Engineering Cellular Biosensors with Customizable Antiviral Responses Targeting Hepatitis B Virus

iScience. 2020 Mar 27;23(3):100867. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2020.100867. Epub 2020 Feb 26.


SynNotch receptor technology is a versatile tool that uses the regulatory notch core portion with an extracellular scFv and an intracellular transcription factor that enables to program customized input and output functions in mammalian cells. In this study, we designed a novel synNotch receptor comprising scFv against HBs antigen linked with an intracellular artificial transcription factor and exploited it for viral sensing and cellular immunotherapy. The synNotch receptor expressing cells sensed HBV particles and membrane-bound HBs antigens and responded by expressing reporter molecules, secNL or GFP. We also programmed these cells to dispense antiviral responses such as type I interferon and anti-HBV neutralizing mouse-human chimeric antibodies. Our data reveal that synNotch receptor signaling works for membrane-bound ligands such as enveloped viral particles and proteins borne on liposomal vesicles. This study establishes the concepts of "engineered immunity" where the synNotch platform is utilized for cellular immunotherapy against viral infections.

Keywords: Bioengineering; Immunity; Viral Microbiology.