Lactobacillus plantarum displaying CCL3 chemokine in fusion with HIV-1 Gag derived antigen causes increased recruitment of T cells

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Abstract

Background: Chemokines are attractive candidates for vaccine adjuvants due to their ability to recruit the immune cells. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB)-based delivery vehicles have potential to be used as a cheap and safe option for vac-cination. Chemokine produced on the surface of LAB may potentially enhance the immune response to an antigen and this approach can be considered in development of future mucosal vaccines. Results: We have constructed strains of Lactobacillus plantarum displaying a chemokine on their surface. L. plan-tarum was genetically engineered to express and anchor to the surface a protein called CCL3Gag. CCL3Gag is a fusion protein comprising of truncated HIV-1 Gag antigen and the murine chemokine CCL3, also known as MIP-1α. Various surface anchoring strategies were explored: (1) a lipobox-based covalent membrane anchor, (2) sortase-mediated covalent cell wall anchoring, (3) LysM-based non-covalent cell wall anchoring, and (4) an N-terminal signal peptide-based transmembrane anchor. Protein production and correct localization were confirmed using Western blotting, flow cytometry and immunofluorescence microscopy. Using a chemotaxis assay, we demonstrated that CCL3Gag-producing L. plantarum strains are able to recruit immune cells in vitro. Conclusions: The results show the ability of engineered L. plantarum to produce a functional chemotactic protein immobilized on the bacterial surface. We observed that the activity of surface-displayed CCL3Gag differed depending on the type of anchor used. The chemokine which is a part of the bacteria-based vaccine may increase the recruit-ment of immune cells and, thereby, enhance the reaction of the immune system to the vaccine.

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Kuczkowska, K., Mathiesen, G., Eijsink, V. G. H., & Øynebråten, I. (2015). Lactobacillus plantarum displaying CCL3 chemokine in fusion with HIV-1 Gag derived antigen causes increased recruitment of T cells. Microbial Cell Factories, 14(1), 1. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12934-015-0360-z

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