Induction of SARS-CoV-2 Protein S-Specific CD8+ T Cells in the Lungs of gp96-Ig-S Vaccinated Mice

Eva Fisher, Laura Padula, Kristin Podack, Katelyn O’Neill, Matthew M. Seavey, Padmini Jayaraman, Rahul Jasuja, Natasa Strbo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Given the aggressive spread of COVID-19-related deaths, there is an urgent public health need to support the development of vaccine candidates to rapidly improve the available control measures against SARS-CoV-2. To meet this need, we are leveraging our existing vaccine platform to target SARS-CoV-2. Here, we generated cellular heat shock chaperone protein, glycoprotein 96 (gp96), to deliver SARS-CoV-2 protein S (spike) to the immune system and to induce cell-mediated immune responses. We showed that our vaccine platform effectively stimulates a robust cellular immune response against protein S. Moreover, we confirmed that gp96-Ig, secreted from allogeneic cells expressing full-length protein S, generates powerful, protein S polyepitope-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses in both lung interstitium and airways. These findings were further strengthened by the observation that protein-S -specific CD8+ T cells were induced in human leukocyte antigen HLA-A2.1 transgenic mice thus providing encouraging translational data that the vaccine is likely to work in humans, in the context of SARS-CoV-2 antigen presentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number602254
JournalFrontiers in immunology
Volume11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 26 2021

Keywords

  • CD8+ T cells
  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2 protein S
  • glycoprotein 96
  • heat shock protein
  • lungs
  • vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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