Structural characterization of plant-derived hepatitis B surface antigen employed in oral immunization studies

Mark L. Smith, Lizabeth Richter, Charles J. Arntzen, Michael L. Shuler, Hugh Mason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Several subunit vaccine antigens have been successfully expressed in plants and recently the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), expressed in potatoes, was shown to be orally immunogenic in animal studies. However, to date, a detailed analysis of the plant-derived antigen is lacking. Herein, we comprehensively characterize the structure and post-translational processing of HBsAg from potato tuber and two plant cell suspension cultures. The HBsAg was found to accumulate intracellularly as tubular structures, with a complex size distribution, differing substantially from the virus-like particle (VLP) preparations of the current commercial vaccines. Extensive disulfide-bond cross-linking, which is important for immunogenicity, was evident and 21-37% of total HBsAg protein displayed epitopes which correlate with vaccine potency. The significance of these results with regard to the production of cost-effective orally delivered vaccines is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4011-4021
Number of pages11
JournalVaccine
Volume21
Issue number25-26
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

Keywords

  • Antigen structure
  • Edible vaccine
  • Hepatitis B surface antigen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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