A recombinant SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain expressed in an engineered fungal strain of Thermothelomyces heterothallica induces a functional immune response in mice

Laura Lazo (Corresponding Author), Monica Bequet-Romero, Gilda Lemos, Alexis Musacchio, Ania Cabrales, Andy J. Bruno, Luis Ariel Espinosa, Markku Saloheimo, Marika Vitikainen, Amalia Hernández, Mark Emalfarb, Ronen Tchelet, Edith Suzarte, Gerardo Guillén

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    Abstract

    Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the development of effective vaccines against this pathogen has been a priority for the scientific community. Several strategies have been developed including vaccines based on recombinant viral protein fragments. The receptor-binding domain (RBD) in the S1 subunit of S protein has been considered one of the main targets of neutralizing antibodies. In this study we assess the potential of a vaccine formulation based on the recombinant RBD domain of SARS-CoV-2 expressed in the thermophilic filamentous fungal strain Thermothelomyces heterothallica and the hepatitis B virus (HBV) core protein. Functional humoral and cellular immune responses were detected in mice. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the immune evaluation of a biomedical product obtained in the fungal strain T. heterothallica. These results together with the intrinsic advantages of this expression platform support its use for the development of biotechnology products for medical purpose.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1162-1169
    Number of pages8
    JournalVaccine
    Volume40
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2022
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Keywords

    • C1
    • COVID
    • Immunogenicity
    • Protein
    • SARS CoV-2
    • Vaccine

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