The training in protein engineering ofchimeric viral proteins, or VLPs (virus- like Particles), is proposed. It isoriented 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 functionaloligopeptide sequences (immunological epitopes, nucleic acids packaging andcell addressing sequences) into self-assembly competent carriers. As suchcarriers, constituents of capsids and envelopes of Hepadnaviridae, Leviviridae,Sobemovirus origin are chosen. Research training will include selection ofactive oligopeptide sequences, introduction of them into the desired sites ontothe carriers, and structural and functional analysis of the fate of theinserted oligopeptides. Each training course will be accomplished by theconstruction of a real vaccine, diagnostic, or gene therapy candidate for HBV ,HCV , HPV , HIV, TB, Syphilis and other infections (including those suggestedby training candidate). The main subjects of training will be: (i) Constructionand elucidation of chimeric capsids on the basis of HBcAg, using a special setof advanced 'capsid vectors', (ii) Construction of diagnostic and vaccine toolson the basis of Leviviridae RNA bacteriophage QB, within the A1 extension ofits coat, (iii) Construction of chimeric proteins on the basis of plant viruses:Cocksfoot mottle sobemovirus (CfMV), and Rice yellow mottle virus (RYMV), (iv) Synthesisof HBV-like particles governed by Semliki Forest virus expression system andmodelling of viral syntheses in eukaryotic cells, (v) Immune response tochimeric proteins.
Prof. Paul Pumpens
Biomedical Research and Study Centre
Closing Date: 01/09/2005