Prediction and characterization of T-cell epitopes for epitope vaccine design from outer membrane protein of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B

Bioinformation. 2010 Sep 20;5(4):155-61. doi: 10.6026/97320630005155.


Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B (MC58) is a leading cause of meningitis and septicaemia, principally infects the infants and adolescents. No vaccine is available for the prevention of these infections because the serogroup B capsular polysaccharide is unable to stimulate an immune response, due to its similarity with polysialic acid. To overcome these obstacles, we proposed to develop a peptide based epitope vaccine from outer membrane protein contained in outer membrane vesicles (OMV) based on our computational analysis. In OMV a total of 236 proteins were identified, only 15 (6.4%) of which were predicted to be located in outer membrane. The major requirement is the identification and selection of T-cell epitopes that act as a vaccine target. We have selected 13 out of 15 outer membrane proteins from OMV proteins. Due to similarity of the fkpA and omp85 with the human FKBP2 and SAMM50 protein, we removed these two sequences from the analysis as their presence in the vaccine is likely to elicit an autoimmune response. ProPred and ProPred1 were used to predict promiscuous helper T Lymphocytes (HTL) and cytotoxic T Lymphocytes (CTL) epitopes and MHCPred for their binding affinity in N. meningitidis serogroup B (MC58), respectively. Binding peptides (epitopes) are distinguished from nonbinding peptides in properties such as amino acid preference on the basis of amino acid composition. By using this dataset, we compared physico-chemical and structural properties at amino acid level through amino acid composition, computed from ProtParam server. Results indicate that porA, porB, opc, rmpM, mtrE and nspA are more suitable vaccine candidates. The predicted peptides are expected to be useful in the design of multi-epitope vaccines without compromising the human population coverage.

Keywords: Neisseria meningitides serogroup B; Outer membrane vesicles; epitope vaccine; epitopes.