ResearchPad - plasmodium-yoelii https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Novel malaria antigen <i>Plasmodium yoelii</i> E140 induces antibody-mediated sterile protection in mice against malaria challenge]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14592 Only a small fraction of the antigens expressed by malaria parasites have been evaluated as vaccine candidates. A successful malaria subunit vaccine will likely require multiple antigenic targets to achieve broad protection with high protective efficacy. Here we describe protective efficacy of a novel antigen, Plasmodium yoelii (Py) E140 (PyE140), evaluated against P. yoelii challenge of mice. Vaccines targeting PyE140 reproducibly induced up to 100% sterile protection in both inbred and outbred murine challenge models. Although PyE140 immunization induced high frequency and multifunctional CD8+ T cell responses, as well as CD4+ T cell responses, protection was mediated by PyE140 antibodies acting against blood stage parasites. Protection in mice was long-lasting with up to 100% sterile protection at twelve weeks post-immunization and durable high titer anti-PyE140 antibodies. The E140 antigen is expressed in all Plasmodium species, is highly conserved in both P. falciparum lab-adapted strains and endemic circulating parasites, and is thus a promising lead vaccine candidate for future evaluation against human malaria parasite species.

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<![CDATA[Plasmodium male gametocyte development and transmission are critically regulated by the two putative deadenylases of the CAF1/CCR4/NOT complex]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca300d5eed0c48441efa2

With relatively few known specific transcription factors to control the abundance of specific mRNAs, Plasmodium parasites may rely more on the regulation of transcript stability and turnover to provide sufficient gene regulation. Plasmodium transmission stages impose translational repression on specific transcripts in part to accomplish this. However, few proteins are known to participate in this process, and those that are characterized primarily affect female gametocytes. We have identified and characterized Plasmodium yoelii (Py) CCR4-1, a putative deadenylase, which plays a role in the development and activation of male gametocytes, regulates the abundance of specific mRNAs in gametocytes, and ultimately increases the efficiency of host-to-vector transmission. We find that when pyccr4-1 is deleted or its protein made catalytically inactive, there is a loss in the initial coordination of male gametocyte maturation and a reduction of parasite infectivity of the mosquito. Expression of only the N-terminal CAF1 domain of the essential CAF1 deadenylase leads to a similar phenotype. Comparative RNA-seq revealed that PyCCR4-1 affects transcripts important for transmission-related functions that are associated with male or female gametocytes, some of which directly associate with the immunoprecipitated complex. Finally, circular RT-PCR of one of the bound, dysregulated transcripts showed that deletion of the pyccr4-1 gene does not result in gross changes to its UTR or poly(A) tail length. We conclude that the two putative deadenylases of the CAF1/CCR4/NOT complex play critical and intertwined roles in gametocyte maturation and transmission.

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<![CDATA[Complex Minigene Library Vaccination for Discovery of Pre-Erythrocytic Plasmodium T Cell Antigens]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da75ab0ee8fa60b9674f

Development of a subunit vaccine targeting liver-stage Plasmodium parasites requires the identification of antigens capable of inducing protective T cell responses. However, traditional methods of antigen identification are incapable of evaluating T cell responses against large numbers of proteins expressed by these parasites. This bottleneck has limited development of subunit vaccines against Plasmodium and other complex intracellular pathogens. To address this bottleneck, we are developing a synthetic minigene technology for multi-antigen DNA vaccines. In an initial test of this approach, pools of long (150 bp) antigen-encoding oligonucleotides were synthesized and recombined into vectors by ligation-independent cloning to produce two DNA minigene library vaccines. Each vaccine encoded peptides derived from 36 (vaccine 1) and 53 (vaccine 2) secreted or transmembrane pre-erythrocytic P. yoelii proteins. BALB/cj mice were vaccinated three times with a single vaccine by biolistic particle delivery (gene gun) and screened for interferon-γ-producing T cell responses by ELISPOT. Library vaccination induced responses against four novel antigens. Naïve mice exposed to radiation-attenuated sporozoites mounted a response against only one of the four novel targets (PyMDH, malate dehydrogenase). The response to PyMDH could not be recalled by additional homologous sporozoite immunizations but could be partially recalled by heterologous cross-species sporozoite exposure. Vaccination against the dominant PyMDH epitope by DNA priming and recombinant Listeria boosting did not protect against sporozoite challenge. Improvements in library design and delivery, combined with methods promoting an increase in screening sensitivity, may enable complex minigene screening to serve as a high-throughput system for discovery of novel T cell antigens.

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<![CDATA[Plasmodium yoelii nigeriensis (N67) Is a Robust Animal Model to Study Malaria Transmission by South American Anopheline Mosquitoes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da25ab0ee8fa60b8089b

Malaria is endemic in the American continent and the Amazonian rainforest is the region with the highest risk of transmission. However, the lack of suitable experimental models to infect malaria vectors from the Americas has limited the progress to understand the biology of transmission in this region. Anopheles aquasalis, a major vector in coastal areas of South America, was found to be highly refractory to infection with two strains of Plasmodium falciparum (NF54 and 7G8) and with Plasmodium berghei (mouse malaria), even when the microbiota was eliminated with antibiotics and oxidative stress was reduced with uric acid. In contrast, An. aquasalis females treated with antibiotics and uric acid are susceptible to infection with a second murine parasite, Plasmodium yoelii nigeriensis N67 (PyN67). Anopheles albimanus, one of the main malaria vectors in Central America, Southern Mexico and the Caribbean, was more susceptible to infection with PyN67 than An. aquasalis, even in the absence of any pre-treatment, but was still less susceptible than Anopheles stephensi. Disruption of the complement-like system in An. albimanus significantly enhanced PyN67 infection, indicating that the mosquito immune system is mounting effective antiplasmodial responses. PyN67 has the ability to infect a broad range of anophelines and is an excellent model to study malaria transmission by South American vectors.

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<![CDATA[A Plasmodium Promiscuous T Cell Epitope Delivered within the Ad5 Hexon Protein Enhances the Protective Efficacy of a Protein Based Malaria Vaccine]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae6ab0ee8fa60bbd991

A malaria vaccine is a public health priority. In order to produce an effective vaccine, a multistage approach targeting both the blood and the liver stage infection is desirable. The vaccine candidates also need to induce balanced immune responses including antibodies, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Protein-based subunit vaccines like RTS,S are able to induce strong antibody response but poor cellular reactivity. Adenoviral vectors have been effective inducing protective CD8+ T cell responses in several models including malaria; nonetheless this vaccine platform exhibits a limited induction of humoral immune responses. Two approaches have been used to improve the humoral immunogenicity of recombinant adenovirus vectors, the use of heterologous prime-boost regimens with recombinant proteins or the genetic modification of the hypervariable regions (HVR) of the capsid protein hexon to express B cell epitopes of interest. In this study, we describe the development of capsid modified Ad5 vectors that express a promiscuous Plasmodium yoelii T helper epitope denominated PyT53 within the hexon HVR2 region. Several regimens were tested in mice to determine the relevance of the hexon modification in enhancing protective immune responses induced by the previously described protein-based multi-stage experimental vaccine PyCMP. A heterologous prime-boost immunization regime that combines a hexon modified vector with transgenic expression of PyCMP followed by protein immunizations resulted in the induction of robust antibody and cellular immune responses in comparison to a similar regimen that includes a vector with unmodified hexon. These differences in immunogenicity translated into a better protective efficacy against both the hepatic and red blood cell stages of P. yoelii. To our knowledge, this is the first time that a hexon modification is used to deliver a promiscuous T cell epitope. Our data support the use of such modification to enhance the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of adenoviral based malaria vaccines.

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