Flagellin-PAc fusion protein is a high-efficacy anti-caries mucosal vaccine

J Dent Res. 2012 Oct;91(10):941-7. doi: 10.1177/0022034512457684. Epub 2012 Aug 14.


We previously demonstrated that an anti-caries DNA vaccine intranasally administered with recombinant flagellin protein as a mucosal adjuvant enhanced salivary IgA response and conferred better protection against caries. However, the relatively weak immunogenicity of DNA vaccines and the necessity for a large quantity of antigens remain significant challenges. Here, we fused the flagellin derived from E. coli (KF) and target antigen PAc containing the A-P fragment of PAc from S. mutans (rPAc) to produce a single recombinant protein (KF-rPAc). The abilities of KF-rPAc to induce rPAc-specific mucosal and systemic responses and protective efficiency against caries following intranasal immunization were compared with those of rPAc alone or a mixture of rPAc and KF (KF + rPAc) in rats. Results showed that KF-rPAc promoted significantly higher rPAc-specific antibodies in serum as well as in saliva than did an equivalent dose of rPAc alone or a mixture of KF + rPAc. Intranasal immunization of 8.5 µg KF-rPAc could achieve 64.2% reduction of dental caries in rats. In conclusion, our study demonstrated that flagellin and PAc fusion strategy is promising for anti-caries vaccine development, and KF-rPAc could be used as an anti-caries mucosal vaccine.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / biosynthesis
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Dental Caries / prevention & control*
  • Escherichia coli / immunology
  • Female
  • Flagellin / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Mucosal
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory / biosynthesis*
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / immunology*
  • Saliva / immunology
  • Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms
  • Streptococcal Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Streptococcal Vaccines / immunology*
  • Streptococcus mutans / immunology*
  • Toll-Like Receptor 5 / immunology


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Streptococcal Vaccines
  • Toll-Like Receptor 5
  • Flagellin