13. Virus-Like Particles as Antigen Scaffolds

  1. W. John W. Morrow PhD, DSc, FRCPath3,
  2. Nadeem A. Sheikh PhD4,
  3. Clint S. Schmidt PhD5 and
  4. D. Huw Davies PhD6
  1. Bryce Chackerian PhD1 and
  2. John T. Schiller PhD2

Published Online: 20 JUN 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118345313.ch13

Vaccinology: Principles and Practice

Vaccinology: Principles and Practice

How to Cite

Chackerian, B. and Schiller, J. T. (2012) Virus-Like Particles as Antigen Scaffolds, in Vaccinology: Principles and Practice (eds W. J. W. Morrow, N. A. Sheikh, C. S. Schmidt and D. H. Davies), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118345313.ch13

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Seattle, WA, USA

  2. 4

    Dendreon Corporation, Seattle, WA, USA

  3. 5

    NovaDigm Therapeutics, Inc., Grand Forks, ND, USA

  4. 6

    University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, NM, USA

  2. 2

    Laboratory of Cellular Oncology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 JUN 2012
  2. Published Print: 3 AUG 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405185745

Online ISBN: 9781118345313



  • virus-like particles;
  • virosomes;
  • self-assembling polypeptide nanoparticles;
  • autoantibodies;
  • B-cell tolerance;
  • phage display;
  • vaccines;
  • HPV vaccine;
  • HBV vaccine


Many major viral structural proteins have an intrinsic ability to self-assemble into virus-like particles (VLPs). VLPs structurally resemble the virus from which they were derived but, because they lack viral genomes, are absolutely noninfectious. VLPs can serve as the basis for effective vaccines because their particulate nature and multivalent structure provoke strong immune responses. Moreover, VLP-based vaccines often have exceptional safety profiles. VLPs can be used as standalone vaccines against the virus from which they were derived, but they can also be used as platforms to increase the immunogenicity of other antigens. This chapter will review the properties of VLPs that make them well-suited as vaccines, describe the VLP-based vaccines that are currently approved for human use or are in development, and give an overview of the VLP-based platform technologies that have been used to target diverse antigens involved in both infectious and chronic diseases.