Dengue fever is caused by four different serotypes of dengue virus (DENV) which is the leading cause of worldwide arboviral diseases in humans. Virus-like particles (VLPs) containing flavivirus prM/E proteins have been demonstrated to be a potential vaccine candidate; however, the structure of dengue VLP is poorly understood. Herein VLP derived from DENV serotype-2 were engineered becoming highly matured (mD2VLP) and showed variable size distribution with diameter of ~31 nm forming the major population under cryo-electron microscopy examination. Furthermore, mD2VLP particles of 31 nm diameter possess a T = 1 icosahedral symmetry with a groove located within the E-protein dimers near the 2-fold vertices that exposed highly overlapping, cryptic neutralizing epitopes. Mice vaccinated with mD2VLP generated higher cross-reactive (CR) neutralization antibodies (NtAbs) and were fully protected against all 4 serotypes of DENV. Our results highlight the potential of ‘epitope-resurfaced’ mature-form D2VLPs in inducing quaternary structure-recognizing broad CR NtAbs to guide future dengue vaccine design.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)