Pseudotyping retrovirus like particles vaccine candidates with Hepatitis C virus envelope protein E2 requires the cellular expression of CD81

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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects 3% of world population being responsible for nearly half a million deaths annually urging the need for a prophylactic vaccine. Retrovirus like particles are commonly used scaffolds for antigens presentation being the core of diverse vaccine candidates. The immunogenicity of host proteins naturally incorporated in retrovirus was hypothesized to impact the performance of retrovirus based vaccines. In this work, the capacity of engineered retrovirus like particles devoided of host protein CD81 to display HCV envelope antigens was compared to non-engineered particles. A persistent inability of CD81 negative VLPs to incorporate HCV E2 protein as a result from the inefficient transport of HCV E2 to the plasma membrane, was observed. This work enabled the identification of a CD81-mediated transport of HCV E2 while stressing the importance of host proteins for the development of recombinant vaccines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number22
JournalAMB Express
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019



  • CD81
  • E1
  • E2
  • HCV
  • Retrovirus
  • Transport

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