State of the Art and Future Directions of Synthetic Biology-Armed Vaccine Development

A special issue of Vaccines (ISSN 2076-393X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2023) | Viewed by 8387

Special Issue Editors

School of Life Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
Interests: synthetic biology; synthetic cells; origin of life; liposome; protein and vaccine production
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Guest Editor
Laboratory of Creative Science for Insect Industries, Kyushu University Graduate School of Bioresource and Bioenvironmental Sciences, Motooka 744, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka 819-0395, Japan
Interests: silkworm-baculovirus expression vector system; protease

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Synthetic biology provides novel approaches for rebuilding existing biological systems or redesigning new ones from scratch for various applications. Over time, the so-called “bottom-up” synthetic biology has expanded to many research subjects, including biology, chemistry, computational sciences, and engineering. The state-of-the-art concepts and strategies of synthetic biology can also activate and shape the future of vaccine development into the next generation. Thus, we would like to invite researchers worldwide to contribute to this Special Issue with recent advances in the vaccine/antibody production and mechanism study armed with rational designs from synthetic biology. We welcome high-quality mini-review and research articles with results from various host models aimed at either laboratory or industrial level. Articles on synthetic cell-based antigen display or drug delivery systems are also welcome.

Dr. Jian Xu
Dr. Jae Man Lee
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Vaccines is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

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Keywords

  • vaccine development
  • synthetic biology
  • bottom-up approach
  • antigen production
  • synthetic cell
  • drug delivery system

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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15 pages, 3430 KiB  
Article
Testing a Recombinant Form of Tetanus Toxoid as a Carrier Protein for Glycoconjugate Vaccines
by Davide Oldrini, Roberta Di Benedetto, Martina Carducci, Daniele De Simone, Luisa Massai, Renzo Alfini, Barbara Galli, Brunella Brunelli, Amanda Przedpelski, Joseph T. Barbieri, Omar Rossi, Carlo Giannelli, Rino Rappuoli, Francesco Berti and Francesca Micoli
Vaccines 2023, 11(12), 1770; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11121770 - 28 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1199
Abstract
Glycoconjugate vaccines play a major role in the prevention of infectious diseases worldwide, with significant impact on global health, enabling the polysaccharides to induce immunogenicity in infants and immunological memory. Tetanus toxoid (TT), a chemically detoxified bacterial toxin, is among the few carrier [...] Read more.
Glycoconjugate vaccines play a major role in the prevention of infectious diseases worldwide, with significant impact on global health, enabling the polysaccharides to induce immunogenicity in infants and immunological memory. Tetanus toxoid (TT), a chemically detoxified bacterial toxin, is among the few carrier proteins used in licensed glycoconjugate vaccines. The recombinant full-length 8MTT was engineered in E. coli with eight individual amino acid mutations to inactivate three toxin functions. Previous studies in mice showed that 8MTT elicits a strong IgG response, confers protection, and can be used as a carrier protein. Here, we compared 8MTT to traditional carrier proteins TT and cross-reactive material 197 (CRM197), using different polysaccharides as models: Group A Streptococcus cell-wall carbohydrate (GAC), Salmonella Typhi Vi, and Neisseria meningitidis serogroups A, C, W, and Y. The persistency of the antibodies induced, the ability of the glycoconjugates to elicit booster response after re-injection at a later time point, the eventual carrier-induced epitopic suppression, and immune interference in multicomponent formulations were also evaluated. Overall, immunogenicity responses obtained with 8MTT glycoconjugates were compared to those obtained with corresponding TT and, in some cases, were higher than those induced by CRM197 glycoconjugates. Our results support the use of 8MTT as a good alternative carrier protein for glycoconjugate vaccines, with advantages in terms of manufacturability compared to TT. Full article
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14 pages, 2818 KiB  
Article
Construction of Candida albicans Adhesin-Exposed Synthetic Cells for Preventing Systemic Fungal Infection
by Zirun Zhao, Ying Sun, Mingchun Li and Qilin Yu
Vaccines 2023, 11(10), 1521; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11101521 - 25 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1092
Abstract
The development of efficient fungal vaccines is urgent for preventing life-threatening systemic fungal infections. In this study, we prepared a synthetic, cell-based fungal vaccine for preventing systemic fungal infections using synthetic biology techniques. The synthetic cell EmEAP1 was constructed by transforming the Escherichia [...] Read more.
The development of efficient fungal vaccines is urgent for preventing life-threatening systemic fungal infections. In this study, we prepared a synthetic, cell-based fungal vaccine for preventing systemic fungal infections using synthetic biology techniques. The synthetic cell EmEAP1 was constructed by transforming the Escherichia coli chassis using a de novo synthetic fragment encoding the protein mChEap1 that was composed of the E. coli OmpA peptide, the fluorescence protein mCherry, the Candida albicans adhesin Eap1, and the C-terminally transmembrane region. The EmEAP1 cells highly exposed the mChEap1 on the cell surface under IPTG induction. The fungal vaccine was then prepared by mixing the EmEAP1 cells with aluminum hydroxide gel and CpG. Fluorescence quantification revealed that the fungal vaccine was stable even after 112 days of storage. After immunization in mice, the vaccine resided in the lymph nodes, inducing the recruitment of CD11c+ dendritic cells. Moreover, the vaccine strongly activated the CD4+ T splenocytes and elicited high levels of anti-Eap1 IgG. By the prime-boost immunization, the vaccine prolonged the survival time of the mice infected by the C. albicans cells and attenuated fungal colonization together with inflammation in the kidneys. This study sheds light on the development of synthetic biology-based fungal vaccines for the prevention of life-threatening fungal infections. Full article
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Review

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14 pages, 1028 KiB  
Review
An Overview of Recent Developments in the Application of Antigen Displaying Vaccine Platforms: Hints for Future SARS-CoV-2 VLP Vaccines
by Doddy Irawan Setyo Utomo, Hamizah Suhaimi, Nor Azila Muhammad Azami, Fazren Azmi, Mohd Cairul Iqbal Mohd Amin and Jian Xu
Vaccines 2023, 11(9), 1506; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11091506 - 20 Sep 2023
Viewed by 2153
Abstract
Recently, a great effort has been devoted to studying attenuated and subunit vaccine development against SARS-CoV-2 since its outbreak in December 2019. It is known that diverse virus-like particles (VLPs) are extensively employed as carriers to display various antigenic and immunostimulatory cargo modules [...] Read more.
Recently, a great effort has been devoted to studying attenuated and subunit vaccine development against SARS-CoV-2 since its outbreak in December 2019. It is known that diverse virus-like particles (VLPs) are extensively employed as carriers to display various antigenic and immunostimulatory cargo modules for vaccine development. Single or multiple antigens or antigenic domains such as the spike or nucleocapsid protein or their variants from SARS-CoV-2 could also be incorporated into VLPs via either a genetic or chemical display approach. Such antigen display platforms would help screen safer and more effective vaccine candidates capable of generating a strong immune response with or without adjuvant. This review aims to provide valuable insights for the future development of SARS-CoV-2 VLP vaccines by summarizing the latest updates and perspectives on the vaccine development of VLP platforms for genetic and chemical displaying antigens from SARS-CoV-2. Full article
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26 pages, 749 KiB  
Review
Anti-HERV-K Drugs and Vaccines, Possible Therapies against Tumors
by Sepideh Hosseiniporgham and Leonardo Antonio Sechi
Vaccines 2023, 11(4), 751; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11040751 - 28 Mar 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3270
Abstract
The footprint of human endogenous retroviruses (HERV), specifically HERV-K, has been found in malignancies, such as melanoma, teratocarcinoma, osteosarcoma, breast cancer, lymphoma, and ovary and prostate cancers. HERV-K is characterized as the most biologically active HERV due to possession of open reading frames [...] Read more.
The footprint of human endogenous retroviruses (HERV), specifically HERV-K, has been found in malignancies, such as melanoma, teratocarcinoma, osteosarcoma, breast cancer, lymphoma, and ovary and prostate cancers. HERV-K is characterized as the most biologically active HERV due to possession of open reading frames (ORF) for all Gag, Pol, and Env genes, which enables it to be more infective and obstructive towards specific cell lines and other exogenous viruses, respectively. Some factors might contribute to carcinogenicity and at least one of them has been recognized in various tumors, including overexpression/methylation of long interspersed nuclear element 1 (LINE-1), HERV-K Gag, and Env genes themselves plus their transcripts and protein products, and HERV-K reverse transcriptase (RT). Therapies effective for HERV-K-associated tumors mostly target invasive autoimmune responses or growth of tumors through suppression of HERV-K Gag or Env protein and RT. To design new therapeutic options, more studies are needed to better understand whether HERV-K and its products (Gag/Env transcripts and HERV-K proteins/RT) are the initiators of tumor formation or just the disorder’s developers. Accordingly, this review aims to present evidence that highlights the association between HERV-K and tumorigenicity and introduces some of the available or potential therapies against HERV-K-induced tumors. Full article
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