Hepatitis C virus-like particles synthesized in insect cells as a potential vaccine candidate

T. F. Baumert, J. Vergalla, J. Satoi, M. Thomson, M. Lechmann, D. Herion, H. B. Greenberg, S. Ito, T. J. Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background and Aims: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a leading cause of chronic hepatitis in the world. Successful vaccine development is crucial in controlling global HCV infection. We have previously described the generation of HCV-like particles (HCV-LPs) in insect cells using a recombinant baculovirus containing the complementary DNA of the HCV structural proteins. These HCV-LPs had similar morphological and biophysical properties as the putative virions. In this study, we analyzed the structural features, antigenic composition, seroreactivity, and immunogenicity of purified HCV- LPs. Methods: HCV-LPs were analyzed by electron microscopy and antibody immunolabeling and precipitation. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using HCV-LPs was developed. The humoral response to HCV-LPs in mice was studies by core and envelope ELISAs, Western immunoblotting, and immunofluorescence. Results: Structural and antigenic compositions of HCV-LPs were shown to be similar to those of putative HCV virions. Using the HCV-LP ELISA, high-titer anti-HCV antibodies were detected in individuals infected with various HCV genotypes. In vivo, HCV-LPs elicited a humoral response broadly directed against HCV structural proteins. Conclusions: HCV-LPs resemble HCV virions and are capable of inducing a humoral response targeted against various regions of HCV structural proteins, suggesting that HCV-LPs may be promising as a potential vaccine candidate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1397-1407
Number of pages11
JournalGastroenterology
Volume117
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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    Baumert, T. F., Vergalla, J., Satoi, J., Thomson, M., Lechmann, M., Herion, D., Greenberg, H. B., Ito, S., & Liang, T. J. (1999). Hepatitis C virus-like particles synthesized in insect cells as a potential vaccine candidate. Gastroenterology, 117(6), 1397-1407.