Contract Number QLK2-1999-51115

Project Title

Artificial chimeric proteins as diagnostic, vaccine, and gene therapy carriers

Job Description

The training in protein engineering of chimeric viral proteins, or VLPs (virus- like Particles), is proposed. It is oriented onto creation of VLPs with desired practical functions of vaccine, diagnostic and gene therapy tools. We propose knowledge-based prediction, combination, and introduction of synthetic oligonucleotides encoding functional oligopeptide sequences (immunological epitopes, nucleic acids packaging and cell addressing sequences) into self-assembly competent carriers. As such carriers, constituents of capsids and envelopes of Hepadnaviridae, Leviviridae, Sobemovirus origin are chosen. Research training will include selection of active oligopeptide sequences, introduction of them into the desired sites onto the carriers, and structural and functional analysis of the fate of the inserted oligopeptides. Each training course will be accomplished by the construction of a real vaccine, diagnostic, or gene therapy candidate for HBV , HCV , HPV , HIV, TB, Syphilis and other infections (including those suggested by training candidate). 
The main subjects of training will be:
(i) Construction and elucidation of chimeric capsids on the basis of HBcAg, using a special set of advanced "capsid vectors",
(ii) Construction of diagnostic and vaccine tools on the basis of Leviviridae RNA bacteriophage QB, within the A1 extension of its coat,
(iii) Construction of chimeric proteins on the basis of plant viruses: Cocksfoot mottle sobemovirus (CfMV), and Rice yellow mottle virus (RYMV),
(iv) Synthesis of HBV-like particles governed by Semliki Forest virus expression system and modelling of viral syntheses in eukaryotic cells,
(v) Immune response to chimeric proteins.

Professor Paul Pumpens

Biomedical Study and Research Centre  ~ Latvian Academy of Sciences  ~ Marie Curie Fellowships

Last update: 01-02-2001