Display of chikungunya epitope on ferritin for potential application as vaccine
Date of Issue2014
School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
The idea of this project is to develop a new way to deliver vaccine by displaying the Chikungunya epitope on ferritin protein cage. Chikungunya virus is a human pathogen and one of the leading causes of mosquito-borne arthralgia in parts of Africa, India and Southeast Asia. Due to lack of specific treatment and licensed vaccine for this disease, there is a critical need for scientists to develop an effective vaccine. In comparison with the existing widely-used technology of vaccine production where the epitope and carrier protein are separately produced and subsequently coupled together, the novelty of this approach is the one-step production of the whole piece of vaccine by integrating the epitope with protein cage at DNA level. Ferritin is a ubiquitous protein produced by almost all living organisms. It has the property of self-assembling into a 24-mer in the presence of iron. Archaeoglobus fulgidus ferritin is chosen as the particular type of ferritin to use in this project due to its hyperthermostability and high structural similarity to human ferritin. In this project, the approach used for vaccine protein production is through gene overexpression in E.coli transformed with the recombinant plasmid. With SDS-PAGE characterization, we showed that the protein is successfully produced and purified by hydrophobic interaction chromatography. Characterization of the protein cage using dynamic light scattering technique showed that protein cage is potentially formed for one of the constructs.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University