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           Search results for: Recombinant SARS Virus Nucleocapsid (aa 1-49,192-220) Proteins    

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#18955825   2008/10/28 Save this To Up

Detection of antibodies against SARS-Coronavirus using recombinant truncated nucleocapsid proteins by ELISA.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a lifethreatening emerging respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, SARS-CoV. The nucleocapsid (N) protein of SARS-CoV is highly antigenic and may be a suitable candidate for diagnostic applications. We constructed truncated recombinant N proteins (N1 [1-422 aa], N2 [1- 109 aa], and N3 [110-422 aa]) and determined their antigenicity by Western blotting using convalescent SARS serum. The recombinants containing N1 and N3 reacted with convalescent SARS serum in Western blotting. However, the recombinant with N2 did not. In ELISA using N1 or N3 as the antigens, positive results were observed in 10 of 10 (100%) SARS-CoV-positive human sera. None of 50 healthy sera gave positive results in either assay. These data indicate that the ELISA using N1 or N3 has high sensitivity and specificity. These results suggest that the middle or C-terminal region of the SARS N protein is important for eliciting antibodies against SARS-CoV during the immune response, and ELISA reactions using N1 or N3 may be a valuable tool for SARS diagnosis.

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#18448518   2008/06/27 Save this To Up

The nucleocapsid protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus inhibits cell cytokinesis and proliferation by interacting with translation elongation factor 1alpha.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) is the etiological agent of SARS, an emerging disease characterized by atypical pneumonia. Using a yeast two-hybrid screen with the nucleocapsid (N) protein of SARS-CoV as a bait, the C terminus (amino acids 251 to 422) of the N protein was found to interact with human elongation factor 1-alpha (EF1alpha), an essential component of the translational machinery with an important role in cytokinesis, promoting the bundling of filamentous actin (F-actin). In vitro and in vivo interaction was then confirmed by immuno-coprecipitation, far-Western blotting, and surface plasmon resonance. It was demonstrated that the N protein of SARS-CoV induces aggregation of EF1alpha, inhibiting protein translation and cytokinesis by blocking F-actin bundling. Proliferation of human peripheral blood lymphocytes and other human cell lines was significantly inhibited by the infection of recombinant retrovirus expressing SARS-CoV N protein.

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#18191140   2008/02/18 Save this To Up

Determination and application of immunodominant regions of SARS coronavirus spike and nucleocapsid proteins recognized by sera from different animal species.

Knowledge of immunodominant regions in major viral antigens is important for rational design of effective vaccines and diagnostic tests. Although there have been many reports of such work done for SARS-CoV, these were mainly focused on the immune responses of humans and mice. In this study, we aim to search for and compare immunodominant regions of the spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N) proteins which are recognized by sera from different animal species, including mouse, rat, rabbit, civet, pig and horse. Twelve overlapping recombinant protein fragments were produced in Escherichia coli, six each for the S and N proteins, which covered the entire coding region of the two proteins. Using a membrane-strip based Western blot approach, the reactivity of each antigen fragment against a panel of animal sera was determined. Immunodominant regions containing linear epitopes, which reacted with sera from all the species tested, were identified for both proteins. The S3 fragment (aa 402-622) and the N4 fragment (aa 220-336) were the most immunodominant among the six S and N fragments, respectively. Antibodies raised against the S3 fragment were able to block the binding of a panel of S-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAb) to SARS-CoV in ELISA, further demonstrating the immunodominance of this region. Based on these findings, one-step competition ELISAs were established which were able to detect SARS-CoV antibodies from human and at least seven different animal species. Considering that a large number of animal species are known to be susceptible to SARS-CoV, these assays will be a useful tool to trace the origin and transmission of SARS-CoV and to minimise the risk of animal-to-human transmission.

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#17913799   2007/11/26 Save this To Up

Two-way antigenic cross-reactivity between severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and group 1 animal CoVs is mediated through an antigenic site in the N-terminal region of the SARS-CoV nucleoprotein.

In 2002, severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) emerged in humans, causing a global epidemic. By phylogenetic analysis, SARS-CoV is distinct from known CoVs and most closely related to group 2 CoVs. However, no antigenic cross-reactivity between SARS-CoV and known CoVs was conclusively and consistently demonstrated except for group 1 animal CoVs. We analyzed this cross-reactivity by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Western blot analysis using specific antisera to animal CoVs and SARS-CoV and SARS patient convalescent-phase or negative sera. Moderate two-way cross-reactivity between SARS-CoV and porcine CoVs (transmissible gastroenteritis CoV [TGEV] and porcine respiratory CoV [PRCV]) was mediated through the N but not the spike protein, whereas weaker cross-reactivity occurred with feline (feline infectious peritonitis virus) and canine CoVs. Using Escherichia coli-expressed recombinant SARS-CoV N protein and fragments, the cross-reactive region was localized between amino acids (aa) 120 to 208. The N-protein fragments comprising aa 360 to 412 and aa 1 to 213 reacted specifically with SARS convalescent-phase sera but not with negative human sera in ELISA; the fragment comprising aa 1 to 213 cross-reacted with antisera to animal CoVs, whereas the fragment comprising aa 360 to 412 did not cross-react and could be a potential candidate for SARS diagnosis. Particularly noteworthy, a single substitution at aa 120 of PRCV N protein diminished the cross-reactivity. We also demonstrated that the cross-reactivity is not universal for all group 1 CoVs, because HCoV-NL63 did not cross-react with SARS-CoV. One-way cross-reactivity of HCoV-NL63 with group 1 CoVs was localized to aa 1 to 39 and at least one other antigenic site in the N-protein C terminus, differing from the cross-reactive region identified in SARS-CoV N protein. The observed cross-reactivity is not a consequence of a higher level of amino acid identity between SARS-CoV and porcine CoV nucleoproteins, because sequence comparisons indicated that SARS-CoV N protein has amino acid identity similar to that of infectious bronchitis virus N protein and shares a higher level of identity with bovine CoV N protein within the cross-reactive region. The TGEV and SARS-CoV N proteins are RNA chaperons with long disordered regions. We speculate that during natural infection, antibodies target similar short antigenic sites within the N proteins of SARS-CoV and porcine group 1 CoVs that are exposed to an immune response. Identification of the cross-reactive and non-cross-reactive N-protein regions allows development of SARS-CoV-specific antibody assays for screening animal and human sera.

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#16494977   2006/03/27 Save this To Up

Immunological characterizations of the nucleocapsid protein based SARS vaccine candidates.

The recombinant nucleocapsid (rN) protein of the coronavirus (CoV) responsible for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli, extracted from cell lysates containing 6M urea, then purified by Ni(2+)-affinity chromatography. In animal immunogenicity studies, we found that most anti-rN protein antibodies were IgG2a in BALB/c mice vaccinated with rN emulsified in Montanide ISA-51 containing the synthetic oligodeoxynucleotide, CpG. In contrast, anti-rN protein antibodies of mice immunized with rN protein in PBS were found to mainly be IgG1. These results indicated that ISA-51/CpG-formulated rN protein was dramatically biased toward a Th1 immune response. To identify the B-cell immunodominant epitopes of the rN protein in the mouse and monkey, the reactivities of antisera raised against purified rN proteins formulated in ISA-51/CpG were tested with a panel of overlapping synthetic peptides covering the entire N protein sequence. Three immunodominant linear B-cell epitope regions were mapped to residues 166-180, 356-375, and 396-410 of the rN protein. When the reactivities of these peptides were screened with human sera from five SARS patients, peptides corresponding to residues 156-175 reacted strongly with sera from two of the SARS patients. These results indicated that the region around residues 156-175 of the N protein is immunogenic in the mouse, monkey, and human. We found that peptides corresponding to residues 1-30, 86-100, 306-320, and 351-365 contained murine immunodominant T-cell epitopes. To identify functional CTL epitopes of the N protein, BALB/c mice were immunized with peptides containing the H-2K(d) CTL motif emulsified in adjuvant ISA-51/CpG. Using an IFN-gamma secretion cell assay and analysis by flow cytometry, peptides containing residues 81-95 were found to be capable of stimulating both CD4(+) and CD8(+) cell proliferation in vitro. We also only observed that peptides corresponding to residues 336-350 were capable of stimulating IFN-gamma production in T-cell cultures derived from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of macaques immunized with the rN protein emulsified in ISA/CpG adjuvant. Our current results together with those of others suggest that some immunodominant B-cell and T-cell epitopes are conserved in the mouse, monkey, and human. This information is very important for the development SARS diagnostic kits and a vaccine.

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#15862300   2005/05/02 Save this To Up

The nucleocapsid protein of SARS coronavirus has a high binding affinity to the human cellular heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1.

The nucleocapsid (N) protein of SARS coronavirus (SARS_CoV) is a major structural component of virions, which appears to be a multifunctional protein involved in viral RNA replication and translation. Heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1 (hnRNP A1) is related to the pre-mRNA splicing in the nucleus and translation regulation in the cytoplasm. In this report, based on the relevant biophysical and biochemical assays, the nucleocapsid protein of SARS_CoV (SARS_N) was discovered to exhibit high binding affinity to human hnRNP A1. GST pull-down results clearly demonstrated that SARS_N protein could directly and specifically bind to human hnRNP A1 in vitro. Yeast two-hybrid assays further indicated in vivo that such binding relates to the fragment (aa 161-210) of SARS_N and the Gly-rich domain (aa 203-320) of hnRNP A1. Moreover, kinetic analyses by surface plasmon resonance (SPR) technology revealed that SARS_N protein has a specific binding affinity against human hnRNP A1 with K(D) at 0.35 +/- 0.02 microM (k(on) = 5.83 +/- 0.42 x 10(3) M(-1)s(-1) and k(off) = 2.06 +/- 0.12 x 10(-3)s(-1)). It is suggested that both SARS_N and hnRNP A1 proteins are possibly within the SARS_CoV replication/transcription complex and SARS_N/human hnRNP A1 interaction might function in the regulation of SARS_CoV RNA synthesis. In addition, the determined results showed that SARS_N protein has only one binding domain for interacting with human hnRNP A1, which is different from the mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) binding case where the nucleocapsid protein of MHV (MHV_N) was found to have two binding domains involved in the MHV_N/hnRNP A1 interaction, thereby suggesting that SARS_N protein might carry out a different binding mode to bind to human hnRNP A1 for its further function performance in comparison with MHV_N.

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