Alphavirus Replicon DNA vectors expressing Ebola GP and VP40 antigens induce humoral and cellular immune responses in mice

Academic Article


  • Ebola virus (EBOV) causes severe hemorrhagic fevers in humans, and no approved therapeutics or vaccine is currently available. Glycoprotein (GP) is the major protective antigen of EBOV, and can generate virus-like particles (VLPs) by co-expression with matrix protein (VP40). In this study, we constructed a recombinant Alphavirus Semliki Forest virus (SFV) replicon vector DREP to express EBOV GP and matrix viral protein (VP40). EBOV VLPs were successfully generated and achieved budding from 293 cells after co-transfection with DREP-based GP and VP40 vectors (DREP-GP+DREP-VP40). Vaccination of BALB/c mice with DREP-GP, DREP-VP40, or DREP-GP+DREP-VP40 vectors, followed by immediate electroporation resulted in a mixed IgG subclass production, which recognized EBOV GP and/or VP40 proteins. This vaccination regimen also led to the generation of both Th1 and Th2 cellular immune responses in mice. Notably, vaccination with DREP-GP and DREP-VP40, which produces both GP and VP40 antigens, induced a significantly higher level of anti-GP IgG2a antibody and increased IFN-γ secreting CD8+ T-cell responses relative to vaccination with DREP-GP or DREP-VP40 vector alone. Our study indicates that co-expression of GP and VP40 antigens based on the SFV replicon vector generates EBOV VLPs in vitro, and vaccination with recombinant DREP vectors containing GP and VP40 antigens induces Ebola antigen-specific humoral and cellular immune responses in mice. This novel approach provides a simple and efficient vaccine platform for Ebola disease prevention.
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    Author List

  • Ren S; Wei Q; Cai L; Yang X; Xing C; Tan F; Leavenworth JW; Liang S; Liu W
  • Volume

  • 8
  • Issue

  • JAN