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, 67 (9), 5435-42

Glycoprotein E1 of Hog Cholera Virus Expressed in Insect Cells Protects Swine From Hog Cholera

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Glycoprotein E1 of Hog Cholera Virus Expressed in Insect Cells Protects Swine From Hog Cholera

M M Hulst et al. J Virol.

Abstract

The processing and protective capacity of E1, an envelope glycoprotein of hog cholera virus (HCV), were investigated after expression of different versions of the protein in insect cells by using a baculovirus vector. Recombinant virus BacE1[+] expressed E1, including its C-terminal transmembrane region (TMR), and generated a protein which was similar in size (51 to 54 kDa) to the size of E1 expressed in swine kidney cells infected with HCV. The protein was not secreted from the insect cells, and like wild-type E1, it remained sensitive to endo-beta-N-acetyl-D-glucosaminidase H (endo H). This indicates that E1 with a TMR accumulates in the endoplasmic reticulum or cis-Golgi region of the cell. In contrast, recombinant virus BacE1[-], which expressed E1 without a C-terminal TMR, generated a protein that was secreted from the cells. The fraction of this protein that was found to be cell associated had a slightly lower molecular mass (49 to 52 kDa) than wild-type E1 and remained endo H sensitive. The high-mannose units of the secreted protein were trimmed during transport through the exocytotic pathway to endo H-resistant glycans, resulting in a protein with a lower molecular mass (46 to 48 kDa). Secreted E1 accumulated in the medium to about 30 micrograms/10(6) cells. This amount was about 3-fold higher than that of cell-associated E1 in BacE1[-] and 10-fold higher than that of cell-associated E1 in BacE1[+]-infected Sf21 cells. Intramuscular vaccination of pigs with immunoaffinity-purified E1 in a double water-oil emulsion elicited high titers of neutralizing antibodies between 2 and 4 weeks after vaccination at the lowest dose tested (20 micrograms). The vaccinated pigs were completely protected against intranasal challenge with 100 50% lethal doses of HCV strain Brescia, indicating that E1 expressed in insect cells is an excellent candidate for development of a new, safe, and effective HCV subunit vaccine.

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