|Title||In vitro assessment of halobacterial gas vesicles as a Chlamydia vaccine display and delivery system.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2012|
|Authors||Childs TS, Webley WC|
|Date Published||2012 Sep 7|
Chlamydia trachomatis is the leading cause of bacterial sexually transmitted disease worldwide and while antibiotic treatment is effective in eliminating the pathogen, up to 70% of all infections are asymptomatic. Despite sustained efforts over the past 2 decades, an effective chlamydial vaccine remains elusive, due in large part to the lack of an effective delivery system. We explored the use of gas vesicles derived from Halobacterium salinarium as a potential display and delivery vehicle for chlamydial antigens of vaccine interest. Various size gene fragments coding for the major outer membrane protein (MOMP), outer membrane complex B (OmcB) and polymorphic outer membrane protein D (PompD) were integrated into and expressed as part of the gas vesicle protein C (gvpC) on the surface of these stable structures. The presence of the recombinant proteins was confirmed by Western blots probed using anti-gvpC and anti-Chlamydia antibodies as well as sera from Chlamydia-positive patients. Tissue culture evaluation revealed stability and a time-dependent degradation of recombinant gas vesicles (r-Gv) in human and animal cell lines. In vitro assessment using human foreskin fibroblasts (HFF) confirmed Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 and 5 engagement by wild type and r-Gv, leading to MyD88 activation, TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-12 production. The data suggest that r-GV could be an effective, naturally adjuvanting, time-release antigen delivery system for immunologically relevant Chlamydia vaccine antigens which are readily recognized by human immune sera.