Una emisora para todos los momentos de la vida

Una emisora para todos los momentos de la vida

Radio Enciclopedia

Varias locutoras y técnicas de Radio Enciclopedia (Foto: Radio Enciclopedia/Twitter)

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La música de Radio Enciclopedia nos hizo adultos que querían escapar de casa cuanto antes. Para encontrarnos con otros cubanos entre las calles y sobre las camas de Cuba en Revolución.

ORLANDO LUIS PARDO LAZO

 LUNES, 31 DE ENERO, 2022 4:03 PM

en ENTRETENIMIENTOOPINIÓN

SAINT LOUIS, Estados Unidos. – No lo sabíamos, pero era verdad. Radio Enciclopedia iba a ser una emisora para todos los momentos de la vida.

Todavía ignorábamos que nuestras vidas tendrían momentos, capas de cuerpos sobre cuerpos sobre cuerpos. Un amasijo de amores que nos iría mutilando el alma hasta vaciarla. Hasta que la vida misma se nos convirtiera precisamente en eso: un momento. Uno más, entre los miles de momentos inolvidables que a inicios de 2022 ninguno de los cubanos ha podido olvidar.

La música de Radio Enciclopedia nos hizo adultos que querían escapar de casa cuanto antes. Para encontrarnos con otros cubanos entre las calles y sobre las camas de Cuba en Revolución. Y, a la vez, era una música que no nos dejaba del todo crecer, a medio camino entre una dictadura y una democracia imaginarias. Una música que nos aferraba a ciertos acordes de vinilos y ciertos timbres de voz de las locutoras, entumeciendo de por vida nuestras juventudes de isla solitaria.

Todavía hoy nos resulta inconcebible una vejez pasada por la música instrumental ligera. Por eso todavía hoy en Radio Enciclopedia encontramos un rayito de esperanza en la eternidad. Oír para siempre. Tristes o mutilados, pero oyendo para siempre las ondas invisibles de la Calle N. Estar aquí. Ser allí.

Electromagnetismo salpicado del salitre del malecón. La luna como un espejo hecho añicos para rebotar al resto del Planeta Cuba su sagrada señal. CMBQ, en la clave de los 1260 KHz AM y los 94.1 FM. En verdad os digo: nuestra biología está marcada por esa torre de transmisión.

Metidos hasta el ombligo en el primer cuarto del siglo XXI, en nuestras noches de exilio solo Radio Enciclopedia nos alivia la trancazón del pecho, los pómulos y la garganta. Se llama angustia. Se llama sobrevivir, mientras el mundo se va deforestando de las personas y paisajes que conocimos. Se llama irnos convirtiendo en historia antigua, según el porvenir nos diezma por inercia en tanto audiencia radial.

Imagino el día en que en la cabina de Radio Enciclopedia muera la última de sus locutoras nocturnas. Para entonces, ya hará mucho que habrá muerto también su ejército de enamorados a ciegas. Imagino ese instante de intensidad ilimitada.

El disco de Francis Lai o Franck Pourcel correrá entonces hasta su última pista, arañado por la aguja sin retorno de una generación desaparecida: la nuestra. La que cruzó sin darse cuenta del segundo al tercer milenio, perdiendo la eufonía de los mil novecientos algo. La que escapó para siempre queriendo haberse quedado en casa, sintonizando también para siempre un radiecito de pilas en medio del apagón de las décadas. La que iba a ver la libertad de una Cuba que nunca existió.

La torre del ICRT se doblará acaso como si fuera de latón, por el peso de la pena y el óxido del silencio. Sus parabólicas se inclinarán solemnes, pendulando al viento del mar sobre una Habana sin testigos, pero al menos ya sin terror.

Ave, Radio Enciclopedia. Luto de lujo. Los cubanos que quedamos te acompañan en tu cadalso de ilusión insular.

Adiós, Cuba milagrosa de los micrófonos sin letra. Adiós, Cuba inculta cargada de cultura por los cuatro costados.

Si alguna identidad tuvimos los cubanos jamás, ha de pasar por una de esas madrugadas de insomnio analógico. Antológico. Siglos antes de la Encarta y de tu inverosímil versión en internet.

‘Nacida en Cuba’: el apartheid de United Airlines

OPINIÓN

‘Nacida en Cuba’: el apartheid de United Airlines

‘Gracias a la cobardía de las democracias y a un capitalismo cómplice del castrismo global, la mayoría de las empresas e instituciones del mundo libre son aliadas del apartheid contra los ciudadanos cubanos.’

ORLANDO LUIS PARDO LAZO

Nueva Jersey 14 Ago 2017

Mi madre regresa a Cuba desde EEUU. Estaba de visita conmigo por unas semanas. Aunque no sea su caso, como todos los cubanos exiliados de por vida por la dictadura de Castro, mi madre nació en Cuba, por lo que su nacionalidad cubana no puede expirar jamás.

Por supuesto, esto no lo reconoce el régimen castrista. O, mucho peor, sí lo reconoce, pero de la manera más perversa posible: discriminando contra todos y cada uno de los millones de exiliados cubanos, los que no pueden viajar libremente a Cuba, como tampoco pueden residir de manera permanente en su propio país.

Gracias a la cobardía de las democracias sin decencia y a un capitalismo cómplice del castrismo global, la mayoría de las empresas e instituciones del mundo libre son aliadas del apartheid planetario contra los ciudadanos cubanos. Por ejemplo, las compañías de aviación.

En el caso de mi madre, la muy norteamericana United Airlines marca a los pasajeros cubanos como si fueran animales. Nada más ver que su pasaporte es cubano (tal como la dictadura cubana nos obliga a viajar, desconociendo cualquier otra nacionalidad), la funcionaria de United Airlines se pone en guardia como una miliciana:

1) le impide a mi madre obtener su pasaje de manera automática con las máquinas dispuestas para ese fin en el aeropuerto de Newark, New Jersey

2) la obliga a mostrar, a lo largo de la cola, una especie de grillete de cartón que dice en letras gigantes que ella es NACIDA EN CUBA.

Así es cómo la compañía aérea United Airlines, tal vez por órdenes o por un soborno del Gobierno de Cuba, humilla a todos los ciudadanos cubanos que le pagan sus boletos para viajar a su propio país. United Airlines marca como bestias a los cubanos en EEUU, tal como no podría marcar a los mexicanos o judíos o islámicos o negros o homosexuales (puede incluso que ni a los animales los pueda marcar de manera tan obscena), porque eso sería anticonstitucional en EEUU.

Pero, gracias al pacto secreto del Partido Demócrata con la dictadura cubana, sellado entre el general Raúl Castro y el presidente Barack Obama no en 2016 sino acaso desde 2012, los cubanos somos menos ciudadanos que nadie no solamente en Cuba, sino ahora también en EEUU, tal como ya éramos menos que ciudadanos en el resto del mundo.

Las compañías aéreas siguen siendo los soldados (voluntarios o a sueldo del castrismo) que impiden que los cubanos con pasaporte cubano viajen a Cuba, si el Gobierno de la Isla no les da primero a cada uno la infame habilitación de un permiso de entrada.

El cartelito con que United Airlines convirtió en una payasa o en una plebeya a mi madre en pleno verano de 2017 significa exactamente eso: el día que la dictadura cubana le quite el privilegio de viajar a mi madre, ella con su grillete de cartón NACIDA EN CUBA sería entonces discriminada en EEUU y expulsada de los aviones de United Airlines.

El castrismo nos exiló a la fuerza. Pero eso es lo de menos. Son United Airlines y decenas de miles de compañías norteamericanas las que rentablemente convertirán a ese exilio en un ghetto de desaparecidos.

Los cubanos no tenemos derecho a existir. Porque esa es la única garantía de sobrevivencia para el neocastrismo: que los cubanos no seamos personas ya no solamente en Cuba, sino tampoco en el resto (los restos) del mundo libre.

Pobre Cuba. Pobres EEUU. La justicia tardó tanto que nunca llegó. Dentro y fuera de la tiranía cubana, las víctimas (que somos todos, incluso los verdugos) están condenadas a un limbo no legal, sino de legitimidad. Los cubanos somos desaparecidos por partida doble.

Patente de vacuna anti-Dengue virus

https://patents.justia.com/patent/6383488

Pre-M/M epitopes of dengue virus, synthetic peptides, chimeric proteins and their use

Oct 14, 1999

The present invention relates to five synthetic peptides of pre-M/M protein of Dengue-2 virus, corresponding to amino acid sequences 3-31, 45-67, 57-92, 69-93 and 103-124. The anti-peptide immune response was evaluated in mice. Recombinant fusion proteins were also obtained, including regions of pre-M/M protein. The presence of B cell epitopes in both mice and humans was demonstrated in the pre-M/M protein peptides. Peptides 3-31 and 103-124 elicited neutralizing antibodies against the four serotypes of Dengue virus. Virus-specific proliferative responses were demonstrated in mice immunized with non-conjugated peptides 3-31 and 57-92. Mice immunized with conjugated peptides 3-31, 57-92, and 69-93 were protected when they were challenged with Dengue-2 virus. Thus, the presence of sequential epitopes in Pre-M/M protein of Dengue-2 virus was demonstrated, as well as their relevance in the immune response against this flavivirus.

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Description

CROSS REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a 371 national stage entry of PCT/CU98/00001 filed Jan. 13, 1998.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is in the field of biotechnology and relates to recombinant DNA techniques, in particular to the production of synthetic peptides coding for pre-M/M protein of Dengue virus serotype 2 and chimeric proteins which contain epitopes of pre-M/M protein of Dengue virus serotype 2 and 4.

The technical objective is to identify Pre-M/M neutralizing and protective epitopes, cross reactive for all dengue virus serotypes to obtain an immunogen for human vaccination.

BACKGROUND

Dengue virus belongs to the Flavivirus genus, family Flaviviridae (Westaway, E. G. et al. 1985. Flaviviridae. Intervirol. 24 p.183). It is an enveloped virus with a single RNA chain of positive polarity as genetic material, which codes for a polyprotein processed co- and post-transductionally by cellular and viral proteases.

There are two structural proteins in the viral membrane: E (envelope) and M (membrane), while there are several copies of the other structural protein, C (capside) forming the isometric nucleocapside. Besides, at least seven non-structural proteins have been identified (NS1, NS2a, NS2b, NS3, NS4a, NS4b, NS5).

Glycoproteins E and NS1 are individually able to offer active and passive protection against the homologous serotype of Dengue virus, while the highly conformational complexity of the relevant epitopes is preserved. For this reason, recombinant eukaryotic cellular systems have been mainly selected for the immunological evaluation of these proteins, for example vaccinia virus (Bray, M. et al. 1989. Mice immunized with recombinant Vaccinia virus expressing dengue-4 structural proteins with or without nonstructural protein NS1 are protected against fatal dengue virus encephalitis. J. Virol. 63 p.2853) and baculovirus (Zhang, Y. M. et al. 1988. Immunization of mice with dengue structural proteins and nonstructural protein NS1 expressed by baculovirus recombinant induces resistance to dengue virus encephalitis. J. Virol. 62 p.3027).

The small protein M (8 kDa) is synthesized like a glycosylated precursor named pre-M (22 kDa approximately), which suffers a late endoproteolitic cleavage just before or after the liberation of the virus of the infected cell (Murray, J. M. et al. 1993. Processing of the dengue virus type 2 proteins prM and C-prM. J. Gen. Virol. 74 p.175). The cleavage, which is probably done by a cellular protease, seems to happen in the post-Golgi acidic vesicles, being inhibited by agents that destabilized the low pH of this vesicles (Randolph, V. B. et al. 1990. Adidotropic amines inhibit proteolytic processing of Flavivirus prM protein. Virol. 174 p.450). The fragment pre- has been identified in vitro only in the extracellular medium, its destiny in vivo remains unknown (Murray, J. M. et al. 1993. Processing of the dengue virus type 2 proteins prM and C-prM. J. Gen. Virol. 74 p.175).

It is thought that the function of pre-M/M during the Flavivirus exocytic via is to avoid the activation of the fusogenic membrane domain of E with the acidic pH of the environment (Randolph, V. B. et al. 1990. Acidotropic amines inhibit proteolytic processing of Flavivirus prM protein. Virol. 174 p.450); if this event happens, then the viral liberation will be prevented. In fact, it has been determined that pre-M and E interact in the immature intracellular virions (Wengler, G. y Wengler, G. 1989. Cell-associated West Nile flavivirus is covered with E+pre-M protein heterodimers which are destroyed and reorganized by proteolytic cleavage during virus release. J. Virol. 63 p.2521), and that the native conformation of E it is only acquired in the presence of pre-M (Konishi, E. y Mason, P. W. 1993. Proper maturation of the Japanese encephalitis virus envelope glycoprotein requires cosynthesis with the premembrane protein. J. Virol. 67 p.1672). In addition, already liberated virions that only have pre-M in their membranes show, in general, a lower infectivity than the completely mature virion (Wengler, G. y Wengler, G. 1989. Cell-associated West Nile flavivirus is covered with E+pre-M protein heterodimers which are destroyed and reorganized by proteolytic cleavage during virus release. J. Virol. 63 p.2521), in which although M and pre-M are present, the former is predominant.

Pre-M and M offer an active protection when they have been expressed in recombinant vaccinia virus, but this do not happen with the fragment pre- (Bray, M. y Lai, C.-J. 1991. Dengue virus premembrane and membrane proteins elicit a protective immune response. Virol. 185 p.505), besides the combination pre-M or M with glycoprotein E in the same recombinant Vaccinia virus gives in general levels of protection higher than those reached by each protein individually. Similarly, certain antibodies against pre-M/M are able to protect passively in mice (Kaufman, B. M. et al. 1989. Monoclonal antibodies for dengue virus prM glycoprotein protect mice against lethal dengue infection. Am J. Trop. Med. & Hyg. 41 p.576).

The use of synthetic peptides has allowed to establish the molecular basis of antigenicity according to spacial conformation and the immunological properties of the antigen involved [Arnon, R. y Sela, M. 1985. Synthetic Vaccines: present and future. Ann. Inst. Pasteur/Immunol 136 D, 271-282]. The synthetic peptides as anti-dengue vaccine subunits will allow to include in the final formulation only the protective epitopes that do not cause immune-amplification (Halstead, S. B., y O’Ruourke, E. J. 1977. Dengue viruses and mononuclear phagocytes. I. Infection enhancement by non-neutralizing antibody. J. Exp. Med. 146 p.201; Halstead, S. B. 1979. In vivo enhancement of dengue virus infection in rhesus monkeys by passively transferred antibody. J. Infect. Dis. 140 p.527), or altematively, to include protective peptides of each of the four serotypes. The characterization of the antigenic determinants of E and NS1 has been carried out successfully. However, there are no similar studies on the also important protein pre-M/M, that is why the results of this paper are a first step on that direction.

The efforts to express the flaviviral protein pre M, M and E in E. coli have not always been successful (Chambers, T. J. et al. 1990. Production of yellow fever virus proteins in infected cells: identification of discrete polyprotein species and analysis of cleavage kinetics using region-specific polyclonal antiserum. Virol. 177 p.159; Yan, B.-S. et al. 1994. Truncating the putative membrane association region circumvents the difficulty of expressing hepatitis C virus protein E1 in Escherichia coli. J. Virol. Meths. 49 p.343). Apparently, the hydrophobic regions these protein have in C-terminal are the cause of the low or undetectable heterologous expression levels (Yan, B.-S. et al. 1994. Truncating the putative membrane association region circumvents the difficulty of expressing hepatitis C virus protein E1 in Escherichia coli. J. Virol. Meths. 49 p.343).

The expression of those proteins (as well as NS1) in E.coli, in general have been obtained by fusion (fragmented or not) to other bacterial proteins (e.g. b -galactosidase (Cane, P. A. y Gould, E. A. 1988. Reduction of yellow fever mouse neurovirulence by immunization with a bacterially synthesized non-structural protein (NS1) fragment. J. Gen. Virol. 69 p.1241), TRPE (Megret, F. et al. 1992. Use of recombinant fusion proteins and monoclonal antibodies to define linear and discontinuous antigenic sites on the Dengue envelope glycoprotein. Virol. 187 p.480) and the protein A of Staphylococcus aureus (Murray, J. M. et al. 1993. Processing of the dengue virus type 2 proteins prM and C-prM. J. Gen. Virol. 74 p.175). In these fusion proteins most of the relevant conformational epitopes are absent, because though the antisera generated against them can recognize the whole virus, they are not able neither to neutralize it nor to inhibit their hemagglutinating properties (Megret, F. et al. 1992. Use of recombinant fusion proteins and monoclonal antibodies to define linear and discontinuous antigenic sites on the Dengue envelope glycoprotein. Virol. 187 p.480). However, recent reports show that the solubility of the fusion proteins, and as a consequence, the use of non-denaturalizing methods for its purification, may preserve most of the neutralizing (Seif, S. A. et al. 1995. Finer mapping of neutralizing epitope(s) on the C-terminal of Japanese encephalitis virus E-protein expressed in recombinant Escherichia coli system. Vaccine 13 p.1515) and protective (Srivastava, A. K. et al. 1995. Mice immunized with a dengue type 2 virus E and NS1 fusion protein made in Escherichia coli are protected against lethal dengue virus infection. Vaccine 13 p.1251) epitopes they possess.

In the case of pre-M/M, its pre-domain has 6 cysteines involved in 3 disulfide bridges, as well as an N-glycosylation site in the asparagine 69. The structure of E and NS1 is even more complicated; it involves 6 disulfide bridges and several N-glycosylation sites. However, the little ectodomain of M is apparently free of those conformational complexities because it does not have cysteines, and it is not glycosylated in its natural form.

The insertion of heterologous fragments in permissive areas of immunogenic proteins which topology is more or less known and immunization of these fusions is a complementary alternative to the use of synthetic peptides. Both strategies allow defining the presence of sequential B cell, as well as T cell epitopes. The biological importance of these epitopes could be experimentally evaluated to decide where to include them or not in certain vaccine preparation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention, provides synthetic peptides of Dengue virus preM/M protein comprising amino acids 3-11 (Sequence ID No.:1), 45-67 (Sequence ID No.:2), 57-92 (Sequence ID No.:3) 69-93 (Sequence ID No.:4) and 103-124 (Sequence ID No.:5) that include at least one opitope that is cross reactive with any Dengue virus serotype; and mimetic compounds thereof.

Also provided are diagnostic tests and pharmaceutical formulations that include the above peptides or mimetic compounds useful in the detection and prophylaxis or treatment of flavivirus infections.

The invention further provides antibodies and antibody fragments that specifically bind the Dengue virus preM/M protein comprising amino acids 3-31 (Sequence ID No.:1), 45-67 (Sequence ID No.:2), 57-92 (Sequence ID No.:3), 69-93 (Sequence ID No.:4) and 103-124 (Sequence ID No.:5) that include at least one epitope that is cross reactive with any Dengue virus scrotype. Vaccine and therapeutic preparations that include these antibodies are also provided.

Further, the invention provides genetic constructs that include amino acid sequences that include epitopes of pre-M/M from Dengue virus serotypes 2 and 4, fused to a carrier protein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Five peptides from Pre-M/M protein of Dengue 2 virus which cover 58% of the aminoacid sequence (97/166 AA) were chemically synthesized. They were 3-31; 45-67; 57-92; 69-93; and 103-124, which were subsequently named B 19-6; B 20-2; B 19-5; B 20-1; B 20-3 respectively.

Peptides were inoculated in Balb/c mice both conjugated or not to a carrier protein. The sera obtained after immunization with the conjugated peptides were tested by in vitro neutralization by reducing the number of plaques and by ELISA. We also studied the active protection against a Dengue 2 viral challenge in the immunized mice.

In the case of mice immunized with the non-conjugated peptides, the antibody response was evaluated by ELISA and the proliferative response of spleen T lymphocytes against Dengue 2 virus was evaluated too. Fusion proteins were also obtained, and two of the four regions covered by peptides (1-42 and 92-133) were inserted to them and were expressed in E.coli bacteria. Immunization with these fusions will complement the results obtained with the synthetic peptides.

The presence of B cell epitopes in both mice and humans was demonstrated as the peptides were recognized by antibodies from the immunized mice and by sera from patients who had the clinical and serological diagnosis of Dengue virus, using ELISA in both cases. Peptides 19-6 and 20-3 were able to induce neutralizing antibody production against the four Dengue virus serotypes.

Virus-specific proliferative responses were demonstrated in mice immunized with non-conjugated peptides 19-6 and 19-5. Mice immunized with conjugated peptides 19-6, 20-1, and 19-5 showed a statistically significative level of protection when they were challenged with Dengue 2 virus.

Thus, the presence of sequential epitopes in Pre-M/M protein of Dengue virus 2 was demonstrated, as well as their relevance in the immune response against these flaviviruses.

EXAMPLES

Example 1

Prediction of Antigenic Regions and of T-cells Epitopes of Pre-M/M Protein of Dengue Virus

Different theoretical methods were applied to predict the antigenic regions in the pre-M/M protein of D2 virus. These regions are those more likely to be recognized by antibodies obtained against the viral proteins, as well as to generate antibodies that recognized the original proteins. Some methods to predict T-cell epitopes were applied. Five initial peptides that have possible B- and T-cell epitopes were found (4 in pre- and 1 in M). The study of the antigenic structure of these proteins and the experimental determination of possible immunologically important peptides was based on this finding.

1.1 Predictions of Humoral Amino Acid

Methods used to predict the antigenicity were based on the aminoacidic sequence, since neither the three dimensional structure of the pre-M/M protein of Dengue virus has been determined experimentally, nor is there a significant similarity at sequence level with any protein of known three dimensional structure.

The A 15 strain of Dengue 2 isolated in Cuba in 1981 (Kour, G. et al. 1986. Hemorrhagic dengue in Cuba: history of an epidemic. Bull. P.A.H.O 20 p.24) was used to accomplish this example. The potentially antigenic regions were selected according to the following criteria:

a) regions of high antigenic propension according to different prediction methods based on hydrophilicity (Hoop, T. P. y Woods, K. R. 1981. Prediction of protein antigenic determinants from amino acid sequences. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 78 p.3824; Parker, J. M. R. et al. 1986. New hydrophility sale derived from HPLC peptide retention data: correlation of predicted surface residues with antigenicity and X-ray derived accessible sites. Biochemistry 25 p.5425), flexibility (Karplus, P. A. y Schultz, G. E. 1985. Prediction of chain flexibility in proteins. A tool for the selection of peptide antigens. Naturwissenschaften 72 p.212) and accessibility (Emini, E. A. et al. 1985. Induction of hepatitis A virus-neutralizing antibody by a virus specific synthetic peptide. J. Virol. 55 p.836).

b) regions with high possibility of forming loops and turns according to predictions of secondary structure that use PHD (Rost, B. y Sander, C. 1993. Prediction of protein secondary structure at better than 70% accuracy. J. Mol. Biol. 232 p.584; Rost, B. y Sander, C. 1994. Combining evolutionary information and neural networks to predict protein secondary structure. Proteins 19 p.55; Rost, B. y Sander, C. 1994. Conservation and prediction of solvent accessibility in protein families. Proteins 20 p.216).

c) regions of high variability that include or not insertion/suppressions in respect to other flaviviruses, as well as potential regions of glycosylation in other flaviviruses that are used or not in Dengue virus.

A. Antigenicity Profiles

FIG. 1 shows the profiles that are obtained when applying to the pre- and M segments 4 properties of the amino acids related to the antigenicity.

In the pre- region there are high hydrophilicity and accessibility values in the regions that have the residues 6-9, 16-21, 28-31, 42-47, 58-65 and 82-91. It is remarkable the existence of a vast hydrophobic region between the residues 41-76, which corresponds to the transmembrane helices that are thought not to be exposed to the immune system. In the little ectodomain of M (residues 1-40) the region of major hydrophilicity/accessibility goes between 13-31 amino acids, especially at its beginning (AA 13-16).

B. Predictions of Secondary Structure

FIG. 2 shows the predictions of secondary structure and accessibility of the pre- and M segments according to PHD program. The results of the predictions show that many potentially antigenic regions (according to the profiles of FIG. 1) are predisposed to form loops/b-turns with exposed residues in the surface of the protein. It is predicted the formation of transmembrane helices for the region between aminoacids 41-76 of protein M, and this matches with the hydrophobic character of this region and suggests that the antigenic peptides of M are mainly in the ectodomain (1-40).

a. Alignments of sequences of protein pre- and M of Dengue and other Flavivirus. Variability and glycosylation.

In general, regions that are not exposed to the solvent have a bigger conservation in the family of homologous proteins. Therefore, regions of higher variability have a higher probability to be exposed.

In the case of viruses, variability is also an escape mechanism for the immunological pressure; of course this does not exclude that some conserved regions might be antigenic or that there could be conserved regions in the surface.

The analysis of sequences of regions pre- and M of 15 isolates of the 4 serotypes of Dengue virus shows that at least the 69% of the residues are strictly conserved. The more important variable residues are in the positions 28-30, 55-59, 69-72 and 80-83 of pre-, as well as in 27-30 of M. In general; these zones match the maximum of antigenic profiles of FIG. 1.

The comparison of the sequences of these regions in more than 30 flaviviral isolates shows that the region 1-33 of pre is highly variable, with possible loops predisposed to insertions/suppressions (in the positions 8 and 30) and several potential sites of N-glycosylation. On the contrary, the variability is lower in the domain 33-91 of pre-; there are several positions strictly conserved in all flaviviruses, for example: 6 cysteins forming of 3 disulfide bridges, at least 5 add residues in the region 4045, as well as the basic sequence 87-91, after which the endoproteolytic cleavage occurs just before or during the liberation of the mature virus. (FIG. 3)

Asn-69, conserved residue in the antigenic Dengue complex has the only N-glycosylation of pre-M/M protein of the complex. However, in the Flaviviridae family this region is in a possible exposed loop of high variability. At the same time the pre-M/M residues of Dengue virus that match the potential N-glycosylation sites in other Flavivirus (for example, AA 14 in JE, SLE, MVE YF and AA 32 in LI, LAN, YF TBE) are b-turns close to zones considered as antigenic.

1.2 Prediction of T Cell Epitopes

The prediction was done by two independent methods: the Rothbard and Taylor pattern method (Rothbard, J. B. y Taylor, W. R. 1988. A sequence pattern common to T-cell epitopes. EMBO J. 7 p.93.) and the determination of fragments with propensity to form alpha-helix structures (AMPHI 7 and 11) (Margalit, H. et al. 1987. Prediction of immunodominant helper T cell antigenic sites from the primary sequence. J. Immunol. 138 p.2213.). Results are shown in FIG. 4.

1.3 Peptides Proposed for the Identification of Relevant Epitopes

The determination of neutralizing and protective peptides in general is very important for the development of more efficient vaccines, and peptides from regions of high antigenic propension are very useful for their identification; especially of those of linear nature.

Table 1 shows a set of peptides that include regions predisposed to have B and T cell epitopes (according to the several predictive methods used in this example) of pre-M/M protein of D2 virus. If the validity of that prediction is demonstrated experimentally, the immunological important epitopes of each region will be placed accurately by the design of low size peptides in each of them.TABLE 1 Antigenic peptides proposed in pre-M/M protein of Dengue virus. CODE SEQUENCE REGION B 19-6 (SEQ ID NO: 1) LTTRNGEPHMIVMRQEKGKSLLFKTGDGV 3-31 B 20-2 (SEQ ID NO: 2) CEDTITYKCPLLRQNEPEDIDCW 45-67 B 19-5 (SEQ ID NO: 3) RQNEPEDIDCWCNSTSTWVTYGTCTTTGEHRREKRS 57-92 B 20-1 (SEQ ID NO: 4) NSTSTWVTYGTCTTTGEHRREKRSV 69-93 B 20-3 (SEQ ID NO:5) LETRTETWMSSEGAWKHAQRIE 103-124

Example 2

Chemical Synthesis of Oligopeptides and Oligonucleotides

1. Synthesis of Oligopeptides

All peptides were synthesized using a Boc-strategy in solid phase on the p-methyl-benzhydrilamine resin (resin MBHA, BACHEM, Switzerland).

The protected amino acids were offered by BACHEM. The protection of reactive groups of the amino acid chain was: Arg (Tos), Asp (OBzl), Cys (4-Me-Bzl), Glu (OBzl), Lys (2-CI-Z), Trp (CHO), Tyr (Cl2-Bzl), Thr (Bzl). Asn, Gin and Pro were used without protection in the lateral chains.

Discarding of the Boc-amino protective group was carried out using 37.5% trifluoracetic acid in dichloromethane. Activation with diisipropyl-carbodiimide (DIC) in situ was used for the coupling reaction of each residue, except for amino acids Asn and Gln, which were activated using DIC and 1-hydroxybenzotriazole in N,N-dimethylformide.

Final desprotection and peptide liberation of the resin was accomplished in special equipment. The procedure used is known as Low-High HF.

During the first part of the procedure (Low HF), the protected-resin system was treated with HF (25%): DMS (65%): p-cresol (10%) during 120 minutes at 0. The mixture was replaced by HF (25%): DMS (60%): EDT (10%): p-cresol (5%) in the case of Trp-containing peptides. Subsequently, the resin-peptide was washed several times with diethyl ether, dichloromethane and 2-propanol, and was vacuum-dried.

During the second part of the procedure (High HF), the resin-peptide was treated with HF (90%): anizole (10%) during 60 minutes at 0.

The raw product was washed with ether, then was extracted with 30% acetic in water and finally was lyophilized.

Peptides were characterized by RP-HPLC in a BAKER C-18 (4.6×100 mm) column and by spectrometry of masses using FAB as ionization method in a JEOL HX-110 HF equipment.

The aminoacidic sequence as well as its location in the preM-M protein of Dengue virus is shown in Table 1.

2.2. Synthesis of Oligonucleotides

Oligonucleotides were automatically synthesized in the equipment Gene Assembler Plus, according to the phosphoramidite method.

The sequence of the six oligonucleotides is shown in Table 2.

Table 2. Sites Xba I and EcoR I that are created in each end for its later manipulation are underlined and double-underlined, respectively. The reading frame of the codified protein is defined by the triplets of bases.

Oligonucleotide

positionNucleotidic sequence 1) 5′ pre DEN-2 5′-TTT CTA GAT TTC CAT TTA ACC ACA CGT T-3′ 2) 3′ pre DEN-2 5′-T TTC TAG ACC AAG GTC CAT GGC CAT GAG-3′ 3) 5′ M DEN-2 5′-TTT CTA GAA TCA GTG GCA CTC GTT CCA CAT G-3′ 4) 3′ M DEN-2 5′-T TTC TAG AAA GCC TGG ATG TCT CAA GAT CCA-3′ 5) 5′ M DEN-4 5′-TTT CTA GAT TCA GTA GCT TTA ACA CCA C-3′ 6) 3′ M DEN-4 5′-T TGA ATT CGC GAA TCT TGG GTT TCT GAG-3′

Example 3

Coupling of Peptides to a Carrier Protein and Immunization Scheme

3.1 Coupling of Peptides to BSA

The coupling of peptides was performed as follows:

1. Activation of BSA: Drop by drop and with shaking, 80 ml of the bifunctional reagent m-maleimidobenzoyl-N-hydroxysuccinimide ester (MBS) 5 m g/ml in dimethylformamide, were added to a dissolution of 2.8 mg of bovine albumin fraction V (BSA) in 250 ml of PBS. Then, it was kept in agitation at room temperature during 30 minutes, and the mixture was passed through a PD10 column.

2. Coupling of the peptide to the activated BSA: a dissolution of 1 mg of peptide dissolved in 300 ml of PBS was added to the activated BSA solution drop by drop and with shaking. It was kept at room temperature during 3 hours, and concentration was determined by the Lowry method.

3.2 Immunization Scheme

The immunization scheme of peptides linked to BSA is the following:

FIG. 5 shows the proliferative response to Dengue 2 virus antigens of spoeen T cell from peptide-immunized mice.

Male Balb/c mice of 4-6 weeks old were immunized with 50 mg of the peptide-BSA conjugate intraperitoneally. In addition, two immunization schemes were performed, one with BSA and the other with PBS. A total of 4 inoculations were carried out, each of them 15 days apart. The Freund’s Complete Adjuvant was used in the first doses, and the Freund’s Incomplete Adjuvant in the others. A blood sample was extracted from the retro-orbital vein seven days after the last inoculation.

The obtained sera of each scheme were placed at −20 C. to be used later.

Example 4

In vitro Plaque-reduction Neutralization Test

Neutralization technique was carried out according to Morens (Morens, D. M. et al. 1985. Simplified plaque reduction neutralization assay for dengue viruses by semimicro methods in BHK-21 cells: Comparison of the BHK suspension test with standard plaque reduction neutralization. J. Clin. Microbiol. 22 p.250).

Dilutions of anti-peptide sera and of anti-BSA controls and negative sera from 1/10 to 1/640 were prepared. Each dilution of sera was put into contact with a dilution of the virus (strain A 15 of Dengue 2) having 15-20 PFU/50 ml.

The mixture was incubated at 37 C. during 1 hour. A total of 50 ml of each mixture were added in triplicate to BHK-21 cells in plates of 24 wells, and they were incubated in a CO2 incubator at 37 C. during 4 hours. Then, 0.5 ml of carboxymethylcellulose-containing medium were added, and it was incubated again for several days considering the viral serotype used. After these days tinction and the count of lysis plaques produced by the virus were carried out.

Titer was expressed in each case as the dilution at which it was obtained the 50% of plaque number reduction.

The results are shown in Table 3.TABLE 3 PRNT of the anti-peptide sera against 19-6 and 20-3. Anti-peptide neutralization titer for each serotype D1 D2 D3 D4 B 19-6 1/100 1/180 1/60 1/160 B 20-3 1/110 1/80  1/80 1/80 

Example 5

Identification of T Cell Epitopes

The presence of T cell epitopes in the peptides of pre-M was evaluated throughout the study of anti-peptide antibody response elicited in free peptides (non-conjugated) immunized mice. Primed animals demonstrated higher serum antibody production in response to a booster dose of antigen when compared to the response in naive animals. These results confirm the existence of B cell epitopes in these peptides and show that these sequences contains T cell epitopes, which are able to stimulate Th activity in vivo to improve the titers of antibody response.

Virus-specific proliferative responses of spleen T lymphocytes were demonstrated in peptide immunized BALB/c mice. T cells from 19-6 and 19-5 immunized mice proliferated in an in vitro blastogenesis assay when they were cultured with the dengue 2 virus. However, the 20-2 peptide did not elicit a significant proliferative response against the virus. It could contain a T cell cryptic epitope, being recognized in the free form of peptide but not like a result of the immunodominant epitopes presentation and processing of the virus in a natural infection.

Example 6

Protection Assay

Mice were challenged 7 days after the last immunization by intracraneal injection with an dilution of 1/2500 (corresponding to 100 LD50 lethal doses) of live, mouse-adapted dengue-2 virus (strain A15). Mice were observed for up to 21 days for morbidity and mortality. Data were tested for statistical significance using Fisher’s test. The percent survival in peptide immunized and control animals are shown in FIG. 6. The level of protection induced for the peptides 19-5, 19-6 and 20-1 was statistically significant (p<0,05).

Example 7

Indirect ELISA to Detect Anti-peptide Antibodies

Human Sera

Peptides 19-6, 20-1, 20-2, 20-3 were fixed to the plates in a 10 m g/ml concentration in coating buff they were incubated at 4 C. overnight Sera were added diluted 1/200 in PBS-Tween 20. Finally, total human /peroxidase anti-immunoglobuline conjugate was added, and subsequently, the substrate (orthophenylendiamine, H2O2, 0.05 M phosphate citrate buffer, pH 5) was added. The reading was carried out in an ELISA reader at 492 nm and the cut-off value for each peptide was determined.

The sera used were from subjects having viral clinical infection that was serologically diagnosed as Dengue by the techniques of Inhibition of the hemagglutination (Clarke, D. H. y Casals, J. 1958. Techniques for hemagglutination and hemagglutination—inhibition with Arthropod Borne Virus. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 7 p.561) and ELISA of inhibition (Vzquez, S., Fernndez, R. 1989. Utilizacin de un mtodo de ELISA de Inhibicin en el diagnstico serolgico de dengue. Rev. Cub. Med. Trop. 41(1) p18-26) for total anti-dengue antibodies.

The study induded 118 sera from patents of the epidemics occurred in Cuba 1981, Panama 1994 and Costa Rica 1994. Dengue virus 2 was isolated in these epidemics, besides serotype 1 and 4 in Costa Rica; they were classified according to the titers of inhibiting antibodies of hemagglutination in cases of primary and secondary infections.

The 46.6% of the sera were positive to the 4 peptides used. Percentages of positivity of 56.8%, 79.6%, 77.1% and 83.1% to peptides B 19-6, 20-1, 20-2, and 20-3 were obtained respectively.

The average of the reactivity index, calculated by the optical density quotient of the sample/cut-off value, for each peptide was 1.07, 1.52, 1.57 and 1.49 for each peptide.

Mouse Sera

The indirect ELISA used was as described above but using an anti-mouse Ig conjugated to peroxidase. Antibody titers obtained in the anti-peptides sera were generally above 1/10 000.

Example 8

Insertion of Pre-M/M Fragments in the P64k Protein of Neisseria meningitidis

In this example we expressed fragments of the pre-M/M protein of Dengue 2 (A 15 strain) and of Dengue 4 (814669 strain) (Zhao, B. et al. 1986. Cloning full-length dengue type 4 viral DNA sequences: analysis of genes coding for structural proteins. Virol. 155 p.77) inserted in a N. meningitidis protein previously characterized in our group (Silva, R. et al. 1992. Nucleotide sequence coding for an outer membrane protein from Neisseria meningitidis and use of said protein in vaccine preparations. European Patent 0 474 313, 1997): P64k, which have demonstrated to be highly immunogenic in several animal models. Besides, the level of expression of P64k in E. coli reaches more than 30% of the total protein of the bacteria.

P64k protein (64 kDa) of dimeric nature, has two functional domains in each subunit: one with lipoic acid-binding activity (1-100) and the other with lipoamide-dehydrogenase activity (117-594). Both have been identified as conformational domains relatively independent by crystallography of X-rays (Li de la Sierra, l. et al. 1994. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray investigation of a recombinant outer membrane protein from Neisseria meningitidis. J. Mol. Biol. 235 p.1154; Li de la Sierra, I. et al. 1997. Molecular structure of the lypoamide dehydrogenase domain of a surface antigen from Neisseria meningitidis. J. Mol. Biol. 269 p.129).

The former was selected (in the aminoacidic position 45) to perform the insertions of fragments 1-42 and 92-133 of pre-M/M, because this little domain is more exposed and does not seem to be involved in dimer-formation. This suggested that the global structure of the chimeric protein with respect to the natural P64k would be less altered than if an insertion site were made in the domain 117-594, which, in addition participates directly in the formation of the dimer.

The region coding for amino acids 44-53 (TLETDKATMD), which include the region of lipoic acid binding of the P64k gene used in the production of fusion proteins, was preliminary changed to TLDLEMD. This modification was carried out to avoid the recognition of P64k by the sera of patients having primary cirrhosis, who have self-antibodies against homologous epitopes present in the human dehydrolipoamide acetyltransferase mytochondrial (Tuaillon, N. et al. 1992. A lipoyl synthetic octadecapeptide of dihydrolipoamide acetyl transferase specifically recognized by anti-M2 autoantibodies in primary biliary cirrhosis. J. Immunol. 148 p.445).

The strategy to produce the two clones is explained below:

Fragments Pre-2, M-2 and M-4 were amplified by Polymerase Chain Reaction, using the combination of oligonucleotides 1 and 2, 3 and 4, and 5 and 6, respectively (see Table 2), and using pD-5 plasmid as template. This pD-5 plasmid includes a copy of preM/M gene from Dengue-2 virus (strain A-15) cloned into pBluescript vector (stratagene). DNA bands obtained in each case (120 bp) were digested with Xba I (Pre-2 and M-2) or Xba I/EcoR I (M-4), and they were cloned into the corresponding sites that were artificially created in position 135-145 of P64k gene, cloned into vector pM-92. Besides, a chimeric clone that include M-2 and M-4 bands in the already mentioned sites Xba I and EcoR I was generated by triple ligation. Recombinant clones bearing the inserts in the right orientation were identified by restriction analysis and DNA-sequencing.

The fusion proteins generated by clones of Pre-2 (pD31) SEQ ID NO.:6, M-2 (pD30) SEQ ID NO.:7, M-2/M-4 (pD33) SEQ ID NO.:9, and M-4 (pD34) SEQ ID NO.:8 were expressed under the promoter of the tryptophan operon (ptrp) in the E. coli strain MM294 (F-end A1 hsdR17 (rk− mk+) sup E44 thi-1 relA1? RfbD1? SpoT1?). All were obtained in the expected sizes and with levels of expression up to 30% of the total proteins of the bacteria, though PD31 protein showed a high instability (FIG. 7). All fusion proteins were recognized by some mouse monoclonal antibodies anti-P64k in ELISA (data not shown) and Western blotting (FIG. 8), where a remarkable degradation in the whole-cell extract was detected. The amino acid sequence of these proteins is shown the Sequence List.

Mouse immunization with PD33 and PD34 fusion proteins semipurified by a non-denaturalizing protocol, has elicited high titers against them in ELISA (up to 1/100 000), and at the same time antibodies with titers up to 1/4000 in ELISA against the synthetic peptides have been obtained.

BREIF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIGS. 1A-1B. Hydrophylicity, accessibility and flexibility profiles of pre-(A) and M (B) proteins of Dengue virus.

FIGS. 2A-2B. Prediction of the secondary structure and of accessibility of pre (A) and M (protein). AA: amino acids. PHD sec: prediction of secondary structure (E=beta, H=helix, L=loop) P-3 acc. Prediction of accessibility (e=exposed, b=non-exposed). Sub sec (Sub acc) residues in which the prediction of secondary structure (accessibility) is 82.4% (70%) efficacious.

FIG. 3. Variability profiles of pre- and M proteins. Variability was calculated considering 3 sets of Flavivirus sequences. Dengue: sequences of 15 Dengue isolations. MBV: Flavivirus sequences transmitted by mosquitoes that include Dengue virus, Kunji, West Nile Virus, Murray Valley Encephalitis and Saint Louis Encephalitis. Flavivirus: sequences of more than 30 different flaviviral isolations: (MBV+Yellow fever, Langat, Louping III and Tick-Borne Encephalitis).

FIGS. 4A-4B. Prediction of T cell epitopes of pre (A) and M (B) proteins: AMPHI 7 (11): prediction of amphipatic segments of 7 (11) residues, positive residues are the central amino acids of an amphipatic block potentially antigenic. RT 4 (5): prediction of antigenic profiles of 4 (5) residues, positive residues are those who fulfill the profiles.

FIG. 5. Proliferative response to dengue 2 virus antigens (at concentrations of 10, 20 and 40 m g/ml) of spleen T cells from peptides-immunized mice 19-6, 19-5 and 20-2.

FIG. 6. Percent survival in peptide immunized and control animals. The level of protection induced for the peptides 19-5, 19-6 and 20-1 was statistically significant.

FIG. 7. 10% SDS-PAGE of MM294 E. coli strain transformed with fusion proteins and P64k protein (pM-92 plasmid). Lanes: 1-Untransformed MM294 strain, 2-pM-92/MM294, 3-pD-30/MM294, 4-pD-31/MM294, 5-pD-33/MM294, 6-pD-34/MM294.

FIG. 8. Western blot using AcM 114 of MM294 E. coli strain transformed with fusion proteins and P64k protein (pM-92 plasmid). Lanes: 1-Untransformed MM294 strain, 2-pM-92/MM294, 3-pD-30/MM294, 4-pD-31/MM294, 5-pD-33/MM294, 6-pD-34/MM294.9 1 29 PRT Dengue virus 1 Leu Thr Thr Arg Asn Gly Glu Pro His Met Ile Val Met Arg Gln Glu 1 5 10 15 Lys Gly Lys Ser Leu Leu Phe Lys Thr Gly Asp Gly Val 20 25 2 23 PRT Dengue virus 2 Cys Glu Asp Thr Ile Thr Tyr Lys Cys Pro Leu Leu Arg Gln Asn Glu 1 5 10 15 Pro Glu Asp Ile Asp Cys Trp 20 3 36 PRT Dengue virus 3 Arg Gln Asn Glu Pro Glu Asp Ile Asp Cys Trp Cys Asn Ser Thr Ser 1 5 10 15 Thr Trp Val Thr Tyr Gly Thr Cys Thr Thr Thr Gly Glu His Arg Arg 20 25 30 Glu Lys Arg Ser 35 4 25 PRT Dengue virus 4 Asn Ser Thr Ser Thr Trp Val Thr Tyr Gly Thr Cys Thr Thr Thr Gly 1 5 10 15 Glu His Arg Arg Glu Lys Arg Ser Val 20 25 5 22 PRT Dengue virus 5 Leu Glu Thr Arg Thr Glu Thr Trp Met Ser Ser Glu Gly Ala Trp Lys 1 5 10 15 His Ala Gln Arg Ile Glu 20 6 635 PRT Artificial Sequence Description of Artificial Sequence Fusion Protein of Dengue virus preM/M and Neisseria meningitidis P64k protein. 6 Met Ala Leu Val Glu Leu Lys Val Pro Asp Ile Gly Gly His Glu Asn 1 5 10 15 Val Asp Ile Ile Ala Val Glu Val Asn Val Gly Asp Thr Ile Ala Val 20 25 30 Asp Asp Thr Leu Ile Thr Leu Asp Leu Asp Phe His Leu Thr Thr Arg 35 40 45 Asn Gly Glu Pro His Met Ile Val Ser Arg Gln Glu Lys Gly Lys Ser 50 55 60 Leu Leu Phe Lys Thr Gly Asp Gly Val Asn Met Cys Thr Leu Met Ala 65 70 75 80 Met Asp Leu Gly Leu Glu Met Asp Val Pro Ala Glu Val Ala Gly Val 85 90 95 Val Lys Glu Val Lys Val Lys Val Gly Asp Lys Ile Ser Glu Gly Gly 100 105 110 Leu Ile Val Val Val Glu Ala Glu Gly Thr Ala Ala Ala Pro Lys Ala 115 120 125 Glu Ala Ala Ala Ala Pro Ala Gln Glu Ala Pro Lys Ala Ala Ala Pro 130 135 140 Ala Pro Gln Ala Ala Gln Phe Gly Gly Ser Ala Asp Ala Glu Tyr Asp 145 150 155 160 Val Val Val Leu Gly Gly Gly Pro Gly Gly Tyr Ser Ala Ala Phe Ala 165 170 175 Ala Ala Asp Glu Gly Leu Lys Val Ala Ile Val Glu Arg Tyr Lys Thr 180 185 190 Leu Gly Gly Val Cys Leu Asn Val Gly Cys Ile Pro Ser Lys Ala Leu 195 200 205 Leu His Asn Ala Ala Val Ile Asp Glu Val Arg His Leu Ala Ala Asn 210 215 220 Gly Ile Lys Tyr Pro Glu Pro Glu Leu Asp Ile Asp Met Leu Arg Ala 225 230 235 240 Tyr Lys Asp Gly Val Val Ser Arg Leu Thr Gly Gly Leu Ala Gly Met 245 250 255 Ala Lys Ser Arg Lys Val Asp Val Ile Gln Gly Asp Gly Gln Phe Leu 260 265 270 Asp Pro His His Leu Glu Val Ser Leu Thr Ala Gly Asp Ala Tyr Glu 275 280 285 Gln Ala Ala Pro Thr Gly Glu Lys Lys Ile Val Ala Phe Lys Asn Cys 290 295 300 Ile Ile Ala Ala Gly Ser Arg Val Thr Lys Leu Pro Phe Ile Pro Glu 305 310 315 320 Asp Pro Arg Ile Ile Asp Ser Ser Gly Ala Leu Ala Leu Lys Glu Val 325 330 335 Pro Gly Lys Leu Leu Ile Ile Gly Gly Gly Ile Ile Gly Leu Glu Met 340 345 350 Gly Thr Val Tyr Ser Thr Leu Gly Ser Arg Leu Asp Val Val Glu Met 355 360 365 Met Asp Gly Leu Met Gln Gly Ala Asp Arg Asp Leu Val Lys Val Trp 370 375 380 Gln Lys Gln Asn Glu Tyr Arg Phe Asp Asn Ile Met Val Asn Thr Lys 385 390 395 400 Thr Val Ala Val Glu Pro Lys Glu Asp Gly Val Tyr Val Thr Phe Glu 405 410 415 Gly Ala Asn Ala Pro Lys Glu Pro Gln Arg Tyr Asp Ala Val Leu Val 420 425 430 Ala Ala Gly Arg Ala Pro Asn Gly Lys Leu Ile Ser Ala Glu Lys Ala 435 440 445 Gly Val Ala Val Thr Asp Arg Gly Phe Ile Glu Val Asp Lys Gln Met 450 455 460 Arg Thr Asn Val Pro His Ile Tyr Ala Ile Gly Asp Ile Val Gly Gln 465 470 475 480 Pro Met Leu Ala His Lys Ala Val His Glu Gly His Val Ala Ala Glu 485 490 495 Asn Cys Ala Gly His Lys Ala Tyr Phe Asp Ala Arg Val Ile Pro Gly 500 505 510 Val Ala Tyr Thr Ser Pro Glu Val Ala Trp Val Gly Glu Thr Glu Leu 515 520 525 Ser Ala Lys Ala Ser Gly Arg Lys Ile Thr Lys Ala Asn Phe Pro Trp 530 535 540 Ala Ala Ser Gly Arg Ala Ile Ala Asn Gly Cys Asp Lys Pro Phe Thr 545 550 555 560 Lys Leu Ile Phe Asp Ala Glu Thr Gly Arg Ile Ile Gly Gly Gly Ile 565 570 575 Val Gly Pro Asn Gly Gly Asp Met Ile Gly Glu Val Cys Leu Ala Ile 580 585 590 Glu Met Gly Cys Asp Ala Ala Asp Ile Gly Lys Thr Ile His Pro His 595 600 605 Pro Thr Leu Gly Glu Ser Ile Gly Met Ala Ala Glu Val Ala Leu Gly 610 615 620 Thr Cys Thr Asp Leu Pro Pro Gln Lys Lys Lys 625 630 635 7 635 PRT Artificial Sequence Description of Artificial Sequence Fusion Protein of Dengue virus preM/M and Neisseria meningitidis P64k protein. 7 Met Ala Leu Val Glu Leu Lys Val Pro Asp Ile Gly Gly His Glu Asn 1 5 10 15 Val Asp Ile Ile Ala Val Glu Val Asn Val Gly Asp Thr Ile Ala Val 20 25 30 Asp Asp Thr Leu Ile Thr Leu Asp Leu Glu Ser Val Ala Leu Val Pro 35 40 45 His Val Gly Met Gly Leu Glu Thr Arg Thr Glu Thr Trp Met Ser Ser 50 55 60 Glu Gly Ala Trp Lys His Ala Gln Arg Ile Glu Thr Trp Ile Leu Arg 65 70 75 80 His Pro Gly Phe Leu Glu Met Asp Val Pro Ala Glu Val Ala Gly Val 85 90 95 Val Lys Glu Val Lys Val Lys Val Gly Asp Lys Ile Ser Glu Gly Gly 100 105 110 Leu Ile Val Val Val Glu Ala Glu Gly Thr Ala Ala Ala Pro Lys Ala 115 120 125 Glu Ala Ala Ala Ala Pro Ala Gln Glu Ala Pro Lys Ala Ala Ala Pro 130 135 140 Ala Pro Gln Ala Ala Gln Phe Gly Gly Ser Ala Asp Ala Glu Tyr Asp 145 150 155 160 Val Val Val Leu Gly Gly Gly Pro Gly Gly Tyr Ser Ala Ala Phe Ala 165 170 175 Ala Ala Asp Glu Gly Leu Lys Val Ala Ile Val Glu Arg Tyr Lys Thr 180 185 190 Leu Gly Gly Val Cys Leu Asn Val Gly Cys Ile Pro Ser Lys Ala Leu 195 200 205 Leu His Asn Ala Ala Val Ile Asp Glu Val Arg His Leu Ala Ala Asn 210 215 220 Gly Ile Lys Tyr Pro Glu Pro Glu Leu Asp Ile Asp Met Leu Arg Ala 225 230 235 240 Tyr Lys Asp Gly Val Val Ser Arg Leu Thr Gly Gly Leu Ala Gly Met 245 250 255 Ala Lys Ser Arg Lys Val Asp Val Ile Gln Gly Asp Gly Gln Phe Leu 260 265 270 Asp Pro His His Leu Glu Val Ser Leu Thr Ala Gly Asp Ala Tyr Glu 275 280 285 Gln Ala Ala Pro Thr Gly Glu Lys Lys Ile Val Ala Phe Lys Asn Cys 290 295 300 Ile Ile Ala Ala Gly Ser Arg Val Thr Lys Leu Pro Phe Ile Pro Glu 305 310 315 320 Asp Pro Arg Ile Ile Asp Ser Ser Gly Ala Leu Ala Leu Lys Glu Val 325 330 335 Pro Gly Lys Leu Leu Ile Ile Gly Gly Gly Ile Ile Gly Leu Glu Met 340 345 350 Gly Thr Val Tyr Ser Thr Leu Gly Ser Arg Leu Asp Val Val Glu Met 355 360 365 Met Asp Gly Leu Met Gln Gly Ala Asp Arg Asp Leu Val Lys Val Trp 370 375 380 Gln Lys Gln Asn Glu Tyr Arg Phe Asp Asn Ile Met Val Asn Thr Lys 385 390 395 400 Thr Val Ala Val Glu Pro Lys Glu Asp Gly Val Tyr Val Thr Phe Glu 405 410 415 Gly Ala Asn Ala Pro Lys Glu Pro Gln Arg Tyr Asp Ala Val Leu Val 420 425 430 Ala Ala Gly Arg Ala Pro Asn Gly Lys Leu Ile Ser Ala Glu Lys Ala 435 440 445 Gly Val Ala Val Thr Asp Arg Gly Phe Ile Glu Val Asp Lys Gln Met 450 455 460 Arg Thr Asn Val Pro His Ile Tyr Ala Ile Gly Asp Ile Val Gly Gln 465 470 475 480 Pro Met Leu Ala His Lys Ala Val His Glu Gly His Val Ala Ala Glu 485 490 495 Asn Cys Ala Gly His Lys Ala Tyr Phe Asp Ala Arg Val Ile Pro Gly 500 505 510 Val Ala Tyr Thr Ser Pro Glu Val Ala Trp Val Gly Glu Thr Glu Leu 515 520 525 Ser Ala Lys Ala Ser Gly Arg Lys Ile Thr Lys Ala Asn Phe Pro Trp 530 535 540 Ala Ala Ser Gly Arg Ala Ile Ala Asn Gly Cys Asp Lys Pro Phe Thr 545 550 555 560 Lys Leu Ile Phe Asp Ala Glu Thr Gly Arg Ile Ile Gly Gly Gly Ile 565 570 575 Val Gly Pro Asn Gly Gly Asp Met Ile Gly Glu Val Cys Leu Ala Ile 580 585 590 Glu Met Gly Cys Asp Ala Ala Asp Ile Gly Lys Thr Ile His Pro His 595 600 605 Pro Thr Leu Gly Glu Ser Ile Gly Met Ala Ala Glu Val Ala Leu Gly 610 615 620 Thr Cys Thr Asp Leu Pro Pro Gln Lys Lys Lys 625 630 635 8 677 PRT Artificial Sequence Description of Artificial Sequence Fusion Protein of Dengue virus preM/M and Neisseria meningitidis P64k protein. 8 Met Ala Leu Val Glu Leu Lys Val Pro Asp Ile Gly Gly His Glu Asn 1 5 10 15 Val Asp Ile Ile Ala Val Glu Val Asn Val Gly Asp Thr Ile Ala Val 20 25 30 Asp Asp Thr Leu Ile Thr Leu Asp Leu Asp Phe His Leu Thr Thr Arg 35 40 45 Asn Gly Glu Pro His Met Ile Val Ser Arg Gln Glu Lys Gly Lys Ser 50 55 60 Leu Leu Phe Lys Thr Gly Asp Gly Val Asn Met Cys Thr Leu Met Ala 65 70 75 80 Met Asp Leu Gly Ser Val Ala Leu Val Pro His Val Gly Met Gly Leu 85 90 95 Glu Thr Arg Thr Glu Thr Trp Met Ser Ser Glu Gly Ala Trp Lys His 100 105 110 Ala Gln Arg Ile Glu Thr Trp Ile Leu Arg His Pro Gly Phe Leu Glu 115 120 125 Met Asp Val Pro Ala Glu Val Ala Gly Val Val Lys Glu Val Lys Val 130 135 140 Lys Val Gly Asp Lys Ile Ser Glu Gly Gly Leu Ile Val Val Val Glu 145 150 155 160 Ala Glu Gly Thr Ala Ala Ala Pro Lys Ala Glu Ala Ala Ala Ala Pro 165 170 175 Ala Gln Glu Ala Pro Lys Ala Ala Ala Pro Ala Pro Gln Ala Ala Gln 180 185 190 Phe Gly Gly Ser Ala Asp Ala Glu Tyr Asp Val Val Val Leu Gly Gly 195 200 205 Gly Pro Gly Gly Tyr Ser Ala Ala Phe Ala Ala Ala Asp Glu Gly Leu 210 215 220 Lys Val Ala Ile Val Glu Arg Tyr Lys Thr Leu Gly Gly Val Cys Leu 225 230 235 240 Asn Val Gly Cys Ile Pro Ser Lys Ala Leu Leu His Asn Ala Ala Val 245 250 255 Ile Asp Glu Val Arg His Leu Ala Ala Asn Gly Ile Lys Tyr Pro Glu 260 265 270 Pro Glu Leu Asp Ile Asp Met Leu Arg Ala Tyr Lys Asp Gly Val Val 275 280 285 Ser Arg Leu Thr Gly Gly Leu Ala Gly Met Ala Lys Ser Arg Lys Val 290 295 300 Asp Val Ile Gln Gly Asp Gly Gln Phe Leu Asp Pro His His Leu Glu 305 310 315 320 Val Ser Leu Thr Ala Gly Asp Ala Tyr Glu Gln Ala Ala Pro Thr Gly 325 330 335 Glu Lys Lys Ile Val Ala Phe Lys Asn Cys Ile Ile Ala Ala Gly Ser 340 345 350 Arg Val Thr Lys Leu Pro Phe Ile Pro Glu Asp Pro Arg Ile Ile Asp 355 360 365 Ser Ser Gly Ala Leu Ala Leu Lys Glu Val Pro Gly Lys Leu Leu Ile 370 375 380 Ile Gly Gly Gly Ile Ile Gly Leu Glu Met Gly Thr Val Tyr Ser Thr 385 390 395 400 Leu Gly Ser Arg Leu Asp Val Val Glu Met Met Asp Gly Leu Met Gln 405 410 415 Gly Ala Asp Arg Asp Leu Val Lys Val Trp Gln Lys Gln Asn Glu Tyr 420 425 430 Arg Phe Asp Asn Ile Met Val Asn Thr Lys Thr Val Ala Val Glu Pro 435 440 445 Lys Glu Asp Gly Val Tyr Val Thr Phe Glu Gly Ala Asn Ala Pro Lys 450 455 460 Glu Pro Gln Arg Tyr Asp Ala Val Leu Val Ala Ala Gly Arg Ala Pro 465 470 475 480 Asn Gly Lys Leu Ile Ser Ala Glu Lys Ala Gly Val Ala Val Thr Asp 485 490 495 Arg Gly Phe Ile Glu Val Asp Lys Gln Met Arg Thr Asn Val Pro His 500 505 510 Ile Tyr Ala Ile Gly Asp Ile Val Gly Gln Pro Met Leu Ala His Lys 515 520 525 Ala Val His Glu Gly His Val Ala Ala Glu Asn Cys Ala Gly His Lys 530 535 540 Ala Tyr Phe Asp Ala Arg Val Ile Pro Gly Val Ala Tyr Thr Ser Pro 545 550 555 560 Glu Val Ala Trp Val Gly Glu Thr Glu Leu Ser Ala Lys Ala Ser Gly 565 570 575 Arg Lys Ile Thr Lys Ala Asn Phe Pro Trp Ala Ala Ser Gly Arg Ala 580 585 590 Ile Ala Asn Gly Cys Asp Lys Pro Phe Thr Lys Leu Ile Phe Asp Ala 595 600 605 Glu Thr Gly Arg Ile Ile Gly Gly Gly Ile Val Gly Pro Asn Gly Gly 610 615 620 Asp Met Ile Gly Glu Val Cys Leu Ala Ile Glu Met Gly Cys Asp Ala 625 630 635 640 Ala Asp Ile Gly Lys Thr Ile His Pro His Pro Thr Leu Gly Glu Ser 645 650 655 Ile Gly Met Ala Ala Glu Val Ala Leu Gly Thr Cys Thr Asp Leu Pro 660 665 670 Pro Gln Lys Lys Lys 675 9 635 PRT Artificial Sequence Description of Artificial Sequence Fusion Protein of Dengue virus preM/M and Neisseria meningitidis P64k protein. 9 Met Ala Leu Val Glu Leu Lys Val Pro Asp Ile Gly Gly His Glu Asn 1 5 10 15 Val Asp Ile Ile Ala Val Glu Val Asn Val Gly Asp Thr Ile Ala Val 20 25 30 Asp Asp Thr Leu Ile Thr Leu Asp Leu Glu Ser Val Ala Leu Thr Pro 35 40 45 His Ser Gly Met Gly Leu Glu Thr Arg Ala Glu Thr Trp Met Ser Ser 50 55 60 Glu Gly Ala Trp Lys His Ala Gln Arg Val Glu Ser Trp Ile Leu Arg 65 70 75 80 Asn Pro Arg Phe Leu Glu Met Asp Val Pro Ala Glu Val Ala Gly Val 85 90 95 Val Lys Glu Val Lys Val Lys Val Gly Asp Lys Ile Ser Glu Gly Gly 100 105 110 Leu Ile Val Val Val Glu Ala Glu Gly Thr Ala Ala Ala Pro Lys Ala 115 120 125 Glu Ala Ala Ala Ala Pro Ala Gln Glu Ala Pro Lys Ala Ala Ala Pro 130 135 140 Ala Pro Gln Ala Ala Gln Phe Gly Gly Ser Ala Asp Ala Glu Tyr Asp 145 150 155 160 Val Val Val Leu Gly Gly Gly Pro Gly Gly Tyr Ser Ala Ala Phe Ala 165 170 175 Ala Ala Asp Glu Gly Leu Lys Val Ala Ile Val Glu Arg Tyr Lys Thr 180 185 190 Leu Gly Gly Val Cys Leu Asn Val Gly Cys Ile Pro Ser Lys Ala Leu 195 200 205 Leu His Asn Ala Ala Val Ile Asp Glu Val Arg His Leu Ala Ala Asn 210 215 220 Gly Ile Lys Tyr Pro Glu Pro Glu Leu Asp Ile Asp Met Leu Arg Ala 225 230 235 240 Tyr Lys Asp Gly Val Val Ser Arg Leu Thr Gly Gly Leu Ala Gly Met 245 250 255 Ala Lys Ser Arg Lys Val Asp Val Ile Gln Gly Asp Gly Gln Phe Leu 260 265 270 Asp Pro His His Leu Glu Val Ser Leu Thr Ala Gly Asp Ala Tyr Glu 275 280 285 Gln Ala Ala Pro Thr Gly Glu Lys Lys Ile Val Ala Phe Lys Asn Cys 290 295 300 Ile Ile Ala Ala Gly Ser Arg Val Thr Lys Leu Pro Phe Ile Pro Glu 305 310 315 320 Asp Pro Arg Ile Ile Asp Ser Ser Gly Ala Leu Ala Leu Lys Glu Val 325 330 335 Pro Gly Lys Leu Leu Ile Ile Gly Gly Gly Ile Ile Gly Leu Glu Met 340 345 350 Gly Thr Val Tyr Ser Thr Leu Gly Ser Arg Leu Asp Val Val Glu Met 355 360 365 Met Asp Gly Leu Met Gln Gly Ala Asp Arg Asp Leu Val Lys Val Trp 370 375 380 Gln Lys Gln Asn Glu Tyr Arg Phe Asp Asn Ile Met Val Asn Thr Lys 385 390 395 400 Thr Val Ala Val Glu Pro Lys Glu Asp Gly Val Tyr Val Thr Phe Glu 405 410 415 Gly Ala Asn Ala Pro Lys Glu Pro Gln Arg Tyr Asp Ala Val Leu Val 420 425 430 Ala Ala Gly Arg Ala Pro Asn Gly Lys Leu Ile Ser Ala Glu Lys Ala 435 440 445 Gly Val Ala Val Thr Asp Arg Gly Phe Ile Glu Val Asp Lys Gln Met 450 455 460 Arg Thr Asn Val Pro His Ile Tyr Ala Ile Gly Asp Ile Val Gly Gln 465 470 475 480 Pro Met Leu Ala His Lys Ala Val His Glu Gly His Val Ala Ala Glu 485 490 495 Asn Cys Ala Gly His Lys Ala Tyr Phe Asp Ala Arg Val Ile Pro Gly 500 505 510 Val Ala Tyr Thr Ser Pro Glu Val Ala Trp Val Gly Glu Thr Glu Leu 515 520 525 Ser Ala Lys Ala Ser Gly Arg Lys Ile Thr Lys Ala Asn Phe Pro Trp 530 535 540 Ala Ala Ser Gly Arg Ala Ile Ala Asn Gly Cys Asp Lys Pro Phe Thr 545 550 555 560 Lys Leu Ile Phe Asp Ala Glu Thr Gly Arg Ile Ile Gly Gly Gly Ile 565 570 575 Val Gly Pro Asn Gly Gly Asp Met Ile Gly Glu Val Cys Leu Ala Ile 580 585 590 Glu Met Gly Cys Asp Ala Ala Asp Ile Gly Lys Thr Ile His Pro His 595 600 605 Pro Thr Leu Gly Glu Ser Ile Gly Met Ala Ala Glu Val Ala Leu Gly 610 615 620 Thr Cys Thr Asp Leu Pro Pro Gln Lys Lys Lys 625 630 635

Claims

1. An isolated peptide or mimetic compound comprising a sequence of no more than about 40 amino acids from Dengue virus preM/M, wherein the sequence of amino acids from Dengue virus preM/M comprises an epitope found within a sequence selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID No.: 1, SEQ ID No.: 2, SEQ ID No.: 3, SEQ ID No.: 4 and SEQ ID No.: 5.

2. The isolated peptide according to claim 1, wherein the amino acid sequence of Dengue virus pre-M/M is of a first serotype; and wherein the amino acid sequence of Dengue virus pre-M/M of the first serotype includes an epitope that is cross-reactive with Dengue virus pre-M/M of a second serotype.

3. The isolated peptide or mimetic compound according to claim 2, wherein the amino acid sequence of Dengue virus pre-M/M is cross-reactive with Dengue virus pre-M/M of more than one serotype.

4. The isolated peptide or mimetic compound according to claim 1, wherein the peptide or mimetic compound elicits a proliferative response of spleen T lymphocytes against Dengue 2 virus.

5. The isolated peptide or mimetic compound according to claim 1, wherein the peptide or mimetic compound elicits an antibody in a mammal.

6. The isolated peptide or mimetic compound according to claim 5, wherein the antibody elicited is protective against Dengue virus infection.

Referenced Cited

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Patent History Patent number: 6383488
Type: Grant
Filed: Oct 14, 1999
Date of Patent: May 7, 2002
AssigneesCentro de Ingeniera Genetic Y Biotechnologies (CIGB) (Habana), Instituto de Medicina Tropical “Pedro Kouri” (Habana)
InventorsSusana Vazquez Ramudo (Habana), Guadalupe Guzman Tirado (Habana), Gerardo Enrique Guillen Nieto (Habana), Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo (Habana), Glay Chinea Santiago (Habana), Ana Beatriz Perez Diaz (Habana), Maritza Pupo Antunez (Habana), Rosmari Rodriguez Roche (Habana), Osvaldo Reyes Acosta (Habana), Hilda Elisa Garay Perez (Habana), Gabriel Padron Palomares (Habana), Maylin Alvarez Vera (Habana), Luis Morier Diaz (Habana), Omaida Perez Insuita (Habana), Jose Luis Pelegrino Martinez De La Cotera (Habana)

Primary ExaminerHankyel T. Park
Assistant ExaminerStacy S. Brown
Attorney, Agent or Law FirmHoffmann & Baron, LLP
Application Number: 09/341,833

Classifications

Current U.S. ClassDisclosed Amino Acid Sequence Derived From Virus (424/186.1)Antigen, Epitope, Or Other Immunospecific Immunoeffector (e.g., Immunospecific Vaccine, Immunospecific Stimulator Of Cell-mediated Immunity, Immunospecific Tolerogen, Immunospecific Immunosuppressor, Etc.) (424/184.1)Amino Acid Sequence Disclosed In Whole Or In Part; Or Conjugate, Complex, Or Fusion Protein Or Fusion Polypeptide Including The Same (424/185.1)Immunoglobulin, Antiserum, Antibody, Or Antibody Fragment, Except Conjugate Or Complex Of The Same With Nonimmunoglobulin Material (424/130.1)Conjugate Or Complex (424/193.1)Virus Or Component Thereof (424/204.1)Togaviridae Or Flaviviridae, Except Hepatitis C Virus (e.g., Yellow Fever Virus, Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus, Dengue Virus, Equine Viral Arteritis Virus, Equine Encephalitis Virus, Japanese B Encephalitis Virus, Sindbis Virus, Flavivirus, Etc.) (424/218.1)25 Or More Amino Acid Residues In Defined Sequence (530/324)Peptides With At Least One Nonpeptide Bond Other Than A Disulfide Bond Joining Two Or More Sequences Of Amino Acid Residues, E.g., Homomeric Heterodectic Peptide Other Than Cyclic Disulfide, Depsipeptides, Etc. (530/323)Proteins, I.e., More Than 100 Amino Acid Residues (530/350)

International Classification: A61K/3912; A61K/3900; A61K/39395; A61K/39385; A61K/39193;