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Keywords:

  • Antigen;
  • Immunoproteomics;
  • Lipoprotein;
  • Neisseria meningitidis;
  • Vaccine

Abstract

Many potential vaccine candidates for serogroup B Neisseria meningitidis (NMB) have been identified by reverse vaccinology, a genome-based approach. However, some candidates may be unseen owing to uncertain annotation or their peculiar properties. In this study, we describe the preparation and identification of a novel lipoprotein expressed in all meningococcal strains tested. mAb were first prepared from mice immunized with a meningococcal B strain isolated in Taiwan. Total proteins from the immunizing strain were separated by 2-DE in duplicate. Clone 4-7-3, which crossreacted to 174 tested meningococcal isolates, was used as the primary antibody for Western blotting. The immunoreactive spot was identified by LC-mass spectrometric analysis of the corresponding spot from the silver-stained gel and confirmed by molecular biology approach to be a novel lipoprotein encoded by the hypothetical NMB1468 gene. The potential use of this protein, designated Ag473/NMB1468, as a vaccine component was evaluated using the recombinant protein produced in Escherichia coli. Immunized mice were found to be protected from developing meningococcal disease after intraperitoneal inoculation with a lethal dose of meningococcal strain Nm22209, suggesting that Ag473/NMB1468 may be a promising vaccine candidate. This study also demonstrates the usefulness of the immunoproteomic approach in identification of novel vaccine candidates.