EBOLA VACCINE: MULTIPLE PEPTIDE-EPITOPE LOADED VACCINE FORMULATION FROM PROTEOME USING REVERSE VACCINOLOGY APPROACH
Keywords:Ebola, Vaccine, Peptide epitopes, Immunogenicity, Hydrophilicity, Chou-Fasman conformation
Objective: The present study was carried out to identify the peptide epitopes with high immunogenicity in the surface proteins of four pathogenic Ebola virus (viz. Bundibugyo virus, Sudan virus, Tai Forest virus and Zaire Ebola virus) using modern reverse vaccinology approach through in silico analysis of proteome for use as Ebola vaccine candidates.
Methods: Hexapeptide epitopes based on maximum hydrophilicity were identified in eight surface proteins which were separated from a pool of 160 Ebola virus proteins using a covariant discriminant function and the Mahalanobis D2 statistic. Heptapeptide B cell epitopes were predicted from the surface proteins using the AbDesigner algorithm. Immunogenicity score of each identified epitope was estimated on the basis of hydropathy index and Chou-Fasman conformation.
Results: Four continuous (linear) hexapeptide epitopes namely RRKRRD (position 497-502), DEDDED (489-494), RRTRRE (497-502) and KTGKKG (221-226) with maximum hydrophilicity score were identified from different surface proteins for use as Ebola vaccine components. For use as B cell epitopes eight linear heptapeptide epitopes viz. PTSPPQD (418-424) and SHYEPPN (385-391) against Bundibugyo virus, PDYDDCH (309-315) and DYDDCHS (310-316) against Sudan virus, QPKCNPN (508-514) against Tai Forest virus and EYTYPDS (685-691), HLGLDDQ (365-371) and DQEKKIL (370-376) against Zaire Ebola virus with high immunogenicity were identified from different surface proteins of Ebola virus.
Conclusion: Four hexapeptide and eight heptapeptide epitopes can be loaded along with T cell or B cell signal peptides in virus like particle (vlp) or formulated as subunit vaccine by pharmaceutical industry to raise humoral immunity against Ebola virus in African population as well as in other human populations across the globe as therapeutics in the same way the Hepatitis B therapeutic vaccine based on multiple peptide-epitopes was designed nearly a decade ago.
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