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Selected prfA* Mutations in Recombinant Attenuated Listeria monocytogenes Strains Augment Expression of Foreign Immunogens and Enhance Vaccine-Elicited Humoral and Cellular Immune Responses
- Yan, Lin, Qiu, Jin, Chen, Jianbo, Ryan-Payseur, Bridgett, Huang, Dan, Wang, Yunqi, Rong, Lijun, Melton-Witt, Jody A., Freitag, Nancy E., Chen, Zheng W.
- Infection and immunity 2008 v.76 no.8 pp. 3439-3450
- Listeria monocytogenes, antigens, cell-mediated immunity, gene expression regulation, gene overexpression, genes, humoral immunity, immune response, live vaccines, mice, mutation, proteins, recombinant vaccines, secondary immunization, virulence
- While recombinant Listeria monocytogenes strains can be explored as vaccine candidates, it is important to develop attenuated but highly immunogenic L. monocytogenes vaccine vectors. Here, prfA* mutations selected on the basis of upregulated expression of L. monocytogenes PrfA-dependent genes and proteins were assessed to determine their abilities to augment expression of foreign immunogens in recombinant L. monocytogenes vectors and therefore enhance vaccine-elicited immune responses (a prfA* mutation is a mutation that results in constitutive overexpression of PrfA and PrfA-dependent virulence genes; the asterisk distinguishes the mutation from inactivation or stop mutations). A total of 63 recombinant L. monocytogenes vaccine vectors expressing seven individual viral or bacterial immunogens each in nine different L. monocytogenes strains carrying wild-type prfA or having prfA* mutations were constructed and investigated. Mutations selected on the basis of increased PrfA activation in recombinant L. monocytogenes prfA* vaccine vectors augmented expression of seven individual protein immunogens remarkably. Consistently, prime and boost vaccination studies with mice indicated that the prfA(G155S) mutation in recombinant L. monocytogenes ΔactA prfA* strains enhanced vaccine-elicited cellular immune responses. Surprisingly, the prfA(G155S) mutation was found to enhance vaccine-elicited humoral immune responses as well. The highly immunogenic recombinant L. monocytogenes ΔactA prfA* vaccine strains were as attenuated as the recombinant parent L. monocytogenes ΔactA vaccine vector. Thus, recombinant attenuated L. monocytogenes ΔactA prfA* vaccine vectors potentially are better antimicrobial and anticancer vaccines.