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#28739800   2017/07/25 Save this To Up

Cell-free production of a functional oligomeric form of a Chlamydia major outer-membrane protein (MOMP) for vaccine development.

Chlamydia is a prevalent sexually transmitted disease that infects more than 100 million people worldwide. Although most individuals infected with Chlamydia trachomatis are initially asymptomatic, symptoms can arise if left undiagnosed. Long-term infection can result in debilitating conditions such as pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and blindness. Chlamydia infection, therefore, constitutes a significant public health threat, underscoring the need for a Chlamydia-specific vaccine. Chlamydia strains express a major outer-membrane protein (MOMP) that has been shown to be an effective vaccine antigen. However, approaches to produce a functional recombinant MOMP protein for vaccine development are limited by poor solubility, low yield, and protein misfolding. Here, we used an Escherichia coli-based cell-free system to express a MOMP protein from the mouse-specific species Chlamydia muridarum (MoPn-MOMP or mMOMP). The codon-optimized mMOMP gene was co-translated with Δ49apolipoprotein A1 (Δ49ApoA1), a truncated version of mouse ApoA1 in which the N-terminal 49 amino acids were removed. This co-translation process produced mMOMP supported within a telodendrimer nanolipoprotein particle (mMOMP-tNLP). The cell-free expressed mMOMP-tNLPs contain mMOMP multimers similar to the native MOMP protein. This cell-free process produced on average 1.5 mg of purified, water-soluble mMOMP-tNLP complex in a 1-ml cell-free reaction. The mMOMP-tNLP particle also accommodated the co-localization of CpG oligodeoxynucleotide 1826, a single-stranded synthetic DNA adjuvant, eliciting an enhanced humoral immune response in vaccinated mice. Using our mMOMP-tNLP formulation, we demonstrate a unique approach to solubilizing and administering membrane-bound proteins for future vaccine development. This method can be applied to other previously difficult-to-obtain antigens while maintaining full functionality and immunogenicity.

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#28467432   2017/05/03 Save this To Up

Lactobacillus plantarum producing a Chlamydia trachomatis antigen induces a specific IgA response after mucosal booster immunization.

Mucosal immunity is important for the protection against a wide variety of pathogens. Traditional vaccines administered via parenteral routes induce strong systemic immunity, but they often fail to generate mucosal IgA. In contrast, bacteria-based vaccines comprise an appealing strategy for antigen delivery to mucosal sites. Vaginal infection with Chlamydia trachomatis can develop into upper genital tract infections that can lead to infertility. Therefore, the development of an effective vaccine against Chlamydia is a high priority. In the present study, we have explored the use of a common lactic acid bacterium, Lactobacillus plantarum, as a vector for delivery of a C. trachomatis antigen to mucosal sites. The antigen, referred as Hirep2 (H2), was anchored to the surface of L. plantarum cells using an N-terminal lipoprotein anchor. After characterization, the constructed strain was used as an immunogenic agent in mice. We explored a heterologous prime-boost strategy, consisting of subcutaneous priming with soluble H2 antigen co-administered with CAF01 adjuvant, followed by an intranasal boost with H2-displaying L. plantarum. The results show that, when used as a booster, the recombinant L. plantarum strain was able to evoke cellular responses. Most importantly, booster immunization with the Lactobacillus-based vaccine induced generation of antigen-specific IgA in the vaginal cavity.

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#28459057   2017/05/01 Save this To Up

Chlamydial Type III Secretion System Needle Protein Induces Protective Immunity against Chlamydia muridarum Intravaginal Infection.

Chlamydia trachomatis imposes serious health problems and causes infertility. Because of asymptomatic onset, it often escapes antibiotic treatment. Therefore, vaccines offer a better option for the prevention of unwanted inflammatory sequelae. The existence of serologically distinct serovars of C. trachomatis suggests that a vaccine will need to provide protection against multiple serovars. Chlamydia spp. use a highly conserved type III secretion system (T3SS) composed of structural and effector proteins which is an essential virulence factor. In this study, we expressed the T3SS needle protein of Chlamydia muridarum, TC_0037, an ortholog of C. trachomatis CdsF, in a replication-defective adenoviral vector (AdTC_0037) and evaluated its protective efficacy in an intravaginal Chlamydia muridarum model. For better immune responses, we employed a heterologous prime-boost immunization protocol in which mice were intranasally primed with AdTC_0037 and subcutaneously boosted with recombinant TC_0037 and Toll-like receptor 4 agonist monophosphoryl lipid A mixed in a squalene nanoscale emulsion. We found that immunization with TC_0037 antigen induced specific humoral and T cell responses, decreased Chlamydia loads in the genital tract, and abrogated pathology of upper genital organs. Together, our results suggest that TC_0037, a highly conserved chlamydial T3SS protein, is a good candidate for inclusion in a Chlamydia vaccine.

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#28385608   2017/04/07 Save this To Up

Comparison of the nine polymorphic membrane proteins of Chlamydia trachomatis for their ability to induce protective immune responses in mice against a C. muridarum challenge.

To test vaccines, formulated with novel antigens, to protect mice against Chlamydia infections.

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#28352612   2017/03/29 Save this To Up

A Co-infection Model System and the Use of Chimeric Proteins to Study Chlamydia Inclusion Proteins Interaction.

Chlamydia trachomatis is an obligate intracellular bacterium associated with trachoma and sexually transmitted diseases. During its intracellular developmental cycle, Chlamydia resides in a membrane bound compartment called the inclusion. A subset of Type III secreted effectors, the inclusion membrane proteins (Inc), are inserted into the inclusion membrane. Inc proteins are strategically positioned to promote inclusion interaction with host factors and organelles, a process required for bacterial replication, but little is known about Inc proteins function or host interacting partners. Moreover, it is unclear whether each Inc protein has a distinct function or if a subset of Inc proteins interacts with one another to perform their function. Here, we used IncD as a model to investigate Inc/Inc interaction in the context of Inc protein expression in C. trachomatis. We developed a co-infection model system to display different tagged Inc proteins on the surface of the same inclusion. We also designed chimeric Inc proteins to delineate domains important for interaction. We showed that IncD can self-interact and that the full-length protein is required for dimerization and/or oligomerization. Altogether our approach can be generalized to any Inc protein and will help to characterize the molecular mechanisms by which Chlamydia Inc proteins interact with themselves and/or host factors, eventually leading to a better understanding of C. trachomatis interaction with the mammalian host.

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#28283408   2017/03/11 Save this To Up

Development and evaluation of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the detection of antibodies to a common urogenital derivative of Chlamydia trachomatis plasmid-encoded PGP3.

Urogenital infection with Chlamydia trachomatis is the most commonly diagnosed sexually transmitted infection in the developed world. Accurate measurement and therefore understanding the seroprevalence of urogenital C. trachomatis infections requires a rigorously optimised and validated ELISA. Previous ELISAs based on the C. trachomatis plasmid-encoded protein, PGP3, have been described but lack standardisation and critical controls or use a less common PGP3 as the capture antigen.

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#28261569   2017/03/06 Save this To Up

Development of a Proximity Labeling System to Map the Chlamydia trachomatis Inclusion Membrane.

Chlamydia grows within a membrane-bound vacuole termed an inclusion. The cellular processes that support the biogenesis and integrity of this pathogen-specified parasitic organelle are not understood. Chlamydia secretes integral membrane proteins called Incs that insert into the chlamydial inclusion membrane (IM). Incs contain at least two hydrophobic transmembrane domains flanked by termini, which vary in size and are exposed to the host cytosol. In addition, Incs are temporally expressed during the chlamydial developmental cycle. Data examining Inc function are limited because of (i) the difficulty in working with hydrophobic proteins and (ii) the inherent fragility of the IM. We hypothesize that Incs function collaboratively to maintain the integrity of the chlamydial inclusion with small Incs organizing the IM and larger Incs interfacing with host cell machinery. To study this hypothesis, we have adapted a proximity-labeling strategy using APEX2, a mutant soybean ascorbate peroxidase that biotinylates interacting and proximal proteins within minutes in the presence of H2O2 and its exogenous substrate, biotin-phenol. We successfully expressed, from an inducible background, APEX2 alone, or fusion proteins of IncATM (TM = transmembrane domain only), IncA, and IncF with APEX2 in Chlamydia trachomatis serovar L2. IncF-APEX2, IncA TM -APEX2, and IncA-APEX2 localized to the IM whereas APEX2, lacking a secretion signal, remained associated with the bacteria. We determined the impact of overexpression on inclusion diameter, plasmid stability, and Golgi-derived sphingomyelin acquisition. While there was an overall impact of inducing construct expression, IncF-APEX2 overexpression most negatively impacted these measurements. Importantly, Inc-APEX2 expression in the presence of biotin-phenol resulted in biotinylation of the IM. These data suggest that Inc expression is regulated to control optimal IM biogenesis. We subsequently defined lysis conditions that solubilized known Incs and were compatible with pulldown conditions. Importantly, we have created powerful tools to allow direct examination of the dynamic composition of the IM, which will provide novel insights into key interactions that promote chlamydial growth and development within the inclusion.

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#28184217   2017/02/10 Save this To Up

Chlamydial Lipoproteins Stimulate Toll-Like Receptors 1/2 Mediated Inflammatory Responses through MyD88-Dependent Pathway.

Chlamydiae are very important pathogens which could cause several types of diseases in human, but little is known about its pathogenic mechanism. In order to elucidate host inflammatory response and the signal pathway induced by Chlamydial lipoproteins, the predicted lipoproteins of Chlamydia trachomatis were tested for their ability to induce the release of proinflammatory cytokines by mouse macrophages or human TLR (Toll-Like Receptor) expressing cell lines. The results showed that recombinant proteins of C. trachomatis D381, D541, D067, and D775 displayed a strong ability to induce the release of IL-8 in TLR expressing cell line. The signal pathways involved TLR1/2 and TLR2/CD14 but not TLR4. Moreover, except D067, the proinflammatory cytokine induction by D381, D541, and D775 required the thioacylation site (cysteine) for lipid modification and the induction was through MyD88-mediated pathway. Our data supported that lipoproteins played a vital role in pathogenesis of C. trachomatis-induced inflammatory responses via TLR pathway. It was the first study to characterize other chlamydial lipoproteins after identifying the role of MIP (D541) on pathogenesis of Chlamydial diseases.

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#28112333   2017/01/23 Save this To Up

[Chlamydia trachomatis infection in patients of a health institution of Bogota and Medellin, 2012-2015].

Chlamydia trachomatis presents clinical consequences and it is barely studied in Colombia.

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#27859689   2016/11/18 Save this To Up

Protection against genital tract Chlamydia trachomatis infection following intranasal immunization with a novel recombinant MOMP VS2/4 antigen.

The asymptomatic nature of most Chlamydia trachomatis infections and the lack of appropriate effects by current prevention and management call for vaccine development. We evaluated a recombinant subunit vaccine candidate based on the major outer membrane protein variable segments 2 and 4 (MOMP VS2/4). To achieve maximal immunogenicity and ease of production and purification, MOMP VS2/4 was constructed by using highly immunogenic sequences of MOMP only, thereby minimizing the presence of hydrophobic regions, and spacing the immunogenic epitopes with a flexible amino acid sequence. A purification tag was also added. The MOMP VS2/4 was given intranasally, with or without intravaginal boost, with cholera toxin (CT) adjuvant to C57BL/6 mice, which were screened for immunogenicity and protection against a live challenge infection with C. trachomatis serovar D. Bacterial shedding, cell-mediated responses, and antibody responses were monitored. Immunized mice exhibited significantly less bacterial shedding and were better protected against infertility as compared to unimmunized control mice. Immunizations stimulated both systemic and local specific antibody (IgG1, IgG2c, and IgA) responses, and primed T cells that produced interferon-γ and interleukins 13 and 17 upon challenge with recall antigen. Thus, MOMP VS2/4, in combination with CT adjuvant, stimulated Th1, Th2, and Th17 effector cells, and generated protective immunity associated with less pathology. We regard MOMP VS2/4 as a promising candidate for further development into a mucosal chlamydial vaccine.

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