Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/13868
Recombinant Soluble Respiratory Syncytial Virus F Protein That Lacks Heptad Repeat B, Contains a GCN4 Trimerization Motif and Is Not Cleaved Displays Prefusion-Like Characteristics
PLoS One. 2015 Jun 24;10(6):e0130829.
The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) fusion protein F is considered an attractive vaccine candidate especially in its prefusion conformation. We studied whether recombinant soluble RSV F proteins could be stabilized in a prefusion-like conformation by mutation of heptad repeat B (HRB). The results show that soluble, trimeric, non-cleaved RSV F protein, produced by expression of the furin cleavage site-mutated F ectodomain extended with a GCN4 trimerization sequence, is efficiently recognized by pre- as well as postfusion-specific antibodies. In contrast, a similar F protein completely lacking HRB displayed high reactivity with prefusion-specific antibodies recognizing antigenic site Ø, but did not expose postfusion-specific antigenic site I, in agreement with this protein maintaining a prefusion-like conformation. These features were dependent on the presence of the GCN4 trimerization domain. Absence of cleavage also contributed to binding of prefusion-specific antibodies. Similar antibody reactivity profiles were observed when the prefusion form of F was stabilized by the introduction of cysteine pairs in HRB. To study whether the inability to form the 6HB was responsible for the prefusion-like antibody reactivity profile, alanine mutations were introduced in HRB. Although introduction of alanine residues in HRB inhibited the formation of the 6HB, the exposure of postfusion-specific antigenic site I was not prevented. In conclusion, proteins that are not able to form the 6HB, due to mutation of HRB, may still display postfusion-specific antigenic site I. Replacement of HRB by the GCN4 trimerization domain in a non-cleaved soluble F protein resulted, however, in a protein with prefusion-like characteristics, suggesting that this HRB-lacking protein may represent a potential prefusion F protein subunit vaccine candidate.
Antibodies, Neutralizing | Antibodies, Viral | Binding Sites | Cell Line, Tumor | Epithelial Cells | Gene Expression | HEK293 Cells | Humans | Models, Molecular | Protein Binding | Protein Multimerization | Protein Structure, Tertiary | Recombinant Proteins | Respiratory Mucosa | Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human | Viral Fusion Proteins
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