Ectodomain of viral glycoprotein tetramers detects antigen-specific memory B Cells.
- Viral glycoprotein tetramers detect antigen-specific memory B cells in the peripheral blood and tissues.
- Hepatitis C virus E2 protein triggers immune response, which may yield an effective vaccine against hepatitis C virus.
Hepatitis C (HCV) is a viral infectious disease that invades the liver, specifically. In the USA, there are about 3.5 million people with the chronic form of HCV. Available treatments to manage and cure HCV include interferons, ribavirin, and direct acting antivirals. However, current treatments lack a vaccine that specifically targets HCV, resulting in high costs and expenses. Hindrances to the development of a safe and effective HCV vaccine include the complexity of the variations of the virus, adaptability of the virus, and potential health issues resulting from inducing a strong immune response.
Emory Researchers have developed a novel E2 glycoprotein ectodomain, which targets antigen-specific memory B cells in HCV infected individuals, with the purpose of yielding a cross-reactive neutralizing antibody response in humans. Antibodies that recognize the E2 glycoprotein are typically generated during late stages of acute infection, potentially contributing to spontaneous viral clearance. In a cross-sectional study for HCV, E2 tetramer positive population was detected in 28 out 31 chronically infected individuals. E2 tetramer-specific B cells exhibited skewed CDR3 length distribution and increased mutation frequency compared with naïve B cells. This glycoprotein may be used to develop HCV vaccines. Additionally, the vector has been used to generate protein tetramers specific for HIV gp140, HEV ORF2, RHV E2, and HCV E1 proteins for detection of antigen-specific B cells in the periphery and infected tissues.
- Proof-of-principle study completed.
- Invention reduced to practice in clinical trial.
Publications: Boisvert, M., et al. (2016). The Journal of Immunology, 197(12), 4848-4858.