We hypothesize that in vitro assembly of antigens (Ags) on bacteriophage T4 can be developed as a common platform for construction of next generation multivalent biodefense vaccines. The major goal of this proposal is to test this hypothesis and develop trivalent plague and multivalent plague-anthrax vaccines that can confer protection against Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis, two Category A biodefense pathogens. We have developed a defined in vitro system to array large foreign Ags at high density on phage T4 nanoparticle (120 x 86 nm). Full-length anthrax toxins, as large as 90kDa, are fused to the two non-essential phage T4 outer capsid proteins, Soc (small outer capsid protein;870 copies) and Hoc (highly antigenic outer capsid protein;155 copies), over-expressed in E. coli, purified to homogeneity, and displayed on hoc_soc_ capsid through in vitro binding. Multiple Ags and large hetero-oligomeric complexes can be displayed to saturation and the copy number can be controlled. The spatially exposed and symmetrically arrayed T4-rPA particles are highly immunogenic without any adjuvant, eliciting strong PA-specific and lethal toxin neutralizing Antibody (Ab) titers, conferring complete protection to rabbits against 100 LD50 B. anthracis Ames spore challenge. The best vaccine formulations are being tested in a preclinical trial using rhesus macaques. Combining our biochemical, molecular genetic, structural, and aerosol challenge expertise, strategies are designed to develop a novel trivalent T4-plague vaccine comprised of three Yersinia Ags, the capsular Ag, Caf1, the low calcium response V Ag, LcrV, and the Yersinia secretory complex factor, YscF. Inclusion of YscF, a highly conserved needle-forming subunit of type III secretion system that is essential to all virulent Yersinia species, is expected to generate a superior and broadly effective trivalent plague vaccine. The structural disposition and copy number of the capsid-bound plague Ags will be optimized. Combinations of T4-plague Ags, adjuvants, route of delivery (including skin patch), will be tested for Ab and cellular immune responses and protection against challenge with the capsular strain Y. pestis CO92, one of the most lethal plague strains. Efficacy of protection will be assessed in a new Brown Norway rat aerosol challenge model. The best T4-anthrax and T4-plague vaccines will be combined to create a novel multivalent anthrax-plague vaccine. The efficacy of this vaccine for protection against both inhalation anthrax and pneumonic plague will be tested in rhesus macaque aerosol challenge in model.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Research Project--Cooperative Agreements (U01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAI1-BLG-M (J2))
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Zou, Lanling
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Catholic University of America
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Tao, Pan; Li, Qin; Shivachandra, Sathish B et al. (2017) Bacteriophage T4 as a Nanoparticle Platform to Display and Deliver Pathogen Antigens: Construction of an Effective Anthrax Vaccine. Methods Mol Biol 1581:255-267
Tao, Pan; Mahalingam, Marthandan; Rao, Venigalla B (2016) Highly Effective Soluble and Bacteriophage T4 Nanoparticle Plague Vaccines Against Yersinia pestis. Methods Mol Biol 1403:499-518
Tao, Pan; Mahalingam, Marthandan; Kirtley, Michelle L et al. (2013) Mutated and bacteriophage T4 nanoparticle arrayed F1-V immunogens from Yersinia pestis as next generation plague vaccines. PLoS Pathog 9:e1003495
Tao, Pan; Mahalingam, Marthandan; Marasa, Bernard S et al. (2013) In vitro and in vivo delivery of genes and proteins using the bacteriophage T4 DNA packaging machine. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 110:5846-51
Fokine, Andrei; Islam, Mohammad Z; Zhang, Zhihong et al. (2011) Structure of the three N-terminal immunoglobulin domains of the highly immunogenic outer capsid protein from a T4-like bacteriophage. J Virol 85:8141-8
Rao, Mangala; Peachman, Kristina K; Li, Qin et al. (2011) Highly effective generic adjuvant systems for orphan or poverty-related vaccines. Vaccine 29:873-7
Sathaliyawala, Taheri; Islam, Mohammad Z; Li, Qin et al. (2010) Functional analysis of the highly antigenic outer capsid protein, Hoc, a virus decoration protein from T4-like bacteriophages. Mol Microbiol 77:444-55