Single-Component Multilayered Self-Assembling Protein Nanoparticles Displaying Extracellular Domains of Matrix Protein 2 as a Pan-influenza A Vaccine

Keegan Braz Gomes, Yi-Nan Zhang, Yi-Zong Lee, Mor Eldad, Alexander Lim, Garrett Ward , Sarah Auclair , Linling He , Jiang Zhu
ACS Nano 2023, ,Volume 17, Issue 23

The development of a cross-protective pan-influenza A vaccine remains a significant challenge. In this study, we designed and evaluated single-component self-assembling protein nanoparticles (SApNPs) presenting the conserved extracellular domain of matrix protein 2 (M2e) as vaccine candidates against influenza A viruses. The SApNP-based vaccine strategy was first validated for human M2e (hM2e) and then applied to tandem repeats of M2e from human, avian, and swine hosts (M2ex3). Vaccination with M2ex3 displayed on SApNPs demonstrated higher survival rates and less weight loss compared to the soluble M2ex3 antigen against the lethal challenges of H1N1 and H3N2 in mice. M2ex3 I3-01v9a SApNPs formulated with a squalene-based adjuvant were retained in the lymph node follicles over 8 weeks and induced long-lived germinal center reactions. Notably, a single low dose of M2ex3 I3-01v9a SApNP formulated with a potent adjuvant, either a Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) agonist or a stimulator of interferon genes (STING) agonist, conferred 90% protection against a lethal H1N1 challenge in mice. With the ability to induce robust and durable M2e-specific functional antibody and T cell responses, the M2ex3-presenting I3-01v9a SApNP provides a promising pan-influenza A vaccine candidate.

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