Author(s): Kuwahara M, Konishi E
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Abstract New or improved vaccines against dengue virus types 1 to 4 (DENV1 to DENV4) and Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), the causative agents of dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis (JE), respectively, are urgently required. The use of noninfectious subviral extracellular particles (EPs) is an inexpensive and safe strategy for the production of protein-based flavivirus vaccines. Although coexpression of premembrane (prM) and envelope (E) proteins has been demonstrated to produce EPs in mammalian cells, low yields have hindered their commercial application. Therefore, we used an insect cell expression system with Spodoptera frugiperda-derived Sf9 cells to investigate high-level production of DENV2 and JEV EPs. Sf9 cells transfected with the prM and E genes of DENV2 or JEV secreted corresponding viral antigens in a particulate form that were biochemically and biophysically equivalent to the authentic antigens obtained from infected C6/36 mosquito cells. Additionally, equivalent neutralizing antibody titers were induced in mice immunized either with EPs produced by transfected Sf9 cells or with EPs produced by transfected mammalian cells, in the context of coimmunization with a DNA vaccine that expresses EPs. Furthermore, the results of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using an EP antigen derived from Sf9 cells correlated significantly with the results obtained by a neutralization test and an ELISA using an EP antigen derived from mammalian cells. Finally, Sf9 cells could produce 10- to 100-fold larger amounts of E antigen than mammalian cells. These results indicate the potential of Sf9 cells for high-level production of flavivirus protein vaccines and diagnostic antigens.
This article was published in Clin Vaccine Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense