Clinical and vaccine immunology : CVI

Expression of a functional single-chain variable-fragment antibody against complement receptor 1 in Streptococcus gordonii.

PMID 18385459


Streptococcus gordonii, an oral commensal organism, is a candidate vector for oral-vaccine development. Previous studies have shown that recombinant S. gordonii expressing heterologous antigens was weakly immunogenic when delivered intranasally. In this study, antigen was specifically targeted to antigen-presenting cells (APC) in order to potentiate antigen-APC interactions and increase the humoral immune response to the antigen. To achieve this goal, a single-chain variable-fragment (scFv) antibody against complement receptor 1 (CR1) was constructed. Anti-CR1 scFv purified from Escherichia coli was able to bind to mouse mixed lymphocytes and bone marrow-derived dendritic cells. The in vivo function of the anti-CR1 scFv protein was assessed by immunizing mice intranasally with soluble scFv and determining the immune response against the hemagglutinin (HA) peptide located on the carboxy terminus of the scFv. The serum anti-HA immunoglobulin G (IgG) immune response was dose dependent; as little as 100 ng of anti-CR1 scFv induced a significant IgG immune response, while such a response was minimal when the animals were given an unrelated scFv. The anti-CR1 scFv was expressed in S. gordonii as a secreted protein, which was functional, as it bound to dendritic cells. Mice orally colonized by the anti-CR1-secreting S. gordonii produced an anti-HA IgG immune response, indicating that such an approach can be used to increase the immune response to antigens produced by this bacterium.