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EBioMedicine 2015 Jun 30;2(8):857-65

Reverse engineering of vaccine antigens using high throughput sequencing-enhanced mRNA display.

Guo N, Duan H, Kachko A, Krause BW, Major ME, Krause PR


Vaccine reverse engineering is emerging as an important approach to vaccine antigen identification, recently focusing mainly on structural characterization of interactions between neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and antigens. Using mAbs that bind unknown antigen structures, we sought to probe the intrinsic features of antibody antigen-binding sites with a high complexity peptide library, aiming to identify conformationally optimized mimotope antigens that capture mAb-specific epitopes. Using a high throughput sequencing-enhanced messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) display approach, we identified high affinity binding peptides for a hepatitis C virus neutralizing mAb. Immunization with the selected peptides induced neutralizing activity similar to that of the original mAb. Antibodies elicited by the most commonly selected peptides were predominantly against specific epitopes. Thus, using mRNA display to interrogate mAbs permits high resolution identification of functional peptide antigens that direct targeted immune responses, supporting its use in vaccine reverse engineering for pathogens against which potent neutralizing mAbs are available. RESEARCH IN CONTEXT: We used a large number of randomly produced small proteins ("peptides") to identify peptides containing specific protein sequences that bind efficiently to an antibody that can prevent hepatitis C virus infection in cell culture. After the identified peptides were injected into mice, the mice produced their own antibodies with characteristics similar to the original antibody. This approach can provide previously unavailable information about antibody binding and could also be useful in developing new vaccines.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #26425692 DOI: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2015.06.021
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Biologics
Entry Created: 2016-02-19