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Viral Immunol. 2010 Apr;23(2):211-9. doi: 10.1089/vim.2009.0090.

A 219-mer CHO-expressing receptor-binding domain of SARS-CoV S protein induces potent immune responses and protective immunity.

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  • 1Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute, New York Blood Center, New York, New York 10065, USA.


Development of vaccines is essential for the prevention of future recurrences of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), caused by the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV). The spike (S) protein, especially receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV, plays important roles in the prevention of SARS infection, and is thus an important component in SARS vaccine development. In this study, we expressed a 219-mer (residues 318-536) RBD protein in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO)-K1 cells (RBD219-CHO), and tested its immune responses and protective immunity in a mouse model. The results showed that this recombinant protein was correctly folded, being able to maintain intact conformation and authentic antigenicity. It could induce strong humoral and cellular immune responses and high titers of neutralizing antibodies in the vaccinated mice. RBD219-CHO protein elicited potent protective immunity that protected all vaccinated mice from SARS-CoV challenge. These results suggest that the recombinant RBD219-CHO protein has great potential for the development of an effective and safe SARS subunit vaccine.

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