MetaVaccinology: a new vaccine discovery tool

Altindis, Emrah (2011) MetaVaccinology: a new vaccine discovery tool, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Biologia cellulare, molecolare e industriale/cellular, molecular and industrial biology: progetto n. 2 Biologia funzionale dei sistemi cellulari e molecolari, 23 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/3908.
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In the last decade, the reverse vaccinology approach shifted the paradigm of vaccine discovery from conventional culture-based methods to high-throughput genome-based approaches for the development of recombinant protein-based vaccines against pathogenic bacteria. Besides reaching its main goal of identifying new vaccine candidates, this new procedure produced also a huge amount of molecular knowledge related to them. In the present work, we explored this knowledge in a species-independent way and we performed a systematic in silico molecular analysis of more than 100 protective antigens, looking at their sequence similarity, domain composition and protein architecture in order to identify possible common molecular features. This meta-analysis revealed that, beside a low sequence similarity, most of the known bacterial protective antigens shared structural/functional Pfam domains as well as specific protein architectures. Based on this, we formulated the hypothesis that the occurrence of these molecular signatures can be predictive of possible protective properties of other proteins in different bacterial species. We tested this hypothesis in Streptococcus agalactiae and identified four new protective antigens. Moreover, in order to provide a second proof of the concept for our approach, we used Staphyloccus aureus as a second pathogen and identified five new protective antigens. This new knowledge-driven selection process, named MetaVaccinology, represents the first in silico vaccine discovery tool based on conserved and predictive molecular and structural features of bacterial protective antigens and not dependent upon the prediction of their sub-cellular localization.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Altindis, Emrah
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze biologiche, biomediche e biotecnologiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
MetaVaccinology, Streptoccus agalactiae, Staphylococcus aureus, 5’nucleotidases, vaccinology, genomics, proteomics
Data di discussione
15 Aprile 2011

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