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Clin Vaccine Immunol 2016 May 6;23(5):396-402

Mechanistic Analysis of the Effect of Deamidation on the Immunogenicity of Anthrax Protective Antigen.

Verma A, Ngundi MM, Burns DL


Spontaneous modification of proteins, such as deamidation of asparagine residues, can significantly affect the immunogenicity of protein-based vaccines. Using a "genetically-deamidated" form of recombinant protective antigen (rPA), we have previously shown that deamidation can decrease the immunogenicity of rPA, the primary component of new generation anthrax vaccines. In this study, we investigated biochemical and immunological mechanisms by which deamidation of rPA might decrease the immunogenicity of the protein. We found that loss of immunogenicity of rPA vaccine was independent of the presence of adjuvant. We assessed the effect of deamidation on immunodominant neutralizing B-cell epitopes of rPA and found that these epitopes were not significantly affected by deamidation. In order to assess the effect of deamidation on T-cell help for antibody production elicited by rPA vaccine, we examined the ability of the wild-type and genetically deamidated forms of rPA to serve as hapten carriers. We found that when wild-type and genetically deamidated rPA were modified to similar extents with 2,4 dinitrophenyl hapten (DNP) and then used to immunize mice, higher levels of anti-DNP antibodies were elicited by wild-type DNP-rPA as compared to those elicited by the genetically deamidated DNP-rPA, indicating that wild-type rPA elicits more T-cell help than the genetically deamidated form of the protein. These results suggest that a decrease in the ability of deamidated rPA to elicit T-cell help for antibody production is a possible contributor to its lower immunogenicity.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #26912784 DOI: 10.1128/CVI.00701-15
PubMed Central ID: #PMC4860472
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Biologics
Entry Created: 2016-02-19 Entry Last Modified: 2017-05-11