|Title of Invention||
"NOVEL AGENTS FOR THE PREVENTION OF LEISHMANIOSIS"
|Abstract||A nucleic acid construct, characterized in that it comprises an isolated nucleic acid in the sense position, capable of encoding an immunogenic protein of promastigote forms or of amastigote forms of Leishmania, said nucleic acid corresponding to one of the sequences SEQ ID No 1, SEQ ID No 2, SEQ ID No 3, SEQ ID No 4, SEQ ID No 5 and SEQ ID No 11.|
|Full Text||The invention relates to novel agents for the prevention of leishmaniasis in animals and in humans.
It relates in particular to nucleic acid molecules encoding virulence or pathogenicity factors in Leishmania and to the use thereof for producing such factors in order to develop vaccine compositions against leishmaniasis.
Leishmaniasis represents one of the six major parasitic diseases and is considered, in this respect, to be a priority by the World Health Organization (WHO). Leishmania exists in the extracellular promastigote form, inside the digestive tube of the vector insect (the sandfly), and in the intracellular amastigote form, in the mammalian host. Several molecules, including lypophosphoglycans (LPGs) or a metallo-protease called gp63, appear to play an important role in the infectious capacity and the the pathogenicity of the parasite. More recently, a family of glycoproteins, called promastigote surface antigens (PSAs), has raised new interest. These PSAs are characterized by the presence of leucine-rich repeats that can be involved in protein/protein interactions and confer Th 1-type cell-mediated protective immunity in mice. In organisms, such as bacteria or plants, it appears that PSAs were involved in functions such as cell adhesion, resistance to pathogens and signal transduction.
However, no biological role has been described or suggested in Leishmania.
It has been possible for this role to be studied by the inventors by means of the technique in their possession for culturing Leishmania promastigotes and amastigotes under serum-free and axenic conditions, with a
completely defined medium, i.e. in which the constituents are all defined, and which is the subject of patent FR 93 05 779 of May 13, 1993, in the name of IRD (ex ORSTOM) . The mastering of this method allows them to have parasitic forms free of the contaminants introduced up until now by the culture media, and antigenic determinants in a highly purified form.
In said applicant's FR patent, the isolation and the identification of an excreted/secreted PSA (excretion/secretion antigen, abbreviated to ESA) of 38 kDa and of 45 kDa in the culture supernatant of L. amazonensis have already been described.
The inventors have presently isolated and cloned the cDNA encoding this protein and evaluated its role in the biology of the parasite by developing an additional transqenesis strategy. These studies have made it possible to demonstrate the involvement of this PSA as a virulence and/or pathogenicity factor and to develop constructs for overexpressing the Leishmania gene encoding this PSA, which makes it possible to develop agents for producing vaccine compositions against 1ei shmania sis.
The aim of the invention is therefore to provide nucleic acid sequences being capable of encoding PSAs of promastigote forms and of amastigote forms of Leishmania, constituting virulence and/or pathogenicity factors.
It is directed more particularly toward providing vectors for the over expression of these PSAs, and also genetically modified parasites.
The invention is also directed toward the culture medium supernal ants of the PSAs obtained, and also the isolated, purified PSAs, and the beneficial use of their propxirieK for developing vaccine
The nucleic acid sequences of the invention correspond to isolated nucleic acids capable of encoding a PSA of promastigote forms or of amastigote forms of Leishmania, said nucleic acids corresponding to one of the sequences SEQ ID No 1, SEQ ID No 2, SEQ ID No 3, SEQ ID No 4, SEQ ID No 1S and SEQ ID No 11, and encoding PSAs having the sequences, respectively, SEQ ID No 6, SEQ ID No 7, SEQ ID No 8, SEQ ID No 9, SEQ ID No 10 and SEQ ID No 12.
The nucleic acid sequences of the invention are more; especially sequences of cDNA clones belonging to a family corresponding to the characteristics illustrated by figure 2 and comprising in particular a Sail restriction site and two Hindi restriction sites, with a stop codon located downstream of the first HindiII site.
The invention is directed in particular toward the cDNA
clones of said family comprising an EcoRV and/or PstI
restriction site between the two sites Sail and
Hindi II, or on either side of the Sail site.
The invention is also directed toward the isolated immunogenic proteins, characterized in that they have a sequence as encoded by the nucleic acids defined above. It is directed in particular toward the proteins corresponding to the sequences SEQ ID No 6, SEQ ID No 1, SEQ ID No 8, SEQ ID No 9, SEQ ID No 10 or SEQ ID No 12.
These proteins belong to the "promastigote surface antigen" (abbreviated to PSA) family and possess characteristic regions illustrated in figures 3A and 3B.. These purloins can be post: - translationa1 v modified
The inventors have obtained constructs that make it possible to express the sequences defined above, in the sense position, in an expression vector, by directional cloning of said sequences.
The invention is therefore directed toward nucleic acid constructs, characterized in that they comprise isolated nucleic acids in the sense position, capable of encoding an immunogenic protein of promastigote forms or of amastigote forms of Leishinania, these proteins corresponding to one of the sequences SEQ ID No 6, SEQ ID No 7, SEQ ID No 8, SEQ ID No 9, SEQ ID No 10 and SEQ ID No 12.
The invention is directed in particular toward the nucleic acid constructs comprising sequences of cDNA clones belonging to a family corresponding to the characteristics illustrated in figure 2 and comprising in particular a Sail restriction site? and two Hindi II restriction sites, wetly a stop cod on located downstream of the first Hindi site.
The cDNA clones comprising an EcoRV and/or PstI
restriction site between the two sites Sail and
Hindi, or on either side of the Sail site, are
Particularly advantageous constructs comprise, as
nucleic acid sequences, a sequence chosen from SEQ ID
No 1, SEQ ID No 2, SEQ ID No 3, SEQ ID No 4, SEQ ID No
5 and SEQ ID No 11, these sequences encoding,
respectively, proteins having the sequences SEQ ID
No C, SEQ ID No. SEQ ID No R, SEQ ID No 9, SEQ ID
No 1 ;.) and SEQ I - Preferred constructs comprise said nucleic acid sequences in a rapid multiplication plasma such as the invention is also directed toward the Leishmania strains transected with such constructs, whether prornastiqote forms or amastigote forms are involved.
Transfected strains that are preferred, taking into account the vaccine applications targeted, are L. infant urn strains.
Advantageously, the PSAs are produced in large amount, constitutively, in the parasites.
The invention is also directed toward a method of transecting a Leishmania parasite, characterized in that a vector as defined above, comprising a marker, is introduced into the Leishmania parasite, the trans faceted parasites are selected by means of said marker, they are placed in culture in a completely defined axenic and serum-free medium, and the culture supernatant which contains the immunogenic proteins present in concentrations of the order of 10 to 20 times higher than that produced by the Leishmania mother strain is recovered.
The introduction of the vector into the parasite is, for example, carried out by electro portion.
The insertion of these nucleic acids into the parasites makes it possible to increase the infectious capacity of the latter: their ability to survive in the infected macrophage and to multiply therein is up to 5 times aerator than that of the parasite not transfected with
Said PSAs are produced in large amount in the parasite culture medium supernatant. The invention is therefore also directed Toward the culture medium supernatants of said genetically modified parasites, and also the PSAs isolated from these supernatants and purified.
The invention thus provides agents of great value for satisfying the industrial demand for large amounts of proteins constituting virulence/pathogenicity factors in Leishmania.
Due to their immunogenic capacity, these proteins make it possible to obtain, after immunization of animals according to conventional techniques, polyclonal antibodies and to develop monoclonal antibodies. The immunization of mice has thus made it possible to obtain anti IgG2A antibodies and that of dogs has made it possible to obtain IgG2 antibodies.
The invention is therefore also directed toward such antibodies and makes beneficial use of their properties for developing, on an industrial exportable scale, vaccine compositions against leishmania in humans or animals.
The diagnostic applications of these antibodies are also part of the invention.
Other characteristics and advantages of the invention
will be given in the examples which follow, in which
reference will be made to figures 1 to 8, which
figure 1, the 3 alignment of the nucleotide sequences of cDNA clones according to the invention;
figure -2, a recapitulative diagram of the nucleotide sequences of the cDNA clones obtained after immunosereeniMM, win ,-ir unrig - ESA monoclonal antibody, of L. araazonensis promastigote form and amastigote form expression libraries. The restriction enzyme sites are indicated above each sequence;
figure 3A, the location of various protein regions characterized by their specific amino acid
composition, present on the protein sequence deduced from the oDNA of the cJone A3B; and figure 3B, a dia qrammat. ic representation of the protein sequence deduced from the cDNA of the clone A3B encoding a PSA;
figure 4, the analyses of the transcripts by RT--PCR in the promastigote (P) and amastigote (A) forms;
figure 5, the level of production of the protein by Western blotting, using an anti-PSA antibody;
figure 6, the effect of the over express ion of a PSA of L. amazonensis on the infectious capacity of the parasites;
figure 7, the nucleotide sequences SEQ ID Nos 1 to 5 and 11, respectively, of the clones A3B, 2C1, 1A1, 2G1 and W2 of L. amazonensis promastigotes and amastigotes and IJ11 of L. infantum promastigotes, and the corresponding encoded amino acid sequences SEQ ID Nos 6 to 10 and 12, and
figure 8, the parasitic index determined during the in vitro infection of canine macrophages with a wild-type strain or selected L. infantum promastigote clones, at various incubation times.
1 - Molecular characterization of the major irnmunogens of the ESAs of prornast igote and amastigote forms of L. amazonensis (abbreviated to Lma)
This characterization was carried out by screening L. amazonensis promastigote form and amastigote form cDNA expression libraries using a monoclonal antibody directed against the ESA major immunogen.
- cDNA library characteristics:
Two cDNA expression libraries, respectively of promastigote forms and of amastigote forms of L. amazonensis, we're produced. The characteristics of these libraries are given in table I. The exponential-ohase and stationary-phase parasites were mixed in :rider to have access to the various transcripts that iiay buff exorcised during cue various stages of then 1 mmi.moso reenea with the monoclonal antibody F5 diluted to 1/500. The production of this antibody is the subject of the; example in the FR patent mentioned above.
cDNA library Lma LES
Titration after packaging T i t e r a f t e r a mp 11 f .1 c a t i o n
7 .8-1 0
D4 + D7 = parasites harvested on the 4th day, in the exponential phase, and on the 7th day, in the stationary phase of their growth.
- Isolation and sequencing of the clones recognized by the monoclonal antibody F5
13 clones of the promastigote library were found to be positive:' and 11 clones of the amastigote library were found to be positive. All these clones were isolated by secondary and tertiary screening.
The plasmid DNA of all the clones isolated was analyzed after various enzymatic digestions and the cDNAs having larger inserts, by EcoRI/XhoI digestion, were selected in order to eliminate the cDNAs that were too truncated in the 5' position. As shown in table II, the clones 1A1, 1B1, 2R3, 2C1, 2D1 and 2E1 of the promastigote cDNA library and the clones A3B, V4A, V5, W2 and W3 of the amastigote library exhibit: the larger inserts.
The analysis of these clones, by determining the presence or absence of two previously selected restriction enzyme sites (Hindi II and Sail) , show that they exhibit strong homology of their nucleotide seauencf-.
fragment less than 400 bp in size (clone 2G1), 500 bp in size (clones of type 2C1 and A3B) or 600 bp in size (clones of type 1A1 or W2) , respectively. Thus, five types of clones, chosen according to the specific characteristics of their DNA (the size of the insert and the location of certain restriction enzyme sites) are represented in bold characters in table II.
(Table Removed)Table IT also gives the results relating to the ability of the clone's to express a recombinant protein. IPTG was used as an inducing agent. The samples were analyzed by SDS-PAGE and immunoblotting in the presence of the antibody against promastigote form and/or amastigote form ESA, preabsorbed in the presence of E. coli lysate. Equivalent results are obtained. For clones of interest, the expression of various recombinant proteins ranging from 42 . 5 kDa in apparent molecular weight (clone 2C1), to 43 kDa (clone A3B) or 45 kDa (1A1 and W2 ) is noted.
The "sequence listing" document reports the results of the sequencing: of the ro1 low; no here types of clones of the plasma.
the clone of type 1A1 (SKQ ID No 3) , which
expresses a protein, ot sequence SEQ ID No 8, of higher
molecular weight. The clones of type 1B1 and 2B3 are of
the same type as this clone;
the clone 2C1 (SKQ TD No 2), which expresses a
recombinant protein of molecular weight lower than that of the clone 1A1 , having a sequence SEQ ID No 7;
the clone 2G1 (SEQ ID No 4) , which has the particularity of possessing a small HindiII/SalI fragment, which expresses a recombinant protein of molecular weight lower than that of the clone 1A1, having a sequence SEQ ID No 9;
of the following two clones of the amastigote library:
the clones of type A3B (SEQ ID No 1), which express a recombinant protein of approximately 43 kDa, of sequence; SEQ ID No 6 and having a 500 bp Hindi 11/Sal I fragment, the clone V5 appearing to be identical. The clones V2D and V4A are considered to be truncated clones of the same type;
the clone W2 (SEQ ID No 5) , which expresses a recombinant protein of 45 kDa, of sequence SEQ ID No 10 and which has a 600 bp Hindi/Sal fragment.
. Study of the five- cDNA sequences
The alignment of the five cDNA sequences obtained is represented in figure 1, where the differences between these clones are only due to the presence of a 5' -truncated sequence and/or the Insertion of sequences of approximately 72 nucleotides of the 5' side. The clones thus exhibit: one (clones 2C1 and A3B) or three (clones 1A1 and W2) insertions. Outside these insertion zones, the clones exhibit homologies of the order of 99% and can be considered to belong to a cDNA family. Only the clone A3B has the ATG initiation codori, the other clones being 5'-truncated. However, the A3B cDNA does not have the 39 rit sequence encoding the "splice leader" found in the 5' position on all leishmfinia m R N A F
The cDNAs of the clones A3B and 2C1 exhibit virtually total homology arid are therefore considered to be identical , t he cDNA of the clone 2C1 corresponding to a 5' - truncal: ed portion of the? cDNA of the clone A3B.
The clone A3B. representative of this family, was the sub;i eon of complete sequencing in both directions.
The restriction enzyme sites for each of these clones are reported in figure 2.
The sequences SEQ ID Nos 1 to 5 correspond, respectively, to those of the cDNAs of ABB, 2C1, 1A1, 2G1 and w'2 .
- Analysis of the various deduced protein sequences The translation of the various cDNA sequences into protein sequences was carried out by choosing the reading frame corresponding to that suggested by the position of the initiation codon on the plasmid pB-SK, the transcription of which is under the control of the promoter of the Ic.icZ gene subjected to induction with IPTG.
The A3B protein exhibits the regions illustrated in figures 3A and 3B. At, the NH:-terminal , a hydrophobic peptide, which can be cleaved, and which is described in the literature as a secretion pathway signal peptide, .is identified. This is followed by trie leucine-rich repeat; domain, the clone A3B possessing 6 repeats. About ten amino acids from the end of this domain is a region rich in proline, threonine and serine, hereinafter called poly P/T/S region. This region is followed by a cysteine-rich region, that can be involved in disulfide bridges. Finally, the protein sequence:: ends with a hydrophobic signal peptide.
The cDNAs of the clones A3B and 2C1 exhioit virtually total homology and are therefore considered to be identical, the cDNA of the clone 2C1 corresponding to a V-truncated portion of the cDNA of the clone A3B.The restriction enzyme sites for each of these clones are reported in figure 2: Nt = nucleotides; A'TG = initiation codon; TAG - stop codon.
Analysis on the PROSITE database shows that the A3B protein has an N-glycosylation site located at the end of each leucine-nch repeat domain, and 12 potential phosphorylation sites.
Analysis of the location of this protein on the PSORT server predicts a cytoplasmic location at 92%, which indicates that the protein is soluble. This protein is probably anchored to the surface via a glycosyl phosphatidy- inositol or GPI. The hydrophobia signal peptide can therefore be cleaved and allow anchoring of the GPI at the level of asparagine (D).
The theoretical molecular weight of the protein of the clone ABB differs by approximately 2.9 kDa from that of the 1A1 and W2 proteins, which is in agreement with the difference of 2.5 k'Da observed between the corresponding recombinant proteins. This difference is due to the presence of a variable number of leucine-rich repeats or LRRs, each also exhibiting a specific amino acid composition.
The apparent and theoretical molecular weights of the four types of PSA of the invention are given in t ab1e 111 be1ow
(Table Removed) 2 - Obtaining genetically modified parasites: Directional cloning of the LaPSA 38s gene into the expression vector pTex made it possible; to obtain a construct capable of expressing the PSA gene in the sense position. The plasmid pTex-LaPSA 38s sense orientation and the empty vector pTex were then electroporated into the wild-type strain Leishmania infantum Mori 1 Clone ], and the parasites were then select e d w i t h ge net i ci n.
The study was carried out on wild-type (WT) parasites of the species L. infantum, those transfected with empty pTex (pTex) and those transfected with pTex coritaininn the nucleotide sequence of interest (sense) .
Molecular characters zat ion:
The a7Talysis of the total DNA by Southern blotting shows that the sense construct is stable and amplified iiT the transformed strain. The results are given in figure 4, which gives the analyses of the transcripts by RT-PCR in the two forms, prornast igotes (P) and amastigotes (A). Figure 5 gives the level of production of the protein by Western blotting, using an anti-PSA antibody (figure 5A: constitutive proteins; figure 5B:
Phenotypic characterization of the mutants: Tile comparison of tiie qrowth kinetics between I,di WT, Ldi pTox and Lcli Sense snows that, trie overexuress i on of LaPSA 38s does not interfere with the qrowth of the parasites. Only a longer lag phase is observed for the
strains transformed with the wild-type strain.
The sensitivity to lysis by human complement was also studied. Recently, it was demonstrated that L. amazonensis PSA had the property of inhibiting the act: ion of complement in vitro. The "sense" promastigotes are more sensitive to complement. The excess PSA at the surface of the parasites can thus lead to cleavage and also to a greater formation of complexes engendering increased lysis.
Study of infectious capacity of the parasites To study the effect, of the overexpression of LaPSA 38s on the infectious capacity of the parasites, the first approach consisted in bringing promastigotes of the transformed strains into contact with macrophages from dog, which is the natural domestic reservoir for visceral leishmaniasis.
Figures 6A and 6B give the results obtained, respectively, 2 h after contact with the promastigotes and 48 h after contact with the amast igotes; in these figures, the parasitic index corresponds to the % of macrophages infected with the Sense strain x the number of parasites per rnacrophage/% of macrophages infected with the control strain (pTex) x the number of parasites per rnacrophage.
The promastigotes overexpressing LaPSA 38s exhibit twice as much infectious capacity with respect to canine macrophages. Furthermore, after phagocytosis, the amastigotes expressing the transgene possess a capacity to survive and to multiply in the pa ra s i ropnorous vaouole chat: is significantly greater (2.5 to ':-, times) than that of the control transfected wirh rne erupt v vector.
2 - Molecular characterization of the L. infantum promastigote ESAs
The nucleot.ide sequence of the L. infantum promastigote clone IJ11 is given in figure 7 (SEQ ID No 11) along with the corresponding amino acid sequence (SEQ ID No 12) .
Figure 8 reports the parasitic index determined during the in vitro infection of canine macrophages with the wild-type strain or the various selected L. infantum promastigote form clones (MHON/MA/67/ITMAP-263, clone 2) , at various incubation times. The examination of these results shows attachment of the parasites to the macrophages after 30 min, penetration of the parasites after 2 hours and survival and multiplication of the intracellular amastigotes at 48 hours.
1. A nucleic acid construct, characterized in that it comprises an isolated nucleic acid in the sense position, capable of encoding an immunogenic protein of promastigote forms or of amastigote forms of Leishmania, said nucleic acid corresponding to one of the sequences SEQ ID No 1, SEQ ID No 2, SEQ ID No 3, SEQ ID No 4, SEQ ID No 5 and SEQ ID No 11.
2. The construct as claimed in claim 1, wherein the sequence comprises a SalI restriction site and two HindIII restriction sites, with a stop codon located downstream of the first Hindlll site.
3. The construct as claimed in claim 2, wherein said nucleic acid sequence comprises an EcoRV and/or PstI restriction site between the two sites SalI and HindIII, or on either side of the SalI site.
4. The construct as claimed in any one of the claims 1 to 3, wherein said nucleic acid sequence is cloned in the sense position into a plasmid such as pTex.
5. The construct as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein it encodes an immunogenic protein of promastigote forms or of amastigote forms of Leishmania, these proteins corresponding to one of the sequences SEQ ID No 6, SEQ ID No 7, SEQ ID No 8, SEQ ID NO 9, SEQ ID No 10 and SEQ ID No 12.
6. An isolated immunogenic protein as defined in claim 1, wherein it has a sequence chosen from SEQ ID No 6, SEQ ID No 7, SEQ ID No 8, SEQ ID No 9, SEQ ID No 10 or SEQ ID No 12.
7. A genetically modified Leishmania strain, wherein it corresponds to Leishmania amastigote or promastigote forms transfected with a construct as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 5.
8. The strain as claimed in claim 7, wherein it is an L. infantum strain.
9. A method of transfecting a Leishmania parasite, wherein a construct as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 5, comprising a marker, is introduced into the Leishmania parasite, the transfected parasites are selected by means of said marker, they are placed in culture in a completely defined axenic and serum-free medium, and the culture supernatant which contains the immunogenic proteins present in concentrations of the order of 10 to 20 times higher than that produced by the Leishmania mother strain is recovered.
|Indian Patent Application Number||3327/DELNP/2006|
|PG Journal Number||31/2013|
|Date of Filing||09-Jun-2006|
|Name of Patentee||INSTITUT DE RECHERCHE POUR LE DEVELOPPEMENT (IRD)|
|Applicant Address||213, rue La Fayette, 75480 Paris Cedex 10, France|
|PCT International Classification Number||C07K 14/44|
|PCT International Application Number||PCT/FR2004/002955|
|PCT International Filing date||2004-11-19|