The L1 protein of human papilloma virus 16 expressed by a fowlpox virus recombinant can assemble into virus-like particles in mammalian cell lines but elicits a non-neutralising humoral response

Massimiliano Bissa, Carlo Zanotto, Sole Pacchioni, Luca Volonté, Aldo Venuti, David Lembo, Carlo De Giuli Morghen, Antonia Radaelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Human papilloma virus (HPV)-16 is the prevalent genotype associated with cervical tumours. Virus-like-particle (VLP)-based vaccines have proven to be effective in limiting new infections of high-risk HPVs, but their high cost has hampered their use, especially in the poor developing countries. Avipox-based recombinants are replication-restricted to avian species and represent efficient and safe vectors also for immunocompromised hosts, as they can elicit a complete immune response. A new fowlpox virus recombinant encoding HPV-L1 (FPL1) was engineered and evaluated side-by-side with a FP recombinant co-expressing L1 and green fluorescent protein (FPL1GFP) for correct expression of L1 in vitro in different cell lines, as confirmed by Western blotting, immunofluorescence, real-time PCR, and electron microscopy. Mice were also immunised to determine its immunogenicity. Here, we demonstrate that the FPL1 recombinant better expresses L1 in the absence of GFP, correctly assembles structured capsomers into VLPs, and elicits an immune response in a preclinical animal model. To our knowledge, this is the first report of HPV VLPs assembled in eukaryotic cells using an avipox recombinant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-75
Number of pages9
JournalAntiviral Research
Volume116
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Fowlpox virus
  • HPV
  • L1 protein
  • Recombinant vaccines
  • VLPs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Pharmacology
  • Medicine(all)

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