Synthetic Fragments of the NS1 Protein of the Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus Exhibiting a Protective Effect

T. D. Volkova1 #, D. O. Koroev1, M. A. Titova1, M. B. Oboznaya1, M. P. Filatova1, M. F. Vorovich2, S. V. Ozherelkov2, A. V. Timofeev2 and O. M. Volpina1

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1Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Miklukho-Maklaya 16/10, Moscow, 117997, Russia;
2Chumakov Institute of Poliomyelitis and Viral Encephalitides, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow, Russia

Received: June 13, 2006; in final form: September 18, 2006

Abstract.  Potentially immunoactive regions of the NS1 nonstructural protein of the tick-borne encephalitis virus that can stimulate the antibody formation in vivo and protect animals from this disease were chosen on the basis of theoretical calculations. Eleven 16-to 27-aa peptides containing the chosen regions were synthesized. The ability of the free peptides (without any high-molecular-mass carrier) to stimulate the production of antipeptide antibodies in mice of three lines and ensure the formation of protective immunity was studied. Most of these peptides were shown to exhibit the immunogenic activity in a free state. Five fragments that can protect mice from the infection by a lethal dose of tick-borne encephalitis virus were found.

Key words:  B epitopes, immunogenicity, NS1 nonstructural protein, protectivity, synthetic peptides, T helper epitopes, tick-borne encephalitis virus

Russian Journal of Bioorganic Chemistry 2007, 33 (2): 213-217