Expression and immunological characterization of cardamom mosaic virus coat protein displaying HIV gp41 epitopes



Ramakrishnan Usha, Department of Plant Biotechnology, School of Biotechnology, Madurai Kamaraj University, Palkalainagar, Madurai 625021, India. Tel: 91 452 2458230; fax: 91 452 2459105; email:


The coat protein of cardamom mosaic virus (CdMV), a member of the genus Macluravirus, assembles into virus-like particles when expressed in an Escherichia coli expression system. The N and C-termini of the coat protein were engineered with the Kennedy peptide and the 2F5 and 4E10 epitopes of gp41 of HIV. The chimeric proteins reacted with sera from HIV positive persons and also stimulated secretion of cytokines by peripheral blood mononuclear cells from these persons. Thus, a system based on the coat protein of CdMV can be used to display HIV-1 antigens.