A Modification-Specific Peptide-Based Immunization Approach Using CRM197 Carrier Protein: Pyroglutamate Aβ Peptides

Valérie Vingtdeux, Haitian Zhao, Pallavi Chandakkar, Christopher M Acker, Peter Davies, and Philippe Marambaud
Strategies aimed at reducing cerebral accumulation of the amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides have therapeutic potential in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Aβ immunization has proven to be effective at promoting Aβ clearance in animal models, but adverse effects have hampered its clinical evaluation. The first anti-Aβ immunization clinical trial, which assessed a full-length Aβ1-42 vaccine, showed an increased risk of encephalitis, most likely because of autoimmune proinflammatory T helper 1 (Th1) response against all forms of Aβ. Immunization against less abundant but potentially more pathologically relevant Aβ products, such as N-terminally truncated pyroglutamate-3 Aβ (AβpE3), could provide efficacy and improve tolerability in Aβ immunotherapy. Here, we describe a selective vaccine against AβpE3 that uses the diphtheria toxin mutant CRM197 as a carrier protein for epitope presentation. CRM197 is currently used in licensed vaccines and has demonstrated excellent immunogenicity and safety in humans. In mice, our AβpE3:CRM197 vaccine triggered the production of specific anti-AβpE3 antibodies that did not cross-react with Aβ1-42, non-cyclized AβE3 or N-terminally truncated pyroglutamate-11 Aβ (AβpE11). AβpE3:CRM197 antiserum strongly labeled AβpE3 in insoluble protein extracts and decorated cortical amyloid plaques in human AD brains. Anti-AβpE3 antibodies were almost exclusively of the IgG1 isotype, suggesting an antiinflammatory Th2 response bias to the AβpE3:CRM197 vaccine. To the best of our knowledge, this study shows for the first time that CRM197 has potential as a safe and suitable vaccine carrier for active and selective immunization against specific protein sequence modifications or conformations such as AβpE3.
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Date Published
November 28, 2016
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Vingtdeux, Zhao, Chandakkar, Acker, Davies, Marambaud, Alzheimer’s disease, AD, amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides, Anti-amyloid-β (Aβ) immunotherapy, CRM197, vaccines, anti-AβpE3 antibodies, pyroglutamate-3 Aβ
Article Type
Research Article