Immunogenicity and protective potential of a Plasmodium spp. enolase peptide displayed on archaeal gas vesicle nanoparticles.

Plasmodium falciparum enolase has been shown to localize on the surface of merozoites and ookinetes. Immunization of mice with recombinant Plasmodium enolase (rPfeno) showed partial protection against malaria. Anti-rPfeno antibodies inhibited growth of the parasite in in vitro cultures and blocked ookinete invasion of mosquito midgut epithelium. It is hypothesized that parasite specific moonlighting functions (e.g. host cell invasion) may map on to unique structural elements of Pfeno. Since enolases are highly conserved between the host and the parasite, a parasite-specific epitope of enolase was displayed on novel protein nanoparticles produced by a halophilic Archaeon Halobacterium sp. NRC-1 and tested their ability to protect mice against live challenge.
By genetic engineering, a Plasmodium-enolase specific peptide sequence (104)EWGWS(108) with protective antigenic potential was inserted into the Halobacterium gas vesicle protein GvpC, a protein localized on the surface of immunogenic gas vesicle nanoparticles (GVNPs). Two groups of mice were immunized with the wild type (WT) and the insert containing recombinant (Rec) GVNPs respectively. A third group of mice was kept as un-immunized control. Antibody titres were measured against three antigens (i.e. WT-GVNPs, Rec-GVNPs and rPfeno) using ELISA. The protective potential was determined by measuring percentage parasitaemia and survival after challenge with the lethal strain Plasmodium yoelii 17XL.
Rec-GVNP-immunized mice showed higher antibody titres against rPfeno and Rec-GVNPs, indicating that the immunized mice had produced antibodies against the parasite enolase-specific insert sequence. Challenging the un-immunized, WT-GVNP and Rec-GVNP-immunized mice with a lethal strain of mice malarial parasite showed significantly lower parasitaemia and longer survival in the Rec-GVNP-immunized group as compared to control groups. The extent of survival advantage in the Rec-GVNP-group showed positive correlation with anti-rPfeno antibody titres while the parasitaemia showed a negative correlation. These results indicate that the parasite enolase peptide insert displayed on Halobacterium GVNPs is a good candidate as a protective antigenic epitope.
The work reported here showed that the parasite-specific peptide sequence is a protective antigenic epitope. Although antibody response of B-cells to the guest sequence in Rec-GVNPs was mild, significant advantage in the control of parasitaemia and survival was observed. Future efforts are needed to display multiple antigens with protective properties to improve the performance of the GVNP-based approach.
AuthorsSneha Dutta, Priya DasSarma, Shiladitya DasSarma, Gotam K Jarori
JournalMalaria journal (Malar J) Vol. 14 Issue 1 Pg. 406 ( 2015) ISSN: 1475-2875 [Electronic] England
PMID26463341 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)

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