Highly dense, repetitive antigens such as virus particles induce strong immune responses. Correspondingly, Virus Like Particles (VLPs), which consist of the viral structural proteins, can be used as molecular scaffolds to increase the antigenicity of normally poorly immunogenic antigens. This ability to elicit strong antibody responses is not limited to foreign antigens, but also to self-antigens, which are normally subject to B-cell tolerance. The intention of this proposal is to develop a system for rapid identification of asthma vaccine candidates based on potent immunogenicity of antigens (IgE) displayed in dense repetitive arrays on virus-like particles. The technology is based on virus-like particles (VLPs) of the RNA bacteriophage MS2. MS2 VLPs can be viewed as a modular self-assembly system in which a highly immunogenic protein scaffold can be decorated with diverse target sequences using recombinant techniques. MS2 VLPs can be modified to present diverse target sequences on their surfaces. These recombinant VLPs induce strong antibody responses against the target sequence. I propose to generate MS2-based immunogens targeting domains involved in IgE receptor binding. A vaccine that induces antibody responses against IgE may be beneficial in treating asthma and allergies.
Monreal, Fernando and Bryce Chackerian. "Development of a Potential Vaccine for Asthma Using IgE and Virus Like Particles." (2009). http://digitalrepository.unm.edu/ume-research-papers/97