Antigenic and immunogenic characterization of recombinant baculovirus-expressed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus spike protein: implication for vaccine design

Journal of Virology
Yuxian HeShibo Jiang

Abstract

The spike (S) glycoprotein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) mediates the receptor interaction and immune recognition and is considered a major target for vaccine design. However, its antigenic and immunogenic properties remain to be elucidated. In this study, we immunized mice with full-length S protein (FL-S) or its extracellular domain (EC-S) expressed by recombinant baculoviruses in insect cells. We found that the immunized mice developed high titers of anti-S antibodies with potent neutralizing activities against SARS pseudoviruses constructed with the S proteins of Tor2, GD03T13, and SZ3, the representative strains of 2002 to 2003 and 2003 to 2004 human SARS-CoV and palm civet SARS-CoV, respectively. These data suggest that the recombinant baculovirus-expressed S protein vaccines possess excellent immunogenicity, thereby inducing highly potent neutralizing responses against human and animal SARS-CoV variants. The antigenic structure of the S protein was characterized by a panel of 38 monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) isolated from the immunized mice. The epitopes of most anti-S MAbs (32 of 38) were localized within the S1 domain, and those of the remaining 6 MAbs were mapped to the S2 domain. Among th...Continue Reading

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