Research Paper Volume 13, Issue 10 pp 14372—14384
Identification of novel hepatitis B virus therapeutic vaccine candidates derived from polymerase protein
- 1 Department of Gastroenterology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou 325000, Zhejiang Province, P.R. China
- 2 Department of Gastroenterology, Wenzhou People’s Hospital, Wenzhou 325000, Zhejiang Province, P.R. China
Received: October 3, 2019 Accepted: April 28, 2021 Published: May 20, 2021https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.203053
How to Cite
Copyright: © 2021 Zheng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a worldwide health problem with high morbidity and mortality rates. The therapeutic vaccine is a promising method of treatment, and HBV polymerase plays a vital role in viral replication. Therefore, a therapeutic vaccine that binds to HBV DNA polymerase may control HBV infection. We predicted and selected epitopes of polymerase using online databases and analysis software. We then performed molecular docking and peptide binding assays to evaluate the binding energies and affinities between polymerase epitopes and the HLA-A0201 molecule. Finally, we induced T cells from the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of healthy donors using each epitope and quantified the functions of epitope-specific T cells by IFN-γELISPOT assay, T2 cell cytotoxicity assay, HepG2.2.15 cell cytotoxicity assay and HBV gene expression assays. Four epitopes (RVTGGVFLV, GLLGFAAPF, LLDDEAGPL and YMDDVVLGA) had low binding energy and two epitopes (RVTGGVFLV and GLLGFAAPF) had a high binding affinity. The T cells stimulated by two epitopes (GLLGFAAPF and HLYSHPIIL) had a greater ability to induce immune response and suppress HBV. The HBV DNA polymerase epitopes identified in this study are promising targets for designing an epitope-based therapeutic vaccine against HBV.