nova has strong antitumor activity and could be a potentially effective therapeutic drug for cancer.
Novaferon; Recombinant interferon-α protein; Anti-cancer; in vivo; IFN receptor 2
EV71 is one of major etiologic causes of hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) and leads to severe neurological complications in young children and infants. Recently inactivated EV71 vaccines have been developed by five manufactures and clinically show good safety and immunogenicity. However, the cross-neutralizing activity of these vaccines remains unclear, and is of particular interest because RNA recombination is seen more frequently in EV71 epidemics.
In this post-hoc study, sera from a subset of 119 infants and children in two clinical trials of EV71 subgenotype C4 vaccines (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01313715 and NCT01273246), were detected for neutralizing antibody (NTAb) titres with sera from infected patients as controls. Cytopathogenic effect method was employed to test NTAb against EV71 subgenotype B4, B5, C2, C4 and C5, which were prominent epidemic strains worldwide over the past decade. To validate the accuracy of the results, ELISpot assay was employed in parallel to detect NTAb in all the post-vaccine sera. After two-dose vaccination, 49 out of 53 participants in initially seronegative group and 52 out of 53 participants in initially seropositive group showed less than 4-fold differences in NTAb titers against five EV71 strains, whereas corresponding values among sera from pediatric patients recovering from EV71-induced HFMD and subclinically infected participants were 8/8 and 41/43, respectively. The geometric mean titers of participants against five subgenotypes EV71 all grew significantly after vaccinations, irrespective of the baseline NTAb titer. The relative fold increase in antibody titers (NTAb-FI) against B4, B5, C2, and C5 displayed a positive correlation to the NTAb-FI against C4.
The results demonstrated broad cross-neutralizing activity induced by two C4 EV71 vaccines in healthy Chinese infants and children. However, the degree of induced cross-protective immunity, and the potential escape evolution for EV71 still need to be monitored and researched in future for these new vaccines.
This collaborative study developed the first national Escherichia coli (E. coli) DNA reference standard for standardizing quantitative residual DNA assay methods, fluorescence dye (PicoGreen) and quantitative PCR (q-PCR), which were widely employed to measure residual DNA contents of prokaryotic-derived recombinant products. High purity of E. coli strain BL21 was extracted by the cetyl triethyl ammonium bromide (CTAB)/phenol chloroform method, analyzed by UV-visible spectrophotometry and electrophoresis, diluted with tris-EDTA (TE) buffer and manually dispensed. Then, with a cooperative calibration among six laboratories, including five manufacturers and one national control laboratory, the concentration of E. coli DNA standard solution was determined as 96.2 μg/mL (95% C.I: 95.5–96.9 μg/mL, CV 3.4%). The candidate showed excellent stability both from accelerated degradation study and real time stability study. The applicability study showed that the E. coli DNA reference could reach the sensitivity of 0.781 ng/mL and 1 fg/μL, respectively, in fluorescent dye and q-PCR assay, and also had good linearity and precision. The consistency of the reference could meet the requirements of the national reference standard. As a conclusion, the candidate material was suitable to serve as a China national standard for E. coli residual DNA determination. The successful establishment of the E. coli DNA standard will facilitate the standardization of quantitative methods for testing residual host cell DNA.
The level of neutralizing antibodies (NtAb) induced by vaccine inoculation is an important endpoint to evaluate the efficacy of EV71 vaccine. In order to evaluate the efficacy of EV71 vaccine, here, we reported the development of a novel pseudovirus system expression firefly luciferase (PVLA) for the quantitative measurement of NtAb. We first evaluated and validated the sensitivity and specificity of the PVLA method. A total of 326 serum samples from an epidemiological survey and 144 serum specimens from 3 clinical trials of EV71 vaccines were used, and the level of each specimen's neutralizing antibodies (NtAb) was measured in parallel using both the conventional CPE-based and PVLA-based assay. Against the standard neutralization assay based on the inhibition of the cytopathic effect (CPE), the sensitivity and specificity of the PVLA method are 98% and 96%, respectively. Then, we tested the potential interference of NtAb against hepatitis A virus, Polio-I, Polio-II, and Polio-III standard antisera (WHO) and goat anti-G10/CA16 serum, the PVLA based assay showed no cross-reactivity with NtAb against other specific sera. Importantly, unlike CPE based method, no live replication-competent EV71 is used during the measurement. Taken together, PVLA is a rapid and specific assay with higher sensitivity and accuracy. It could serve as a valuable tool in assessing the efficacy of EV71 vaccines in clinical trials and disease surveillance in epidemiology studies.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive malignancy closely associated with asbestos exposure and extremely resistant to current treatments. It exhibits a steady increase in incidence, thus necessitating an urgent development of effective new treatments.
Proteasome inhibitors (PIs) and TNFα-Related Apoptosis Inducing Ligand (TRAIL), have emerged as promising new anti-MPM agents. To develop effective new treatments, the proapoptotic effects of PIs, MG132 or Bortezomib, and TRAIL were investigated in MPM cell lines NCI-H2052, NCI-H2452 and NCI-H28, which represent three major histological types of human MPM.
Treatment with 0.5-1 μM MG132 alone or 30 ng/mL Bortezomib alone induced a limited apoptosis in MPM cells associated with the elevated Mcl-1 protein level and hyperactive PI3K/Akt signaling. However, whereas 10–20 ng/ml TRAIL alone induced a limited apoptosis as well, TRAIL and PI combination triggered a robust apoptosis in all three MPM cell lines. The robust proapoptotic activity was found to be the consequence of a positive feedback mechanism-governed amplification of caspase activation and cleavage of both Mcl-1 and Akt proteins, and exhibited a relative selectivity in MPM cells than in non-tumorigenic Met-5A mesothelial cells.
The combinatorial treatment using TRAIL and PI may represent an effective new treatment for MPMs.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma; Apoptosis; Trail; Proteasome inhibitor; Mcl-1; Akt
Vaccination is the most effective prophylactic method for preventing influenza. Quantification of influenza vaccine antigens is critically important before the vaccine is used for human immunization. Currently the vaccine antigen quantification relies on hemagglutinin content quantification, the key antigenic component, by single radial immunodiffusion (SRID) assay. Due to the inherent disadvantages associated with the traditional SRID; i.e. low sensitivity, low throughput and need for annual reagents, several approaches have been proposed and investigated as alternatives. Yet, most alternative methods cannot distinguish native hemagglutinin from denatured form, making them less relevant to antigenic analyses. Here, we developed a quantitative immunoassay based on the sialic acid binding property of influenza vaccine antigens. Specifically, we chemically synthesized human and avian influenza virus receptors analogues, N-acetylneuraminic acid-2,6-lactose and N-acetylneuraminic acid-2,3-lactose derivatives with an azidopropyl aglycon, using α-2,6- and α-2,3-sialyltransferases, respectively. The azido group of the two sialyllactose-derivatives was reduced and conjugated to mouse serum albumin through a squarate linkage. We showed that the synthetic α-2,6- and α-2,3-receptors selectively bound to human and avian-derived hemagglutinins, respectively, forming the basis of a new, and robust assay for hemagglutinin quantification. Hemagglutinin treated at high temperature or low pH was measured differentially to untreated samples suggesting native conformation is dependent for optimal binding. Importantly, this receptor-based immunoassay showed excellent specificity and reproducibility, high precision, less turnaround time and significantly higher sensitivity and throughput compared with SRID in analyzing multiple influenza vaccines.
Both HCV genotypes and viral loads are predictors of therapeutic outcomes among patients treated with α-interferon plus ribavirin; however, such correlation has only been studied for genotypes 1, 2, and 3 but not for genotype 6.
299 voluntary blood donors were recruited who were HCV viremic. Their mean age was 31.8; the male/female ratio was 3.82 (225/59). The viral loads of HCV were measured using the COBAS AmpliPrep/COBAS TaqMan test (CAP/CTM) while HCV genotypes were determined by direct sequencing the partial NS5B region. HCV genotypes 1, 2, 3, and 6 were determined in 48.9%, 8.7%, 12.3%, and 30.1% of the donors, respectively, and the levels of mean viral loads in genotype 1 and 6 significantly higher than that of 2 and 3 (P<0.001). As a whole, the viral loads in male donors were higher than in female (P = 0.006). Moreover, the donors' gender and HCV genotypes are independently correlated with the measured viral loads.
HCV genotype 1 and 6 had significantly higher viral loads than genotype 2 and 3.
Recombinant human brain natriuretic peptide (rhBNP) is an important peptide-based therapeutic drug indicated for the treatment of acute heart failure. Accurate determination of the potency of therapeutic rhBNP is crucial for the safety and efficacy of the drug. The current bioassay involves use of rabbit aortic strips, with experiments being complicated and time-consuming and markedly variable in results. Animal-less methods with better precision and accuracy should be explored. We have therefore developed an alternative cell-based assay, which relies on the ability of BNP to induce cGMP production in HEK293 cells expressing BNP receptor guanylyl cyclase-A.
An alternative assay based on the measurement of BNP-induced cGMP production was developed. Specifically, the bioassay employs cells engineered to express BNP receptor guanylyl cyclase-A (GCA). Upon rhBNP stimulation, the levels of the second messager cGMP in these cells drastically increased and subsequently secreted into culture supernatants. The quantity of cGMP, which corresponds to the rhBNP activity, was determined using a competitive ELISA developed by us. Compared with the traditional assay, the novel cell-based assay demonstrated better reproducibility and precision.
The optimized cell-based assay is much simpler, more rapid and precise compared with the traditional assay using animal tissues. To our knowledge, this is the first report on a novel and viable alternative assay for rhBNP potency analysis.
To evaluate vaccine efficacy in protecting against coxsackievirus A16 (CA16), which causes human hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD), we established the first neonatal mouse model. In this article, we report data concerning CA16-induced pathological changes, and we demonstrate that anti-CA16 antibody can protect mice against lethal challenge and that the neonatal mouse model could be used to evaluate vaccine efficacy. To establish a mouse model, a BJCA08/CA16 strain (at 260 50% lethal doses [LD50]) was isolated from a patient and used to intracerebrally (i.c.) inoculate neonatal mice. The infection resulted in wasting, hind-limb paralysis, and even death. Pathological examination and immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining indicated that BJCA08 had a strong tropism to muscle and caused severe necrosis in skeletal and cardiac muscles. We then found that BJCA08 pretreated with goat anti-G10/CA16 serum could significantly lose its lethal effect in neonatal mice. When the anti-G10 serum was intraperitoneally (i.p.) injected into the neonatal mice and, within 1 h, the same mice were intracerebrally inoculated with BJCA08, there was significant passive immunization protection. In a separate experiment, female mice were immunized with formaldehyde-inactivated G10/CA16 and BJCA08/CA16 and then allowed to mate 1 h after the first immunization. We found that there was significant protection against BJCA08 for neonatal mice born to the immunized dams. These data demonstrated that anti-CA16 antibody may block virus invasion and protect mice against lethal challenge, and that the neonatal mouse model was a viable tool for evaluating vaccine efficacy.
Enterovirus 71 (EV71), a major agent of hand-foot-and-mouth disease in children, can cause severe central nervous system disease and mortality. At present no vaccine or antiviral therapy is available. We have determined high-resolution structures for the mature virus and natural empty particles. The structure of the mature virus is similar to that of other enteroviruses, whilst the empty particles are dramatically expanded, with notable fissures, resembling elusive enterovirus uncoating intermediates not previously characterized in atomic detail. Hydrophobic capsid pockets within the EV71 capsid are collapsed in this expanded particle, providing a detailed explanation of the mechanism for receptor-binding triggered virus uncoating. The results provide a paradigm for enterovirus uncoating, in which the VP1 GH loop acts as an adaptor-sensor for the attachment of cellular receptors, converting heterologous inputs to a generic uncoating mechanism, spotlighting novel points for therapeutic intervention.
Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is the major causative agent of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD). Three inactivated EV71 whole-virus vaccines of different strains developed by different manufacturers in mainland China have recently entered clinical trials. Although several studies on these vaccines have been published, a study directly comparing the immunogenicity and protective effects among them has not been carried out, which makes evaluating their relative effectiveness difficult. Thus, properly comparing newly developed vaccines has become a priority, especially in China.
Methods and Findings
This comparative immunogenicity study was carried out on vaccine strains (both live and inactivated), final container products (FCPs) without adjuvant, and corresponding FCPs containing adjuvant (FCP-As) produced by three manufacturers. These vaccines were evaluated by neutralizing antibody (NAb) responses induced by the same or different dosages at one or multiple time points post-immunization. The protective efficacy of the three vaccines was also determined in one-day-old ICR mice born to immunized female mice. Survival rates were observed in these suckling mice after challenge with 20 LD50 of EV71/048M3C2. Three FCP-As, in a dose of 200 U, generated nearly 100% NAb positivity rates and similar geometric mean titers (GMTs), especially at 14–21 days post-inoculation. However, the dynamic NAb responses were different among three vaccine strains or three FCPs. The FCP-As at the lowest dose used in clinical trials (162 U) showed good protective effects in suckling mice against lethal challenge (90–100% survival), while the ED50 of NAb responses and protective effects varied among three FCP-As.
These studies establish a standard method for measuring the immunogenicity of EV71 vaccines in mice. The data generated from our mouse model study indicated a clear dose-response relationship, which is important for vaccine quality control and assessment, especially for predicting protective efficacy in humans when combined with future clinical trial results.
In the title compound, C15H24O4, the six-membered ring shows a distorted chair conformation and the five-membered ring adopts an envelope conformation with the C atom bearing the methyl and OH groups as the flap. In the crystal, O—H⋯O hydrogen bonds link the molecules into chains running along the a-axis direction.
Bordetella pertussis is the causative agent of pertussis. Here, we report the genome sequence of Bordetella pertussis strain CS, isolated from an infant patient in Beijing and widely used as a vaccine strain for production of an acellular pertussis vaccine in China.
Transcription factor forkhead box protein 3 (FOXP3) is a specific marker of naturally occurring regulatory T cells (Tregs). Recently, various reports have suggested that FOXP3 may represent a tumor escape mechanism in cancer cells apart from its roles in Tregs. In the present study, the clinical and biological characteristics of FOXP3 were evaluated in human gastric cancer. The expression and localization of FOXP3 in gastric cancer cell lines was analyzed to evaluate its cellular biological features. Sections of human gastric cancer specimens were stained using immunohistochemistry (IHC) to assess the relationship between FOXP3 expression and tumor differentiation, in order to identify its clinical characteristics in gastric cancer. Expression of FOXP3 mRNA and protein was found in four gastric cancer cell lines (AGS, SGC-7901, MKN-28 and MKN-45). IHC of the gastric cancer sections revealed that more than 56% of gastric cancers displayed nuclear or cytoplasmic FOXP3 staining. Furthermore, a linear relationship between the differentiation of the gastric cancer tissues and FOXP3 expression intensity was shown. IHC and confocal analysis showed that the expression of FOXP3 was mainly present in the nucleus of tumor cells in the tissues and cell lines. Thus, FOXP3 nuclear staining may be associated with the risk of poor tumor differentiation. Apart from the lymphocytes, no FOXP3 staining was noted in the normal gastric tissues and para-tumor tissues. The high frequency of FOXP3 expression in gastric cancer tissue is a significant finding in the investigation of tumor differentiation and immune escape. This mechanism provides a further understanding of gastric cancer and a novel therapeutic strategy is presented.
factor forkhead box protein 3; gastric cancer; tumor differentiation; immunohistochemistry
The traditional antiviral assays for the determination of interferon potency are reported to have considerable variability between and within assays. Although several reporter gene assays based on interferon-inducible promoter activities have been reported, data from comprehensive validation studies are lacking and few studies have been conducted to analyze the variant forms of interferons, which could have undesirable clinical implications. Here, a reporter gene assay employing a HEK293 cell line stably transfected with luciferase gene under the control of interferon-stimulated response element promoter was developed and validated. The assay was found to be more sensitive, with a larger detection range than the antiviral assay. Several cytokines tested did not interfere with the test, suggesting the assay possesses a certain degree of selectivity. Moreover, the robustness of the assay was demonstrated by minimal variations in the results generated by different analysts and cell passage number (up to 52 passages). Finally, the method was employed to analyze several interferon variants (interferon-α 2a) and we found that the aggregated form has completely lost its potency; while a modest loss of bioactivity in oxidized interferon was observed (approx. 23%), the deamidated form essentially retained its activity.
Strains in China may differ from those in countries that have long histories of high vaccination coverage.
Whole-cell pertussis vaccine was introduced in China in the early 1960s. We used standard typing methods to compare 96 Bordetella pertussis isolates collected before and after introduction of vaccination, during 1953–2005. The following vaccine-type alleles of the pertussis toxin (ptx) gene were characteristic for all prevaccination strains: ptxA2, ptxA3, and ptxA4. The shift to ptxA1 occurred since 1963. All isolates collected since 1983 contained ptxA1. Pertactin (prn) allele 1, prn1, was predominant, although prn2 and prn3 have been detected since 2000. Serotypes fimbriae (Fim) 2 and Fim2,3 were found in all isolates collected before 1986. During 1997–2005, Fim3 became prevalent. Although changes in electrophoresis profiles over time were observed, the predominant profiles during 1997–2005 resembled those during the prevaccine era and those found in Europe before the 1990s. B. pertussis strains in China may differ from those in countries that have a long history of high vaccine coverage.
China; Bordetella pertussis; whooping cough; pertussis; incidence; vaccination; genotyping; PFGE; bacteria; research
Over the past 40 years, live oral poliovirus (PV) vaccines have contributed to the eradication of wild PV in most countries. These live vaccine strains have a high safety record and can stimulate both cellular and humoral immune responses. As both of these factors are critical characteristics of a good vaccine, we aimed to modify the oral PV vaccines to create a powerful vaccine vector for extraneous antigen expression. In this study, we amplified three separate fragments from the Sabin 1 virus genome by RT-PCR and cloned them into the pGEM-TEasy vector. A cassette containing engineered protease cleavage sites and a polylinker was introduced into one of these fragments (f1) in front of the translation start site. This construction facilitated the insertion of foreign genes into the vector and the subsequent release of their co-translated antigens after digestion by endogenous protease. We also placed a ribozyme (Rz) sequence between the T7 promoter and viral genomic DNA so that in vitro transcription and Rz cleavage recreated the authentic 5′ end of the PV genome RNA. Poly(A)40 tails were added to the 3′ end of the genome to stabilize the transcribed RNA. The three PV genome fragments and their derivatives were cloned into various types of vectors that were transfected into Vero cells. Virus rescue experiments demonstrated that both the Rz and poly(A)40 elements were required for high transfection efficiency of the vector-derived RNAs.
Ribozyme; Sabin 1 virus; Transfection; Vaccine vector; Vero cell
It remains largely mysterious how the genomes of non-enveloped eukaryotic viruses are transferred across a membrane into the host cell. Picornaviruses are simple models for such viruses, and initiate this uncoating process through particle expansion, which reveals channels through which internal capsid proteins and the viral genome presumably exit the particle, although this has not been clearly seen until now. Here we present the atomic structure of an uncoating intermediate for the major human picornavirus pathogen CAV16, which reveals VP1 partly extruded from the capsid, poised to embed in the host membrane. Together with previous low-resolution results, we are able to propose a detailed hypothesis for the ordered egress of the internal proteins, using two distinct sets of channels through the capsid, and suggest a structural link to the condensed RNA within the particle, which may be involved in triggering RNA release.
The detailed mechanism of how non-enveloped viruses initiate infection remains obscure. Ren et al. present the atomic structure of an uncoating intermediate for the human picornavirus CAV16, revealing a major capsid protein partly extruded from the capsid and suggesting a model for RNA release.