Chimeric bacteriophage fr virus-like particles harboring the immunodominant C-terminal region of hamster polyomavirus VP1 induce a strong VP1-specific antibody response in rabbits and mice


  • T. Voronkova
  • A. Grosch
  • A. Kazaks
  • V. Ose
  • D. Skrastina
  • K. Sasnauskas
  • B. Jandrig
  • W. Arnold
  • S. Scherneck
  • P. Pumpens
  • R. Ulrich


  • Viral Immunology


  • Viral Immunol 15 (4): 627-643


  • The late region of the hamster polyomavirus (HaPyV, former HaPV) genome encodes three structural proteins VP1, VP2, and VP3, where VP1 represents the major capsid protein of 384 amino acids. Screening of sera from HaPyV-infected papilloma-bearing and papilloma-free hamsters demonstrated the immunodominant features of all three capsid proteins. For both groups of hamsters in the C-terminal region of VP1 immunodominant B-cell epitopes were identified in the regions between amino acids 305 and 351 and amino acids 351 and 384. The high flexibility of the C-terminal region of VP1 was confirmed by the formation of chimeric virus-like particles based on the coat protein of the RNA bacteriophage fr which was previously found to tolerate only very short-sized foreign insertions. Phage fr coat protein-derived virus-like particles tolerated the N-terminal fusion of amino acids 333-384, 351-384, 351-374, and 364-384, respectively, of VP1. The induction of VP1-specific antibodies in rabbits and mice by immunization with chimeric virus-like particles harboring amino acids 333-384, 351-384, and 364-384, respectively, of VP1 suggested the immunodominant nature of the C-terminal region of VP1.