Azam Bolhassani*, Noushin Davoudi, Fatemeh Motevalli and Elnaz Agi Pages 1040 - 1049 ( 10 )
Background: Virus-like particles (VLPs) could be improved into successful immunogens as well as a potent delivery vehicle, but however, the current expression systems for VLPs production have some limitations.
Method: Recently, we developed a novel strategy to produce two HCV VLPs containing core or coreE1E2 proteins using stably transfected Leishmania tarentolae promastigotes. Then, BALB/c mice were injected by both viral like particles in different immunization strategies such as homologous DNA-, homologous VLP-, and heterologous DNA/ VLP-based immunizations.
Results: TEM microscopy indicated HCV core and HCV coreE1E2 VLP assembly with average size of 30-40 and 40-60 nm after purification, respectively. Our results showed that homologous immunizations with both HCV core or coreE1E2 VLPs significantly induced anti-core or anti- coreE1E2 antibody responses, respectively as well as secretion of IFN-γ cytokine as compared to other strategies. Moreover, DNA-prime/VLP-boost regimens significantly elicited higher levels of IFN-γ and antibody responses in comparison with homologous DNA/DNA regimens. The groups immunized with homologous or heterologous coreE1E2 VLPs showed markedly higher immune responses as compared to groups immunized with core VLP regimens against coreE1E2 protein.
Conclusion: The crude HCV VLPs generated by Leishmania expression system could elicit a Th1- type response as a promising vaccine candidate against HCV infections.
Core, CoreE1E2, DNA, HCV, Leishmania tarentolae, Viral like particle (VLP).
Department of Hepatitis and AIDs, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Biotechnology Research Center, Department of Medical Biotechnology, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Department of Hepatitis and AIDS, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Department of Hepatitis and AIDS, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran