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2014 | 61 | 3 | 561-572
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Influenza virus hemagglutinin as a vaccine antigen produced in bacteria

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Recombinant subunit vaccines based on hemagglutinin proteins produced in bacteria (bacterial HAs) are promising candidates for enhancing the supply of vaccines against influenza, especially for a pandemic. Over 20 years after the failure to obtain the antigen with native HA characteristics in the early 1980’s, there are increasing data on successful production of HA proteins in bacteria. The vast majority of bacterial HAs have been based on the HA1 subunit of HA expressed separately or as a component of conjugate vaccines, but those based on the ectodomain and the HA2 subunit have also been reported. The most of HAs have been efficiently expressed as insoluble aggregates called inclusion bodies. Refolded and purified proteins were extensively studied for structure, the ability to bind to sialic acid-containing receptors, antigenicity, immunogenicity and efficacy. The results from these studies contradict the view that glycosylation determines the correct structure of the hemagglutinin, as they proved that bacterial HAs can be valuable vaccine antigens when appropriate folding and purification methods are applied to rationally designed proteins. The best evidence for success in bacterial production of protective HA is that vaccines based on proprietary Toll-like Receptor (VaxInnate) and bacteriophage Qβ-VLPs (Cytos Biotechnology) technologies have been advanced to clinical studies.
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