Indexed on: 13 Aug '16Published on: 11 Aug '16Published in: Virus Research
Virus-like particles (VLPs) have demonstrated to be valuable scaffolds for the display of heterologous peptides for vaccine development and other specific interactions. VLPs of primate erythroparvovirus 1, generally referred as parvovirus B19 (B19V), have already been produced in-vivo and in-vitro from the recombinant VP2 protein of this virus. In this study, chimeric forms of B19V VP2 were constructed, and their ability to assemble into VLPs was evaluated. Chimeras were composed of the VP2 protein fused, at its N-terminus, with two peptides derived from the fusion glycoprotein (F) of the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The chimeric proteins self-assembled into VLPs morphologically similar to B19V virions. Stability of these VLPs was analyzed under denaturation conditions with guanidinium chloride (GdnHCl). Our results indicate that the presence of the heterologous fragments increased the stability of VLPs assembled by any of the VP2 chimeras. Specific proteolysis assays shown that a fraction of the N-termini of the chimeric proteins is located on the outer surface of the VLPs. Immunogenicity of VLPs against RSV was evaluated and the results indicate that the particles can elicit a humoral immune response, although these antibodies did not cross-react with RSV in ELISA tests. These results provide novel insights into the localization of the N-termini of B19V VP2 protein after in vitro assembly into VLPs, and point them to be attractive sites to display peptides or proteins without compromise the assembly or stability of VLPs.