Defense: Cell line engineering to alter HIV-1 vaccine antigen glycosylation

Speaker Name: 
Gabriel Byrne
Speaker Title: 
PhD Candidate (Advisor: Phil Berman)
Speaker Organization: 
Biomolecular Engineering & Bioinformatics
Start Time: 
Thursday, November 29, 2018 - 2:00pm
End Time: 
Thursday, November 29, 2018 - 4:00pm
Biomedical Sciences, Room 200
Phil Berman

Abstract:  The HIV-1 envelope protein, gp120, is required for binding to the host CD4 receptor and subsequent entry to the cell, making it the prime target for vaccine design.  Complicating maters, gp120 is one of the most heavily glycosylated proteins known, owing half its mass to asparagine linked sugar groups. The majority of described broadly neutralizing antibodies that offer protection against HIV either have ways of penetrating through these sugar groups, or require them as binding partners.  Manufacturing candidate antigens with glycosylation of the type required to bind broadly neutralizing antibodies has proven difficult, and hampered the progress toward an effective vaccine.  Using CRISPR/Cas9, we have altered the glycosylation machinery of a Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell line and are now able to produce HIV-1 vaccine antigen candidates with the correct glycosylation in quantities necessary for clinical trials and eventual large-sc! ale production.