Gag Virus-like Particles Functionalized with SARS-CoV-2 Variants: Generation, Characterization and Recognition by COVID-19 Convalescent Patients' Sera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The robustness, safety, versatility, and high immunogenicity of virus-like particles (VLPs) make them a promising approach for the generation of vaccines against a broad range of pathogens. VLPs are recombinant macromolecular structures that closely mimic the native conformation of viruses without carrying viral genetic material. Particularly, HIV-1 Gag-based VLPs are a suitable platform for the presentation of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) protein on their surface. In this context, this work studies the effect of different rationally engineered mutations of the S protein to improve some of its characteristics. The studied variants harbored mutations such as proline substitutions for S stabilization, D614G from the early dominant pandemic form, the elimination of the S1/S2 furin cleavage site to improve S homogeneity, the suppression of a retention motif to favor its membrane localization, and cysteine substitutions to increase its immunogenicity and avoid potential undesired antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) effects. The influence of the mutations on VLP expression was studied, as well as their immunogenic potential, by testing the recognition of the generated VLP variants by COVID-19 convalescent patients' sera. The results of this work are conceived to give insights on the selection of S protein candidates for their use as immunogens and to showcase the potential of VLPs as carriers for antigen presentation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1641
Number of pages16
JournalVaccines
Volume11
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2023

Keywords

  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Variants
  • Spike
  • Virus-like particles
  • COVID-19
  • D614G
  • Furin cleavage

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Gag Virus-like Particles Functionalized with SARS-CoV-2 Variants: Generation, Characterization and Recognition by COVID-19 Convalescent Patients' Sera'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this