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PLoS One. 2014 May 6;9(5):e95448. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0095448. eCollection 2014.

A vaccine of L2 epitope repeats fused with a modified IgG1 Fc induced cross-neutralizing antibodies and protective immunity against divergent human papillomavirus types.

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


Current human papillomavirus (HPV) major capsid protein L1 virus-like particles (VLPs)-based vaccines in clinic induce strong HPV type-specific neutralizing antibody responses. To develop pan-HPV vaccines, here, we show that the fusion protein E3R4 consisting of three repeats of HPV16 L2 aa 17-36 epitope (E3) and a modified human IgG1 Fc scaffold (R4) induces cross-neutralizing antibodies and protective immunity against divergent HPV types. E3R4 was expressed as a secreted protein in baculovirus expression system and could be simply purified by one step Protein A affinity chromatography with the purity above 90%. Vaccination of E3R4 formulated with Freunds adjuvant not only induced cross-neutralizing antibodies against HPV pseudovirus types 16, 18, 45, 52, 58, 6, 11 and 5 in mice, but also protected mice against vaginal challenges with HPV pseudovirus types 16, 45, 52, 58, 11 and 5 for at least eleven months after the first immunization. Moreover, vaccination of E3R4 formulated with FDA approved adjuvant alum plus monophosphoryl lipid A also induced cross-neutralizing antibodies against HPV types 16, 18 and 6 in rabbits. Thus, our results demonstrate that delivery of L2 antigen as a modified Fc-fusion protein may facilitate pan-HPV vaccine development.

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