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Antiangiogenic Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-Blocking Peptides Displayed on the Capsid of an Infectious Oncolytic Parvovirus: Assembly and Immune Interactions

AuthorsGrueso, Esther; Sánchez-Martínez, Cristina; Calvo-López, Tania; Miguel, Fernando J. de; Blanco-Menéndez, Noelia; Fernández-Estevez, Mariam; Elizalde, María; Sánchez, Jorge; Kourani, Omar; Martín, Diana CSIC ORCID ; Tato, Aroa; Guerra, Milagros CSIC; Andrés, Fernando de; Almendral, José M. CSIC ORCID
VEGF peptides
Antibody footprint
Capsid assembly
Capsid engineering
Immune evasion
Infectious chimeras
Tumor vascularization
Virus evolution
Issue Date2019
PublisherAmerican Society for Microbiology
CitationJournal of Virology 93 (2019)
AbstractAs many tumor cells synthetize vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF) that promote neo-vascularization and metastasis, frontline cancer therapies often administer anti-VEGF (α-VEGF) antibodies. To target the oncolytic parvovirus minute virus of mice (MVM) to the tumor vasculature, we studied the functional tolerance, evasion of neutralization, and induction of α-VEGF antibodies of chimeric viruses in which the footprint of a neutralizing monoclonal antibody within the 3-fold capsid spike was replaced by VEGF-blocking peptides: P6L (PQPRPL) and A7R (ATWLPPR). Both peptides allowed viral genome replication and nuclear translocation of chimeric capsid subunits. MVM-P6L efficiently propagated in culture, exposing the heterologous peptide on the capsid surface, and evaded neutralization by the anti-spike monoclonal antibody. In contrast, MVM-A7R yielded low infectious titers and was poorly recognized by an α-A7R monoclonal antibody. MVM-A7R showed a deficient assembly pattern, suggesting that A7R impaired a transitional configuration that the subunits must undergo in the 3-fold axis to close up the capsid shell. The MVM-A7R chimeric virus consistently evolved in culture into a mutant carrying the P6Q amino acid substitution within the A7R sequence, which restored normal capsid assembly and infectivity. Consistent with this finding, anti-native VEGF antibodies were induced in mice by a single injection of MVM-A7R empty capsids, but not by MVM-A7R virions. This fundamental study provides insights to endow an infectious parvovirus with immune antineovascularization and evasion capacities by replacing an antibody footprint in the capsid 3-fold axis with VEGF-blocking peptides, and it also illustrates the evolutionary capacity of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) viruses to overcome engineered capsid structural restrictions.IMPORTANCE Targeting the VEGF signaling required for neovascularization by vaccination with chimeric capsids of oncolytic viruses may boost therapy for solid tumors. VEGF-blocking peptides (VEbp) engineered in the capsid 3-fold axis endowed the infectious parvovirus MVM with the ability to induce α-VEGF antibodies without adjuvant and to evade neutralization by MVM-specific antibodies. However, these properties may be compromised by structural restraints that the capsid imposes on the peptide configuration and by misassembly caused by the heterologous peptides. Significantly, chimeric MVM-VEbp resolved the structural restrictions by selecting mutations within the engineered peptides that restored efficient capsid assembly. These data show the promise of antineovascularization vaccines using chimeric VEbp-icosahedral capsids of oncolytic viruses but also raise safety concerns regarding the genetic stability of manipulated infectious parvoviruses in cancer and gene therapies.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00798-19
Identifiersdoi: 10.1128/JVI.00798-19
issn: 1098-5514
Appears in Collections:(CBM) Artículos
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