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Virology. 2006 Aug 1;351(2):260-70. Epub 2006 May 4.

Ebola virus-like particles produced in insect cells exhibit dendritic cell stimulating activity and induce neutralizing antibodies.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Emory Vaccine Center, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


Recombinant baculoviruses (rBV) expressing Ebola virus VP40 (rBV-VP40) or GP (rBV-GP) proteins were generated. Infection of Sf9 insect cells by rBV-VP40 led to assembly and budding of filamentous particles from the cell surface as shown by electron microscopy. Ebola virus-like particles (VLPs) were produced by coinfection of Sf9 cells with rBV-VP40 and rBV-GP, and incorporation of Ebola GP into VLPs was demonstrated by SDS-PAGE and Western blot analysis. Recombinant baculovirus infection of insect cells yielded high levels of VLPs, which were shown to stimulate cytokine secretion from human dendritic cells similar to VLPs produced in mammalian cells. The immunogenicity of Ebola VLPs produced in insect cells was evaluated by immunization of mice. Analysis of antibody responses showed that most of the GP-specific antibodies were of the IgG2a subtype, while no significant level of IgG1 subtype antibodies specific for GP was induced, indicating the induction of a Th1-biased immune response. Furthermore, sera from Ebola VLP immunized mice were able to block infection by Ebola GP pseudotyped HIV virus in a single round infection assay, indicating that a neutralizing antibody against the Ebola GP protein was induced. These results show that production of Ebola VLPs in insect cells using recombinant baculoviruses represents a promising approach for vaccine development against Ebola virus infection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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