Cloning and Expression of the Envelop Protein from West Nile Virus for Oral Vaccine Development.
Dr. Ken Cornell
West Nile Virus (WNV) is a flavivirus closely related to the other mosquito born flaviviruses that cause Yellow fever and Dengue fever. WNV reached North America in 1999, initially infecting flamingos at the Bronx Zoo in New York. In just a few years the disease has spread across the country causing roughly 30,000 clinical cases of fever and encephalitis, and 1130 deaths. The total number of infections is estimated at over 1 million. WNV has a structured envelope protein around the nucleocapsid that contains viral M and E proteins. Both M and E proteins are major targets for host protective immunity and thus are important for WNV vaccines. For this reason, the genes for E and the subdomain (DIII) proteins have been amplified by pcr and cloned and expressed in E. coli and Kluyveromyces lactis (yeast) recombinant expression systems. The results of our studies to express and purify these proteins for vaccine development will be presented.
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