Expression, processing, and immunogenicity of the structural proteins of Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus from recombinant baculovirus vectors

Vaccine. 1999 Mar 5;17(9-10):1151-60. doi: 10.1016/s0264-410x(98)00335-1.


Recombinant baculoviruses expressing the structural proteins of Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEE) have been constructed and the intracellular processing, antigenicity, and immunogenicity of the expression products have been assessed. Baculoviruses expressing the entire structural protein region (C-E3-E2-6K-E1), or the complete glycoprotein region (E3-E2-6K-E1), generated products in Sf9 cells that were accurately and completely processed, and resulted in mature proteins that were antigenically and electrophoretically indistinguishable from authentic viral proteins. These products were highly immunogenic in BALB/c mice, induced efficient VEE neutralizing responses, and protected these animals against challenge with virulent VEE. Expression of individual glycoprotein regions (E3-E2 and 6K-E1) generated products that were accurately but incompletely processed, and induced non-neutralizing antibodies that reacted more efficiently with denatured than native VEE proteins. Nonetheless, immunization with the 6K-E1 expression product provided complete protection against VEE challenge.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Baculoviridae / genetics
  • Cell Line
  • DNA, Recombinant
  • Encephalitis Virus, Venezuelan Equine* / genetics
  • Encephalitis Virus, Venezuelan Equine* / immunology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Spodoptera
  • Viral Structural Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Viral Structural Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Structural Proteins / immunology*
  • Viral Vaccines / immunology


  • DNA, Recombinant
  • Viral Structural Proteins
  • Viral Vaccines