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FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2008 Jan;52(1):99-109. Epub 2007 Nov 7.

Enhancement of vaccine potency by fusing modified LTK63 into human papillomavirus type 16 chimeric virus-like particles.

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  • 1Department of Biophysics and Structural Biology, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China.


To enhance the immunogenicity of human papillomavirus 16 (HPV 16) virus-like particles (VLPs), the modified adjuvant, mLTK63, was fused to the C-terminus of HPV 16 L2 protein. Coexpression of HPV 16 L1 and L2-mLTK63 proteins in insect cells led to the efficient assembly of HPV 16 L1/L2-mLTK63 chimeric VLPs (cVLPs), which combined the antigen and adjuvant as a unit. Compared with HPV 16 L1/L2 VLPs, the HPV 16 L1/L2-mLTK63 cVLPs had similar structural biology characteristics and binding activities with the cell surface receptors and HPV 16-specific neutralizing monoclonal antibodies. Intramuscular immunization of BALB/c mice with the HPV 16 L1/L2-mLTK63 cVLPs could induce higher titers of HPV 16-specific long-lasting neutralizing serum antibodies and stronger splenocyte proliferation, Th1- and Th2-type cytokines and CD4(+) Th responses than HPV 16 L1/L2 VLPs. The results suggested that it is possible to enhance the immunogenicity of HPV VLP vaccines via a strategy of fusing effective adjuvant protein into cVLPs.

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