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Open AccessArticle

Highly Immunogenic Nanoparticles Based on a Fusion Protein Comprising the M2e of Influenza A Virus and a Lipopeptide

1
Institute of Bioengineering, Research Center of Biotechnology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 119071 Moscow, Russia
2
Research Institute of Influenza, Russian Ministry of Health, 23805 St. Petersburg, Russia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2020, 12(10), 1133; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12101133
Received: 27 August 2020 / Revised: 23 September 2020 / Accepted: 1 October 2020 / Published: 6 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Influenza Virus Vaccines)
The highly conserved extracellular domain of the transmembrane protein M2 (M2e) of the influenza A virus is a promising target for the development of broad-spectrum vaccines. However, M2e is a poor immunogen by itself and must be linked to an appropriate carrier to induce an efficient immune response. In this study, we obtained recombinant mosaic proteins containing tandem copies of M2e fused to a lipopeptide from Neisseria meningitidis surface lipoprotein Ag473 and alpha-helical linkers and analyzed their immunogenicity. Six fusion proteins, comprising four or eight tandem copies of M2e flanked by alpha-helical linkers, lipopeptides, or a combination of both of these elements, were produced in Escherichia coli. The proteins, containing both alpha-helical linkers and lipopeptides at each side of M2e repeats, formed nanosized particles, but no particulate structures were observed in the absence of lipopeptides. Animal study results showed that proteins with lipopeptides induced strong M2e-specific antibody responses in the absence of external adjuvants compared to similar proteins without lipopeptides. Thus, the recombinant M2e-based proteins containing alpha-helical linkers and N. meningitidis lipopeptide sequences at the N- and C-termini of four or eight tandem copies of M2e peptide are promising vaccine candidates. View Full-Text
Keywords: influenza; recombinant vaccine; M2e peptide; lipopeptide; nanoparticle influenza; recombinant vaccine; M2e peptide; lipopeptide; nanoparticle
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zykova, A.A.; Blokhina, E.A.; Kotlyarov, R.Y.; Stepanova, L.A.; Tsybalova, L.M.; Kuprianov, V.V.; Ravin, N.V. Highly Immunogenic Nanoparticles Based on a Fusion Protein Comprising the M2e of Influenza A Virus and a Lipopeptide. Viruses 2020, 12, 1133.

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