Expression, immunogenicity and diagnostic value of envelope proteins from an Egyptian hepatitis C virus isolate

Expression, immunogenicity and diagnostic value of envelope proteins from an Egyptian hepatitis C... The present work aimed at 1) characterization of the E1 and E2 proteins (HCV-E) from an Egyptian hepatitis C virus genotype 4a (HCV-4a) isolate at the molecular and immunological level, 2) in silico identification of the B- and T-cell epitopes responsible for the immunogenicity of HCV-E, and 3) evaluation of the diagnostic potential of both the recombinant HCV-E and antibodies raised using mammalian expression constructs encoding the protein. The region encoding the E1 and E2 proteins was amplified by RT-PCR from RNA isolated from blood of a human infected with HCV-4 and cloned into the pSC-TA plasmid, and the sequence was verified and used to construct a neighbor-joining phylogenetic tree. The translated nucleotide sequence was used to predict the HCV-E secondary structure using the PREDICT-PROTEIN server and PSI-PRED. A 3D model of HCV-E was generated using the online tool 3Dpro. B- and T-cell epitopes were predicted using the online tools BCPred and Epijen v1.0, respectively. The HCV-E-encoding sequence was later subcloned into the mammalian expression plasmid pQE, and the constructs that were generated were used to immunize mice in the absence and presence of adjuvants of plant origin. The maximum sequence identity obtained by nucleotide and protein BLAST analysis with previously published HCV-E sequences was 85 and 77 %, respectively. The B-cell epitope CFTPSPVVV at position 203 and the T-cell epitope ALSTGLIHL at position 380 were found to be highly conserved among all HCV genotypes. Both ELISA and Western blotting experiments on crude and purified recombinant HCV envelope proteins using mouse antisera raised using the HCV-E mammalian expression construct confirmed the specific antigenicity of the expressed protein. The antibodies raised in mice using the HCV-E-encoding construct could efficiently capture circulating antigens in patients’ sera with good sensitivity that correlated with liver enzyme levels (r = 0.4052, P < 0.0001 for ALT; r = −0.5439, P = 0.0019 for AST). Moreover, combining the HCV-E-encoding construct with extracts prepared from Echinacea purpurea and Nigella sativa prior to immunizing mice significantly (P < 0.05) increased both the humoral (14.9- to 20-fold increase in antibodies) and the cellular (CD4 + and cytotoxic CD8 + - T lymphocytes) responses compared to mice that received the DNA construct alone or PBS-treated mice. Both recombinant HCV-E protein preparations and antibodies raised using the HCV-E-encoding mammalian expression construct represent useful diagnostic tools that can report on active HCV infection. Also, the immunostimulatory effects induced by the two plant extracts used at the cellular and humoral level highlight the potential of natural products for inducing protection against HCV infection. The neutralizing capacity of the induced antibodies is a subject of future investigations. Furthermore, the predicted B- and T-cell epitopes may be useful for tailoring future diagnostics and candidate vaccines against various HCV genotypes. Archives of Virology Springer Journals

Expression, immunogenicity and diagnostic value of envelope proteins from an Egyptian hepatitis C virus isolate

Loading next page...
Springer Vienna
Copyright © 2015 by Springer-Verlag Wien
Biomedicine; Virology; Medical Microbiology; Infectious Diseases
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site


You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.

DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

Monthly Plan

  • Read unlimited articles
  • Personalized recommendations
  • No expiration
  • Print 20 pages per month
  • 20% off on PDF purchases
  • Organize your research
  • Get updates on your journals and topic searches


Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial

Best Deal — 39% off

Annual Plan

  • All the features of the Professional Plan, but for 39% off!
  • Billed annually
  • No expiration
  • For the normal price of 10 articles elsewhere, you get one full year of unlimited access to articles.



billed annually
Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial