VP8* antigen produced in tobacco transplastomic plants confers protection against bovine rotavirus infection in a suckling mouse model
Group A rotavirus is a major leading cause of diarrhea in mammalian species worldwide. In Argentina, bovine rotavirus (BRV) is the main cause of neonatal diarrhea in calves. VP4, one of the outermost capsid proteins, is involved in various virus functions. Rotavirus infectivity requires proteolytic cleavage of VP4, giving an N-terminal non-glycosilated sialic acid-recognizing domain (VP8*), and a C-terminal fragment (VP5*) that remains associated with the virion. VP8* subunit is the major determinant of the viral infectivity and one of the neutralizing antigens.In this work, the C486 BRV VP8* protein was produced in tobacco chloroplasts. Transplastomic plants were obtained and characterized by Southern blot, northern blot and western blot. VP8* was highly stable in the transplastomic leaves, and formed insoluble aggregates that were partially solubilized by sonication. The recombinant protein yield was 600 μg/g of fresh tissue (FT). Both the soluble and insoluble fractions of the VP8* plant extracts were able to induce a strong immune response in female mice as measured by ELISA and virus neutralization test. Most important, suckling mice born to immunized dams were protected against oral challenge with virulent rotavirus. Results presented here contribute to demonstrate the feasibility of using antigens expressed in transplastomic plants for the development of subunit vaccines.
► In this work, we produce transplastomic tobacco plants expressing the BRV C486 VP8* protein. ► VP8* protein produced in tobacco chloroplasts accumulated as a very stable protein. ► VP8* plant extracts were able to induce a strong immune response in female mice. ► Female mice immunized with VP8* were able to passively protect their offspring from challenge.
Journal: Journal of Biotechnology - Volume 156, Issue 2, 10 November 2011, Pages 100–107