Publications by authors named "Luigi Sollai"

5 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Production of a Shigella sonnei Vaccine Based on Generalized Modules for Membrane Antigens (GMMA), 1790GAHB.

PLoS One 2015 6;10(8):e0134478. Epub 2015 Aug 6.

Sclavo Behring Vaccines Institute for Global Health S.r.l., Siena, Italy.

Recently, we developed a high yield production process for outer membrane particles from genetically modified bacteria, called Generalized Modules of Membrane Antigens (GMMA), and the corresponding simple two step filtration purification, enabling economic manufacture of these particles for use as vaccines. Using a Shigella sonnei strain that was genetically modified to produce penta-acylated lipopolysaccharide (LPS) with reduced endotoxicity and to maintain the virulence plasmid encoding for the immunodominant O antigen component of the LPS, scale up of the process to GMP pilot scale was straightforward and gave high yields of GMMA with required purity and consistent results. GMMA were formulated with Alhydrogel and were highly immunogenic in mice and rabbits. In mice, a single immunization containing 29 ng protein and 1.75 ng of O antigen elicited substantial anti-LPS antibody levels. As GMMA contain LPS and lipoproteins, assessing potential reactogenicity was a key aspect of vaccine development. In an in vitro monocyte activation test, GMMA from the production strain showed a 600-fold lower stimulatory activity than GMMA with unmodified LPS. Two in vivo tests confirmed the low potential for reactogenicity. We established a modified rabbit pyrogenicity test based on the European Pharmacopoeia pyrogens method but using intramuscular administration of the full human dose (100 μg of protein). The vaccine elicited an average temperature rise of 0.5°C within four hours after administration, which was considered acceptable and showed that the test is able to detect a pyrogenic response. Furthermore, a repeat dose toxicology study in rabbits using intramuscular (100 μg/dose), intranasal (80 μg/dose), and intradermal (10 μg/dose) administration routes showed good tolerability of the vaccine by all routes and supported its suitability for use in humans. The S. sonnei GMMA vaccine is now in Phase 1 dose-escalation clinical trials.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0134478PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4527750PMC
May 2016

Simplified low-cost production of O-antigen from Salmonella Typhimurium Generalized Modules for Membrane Antigens (GMMA).

J Biotechnol 2015 Mar 3;198:46-52. Epub 2015 Feb 3.

Novartis Vaccines Institute for Global Health, Via Fiorentina 1, 53100 Siena, Italy. Electronic address:

The Novartis Vaccines Institute for Global Health is developing vaccines using outer membrane particles, known as Generalized Modules for Membrane Antigens (GMMA). These are blebs of outer membrane and periplasm, shed from the surface of living Gram-negative bacteria following the targeted deletion of proteins involved in maintaining the integrity of the inner and outer membranes. The current study investigates the use of GMMA as starting material for extraction of membrane components, focusing on the O-antigen polysaccharide portion of lipopolysaccharide from Salmonella Typhimurium. We show that the amount of O-antigen extracted from GMMA by acid hydrolysis is comparable to the quantity extracted from whole wild type bacteria, but with less protein and DNA contaminants. Compared to conventional purification, GMMA enabled a reduction in the number of purification steps required to obtain the O-antigen polysaccharide with the same purity. Purification processes from GMMA and bacteria were characterised by similar final yields. Use of GMMA as starting material provides the possibility to simplify the purification process of O-antigen, with a consequent decrease in manufacturing costs of O-antigen-based glyconjugate vaccines against Salmonella strains and potentially other Gram-negative bacteria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiotec.2015.01.020DOI Listing
March 2015

A new PEG-beta-alanine active derivative for releasable protein conjugation.

Bioconjug Chem 2008 Dec;19(12):2427-31

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Padua, via F. Marzolo 5, 35131 Padua, Italy.

A new PEGylating agent, PEG-betaAla-NHCO-OSu, has been studied for protein amino conjugation using human growth hormone (hGH) and granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) as model therapeutic proteins. This new activated PEG possesses a convenient property for protein modification when compared to other activated carboxylate PEGs, namely, lower reactivity. When this polymer reacts with a protein, its features lead to fewer PEG-protein conjugate isomers because it preferentially binds the most nucleophilic and exposed amines. Furthermore, the conjugates obtained with PEG-betaAla-NHCO-OSu showed an interesting slow release of polymer chains upon incubation under physiological conditions. Further investigations determined that the PEG chains released are those coupled to histidine residues, and this finally yields less PEGylated species as well as free protein. This release allows a partial recovery of protein activity that is often remarkably and permanently reduced after stable PEGylation, and it occurs in water or blood without the involvement of enzymes. On the other hand, the rate of PEG release, tuned by the chemical structure of this new PEGylating agent, is not too high, and therefore, the achievement of a desired prolongation of protein half-life in vivo is still feasible. The pharmacokinetics of hGH-PEG6k-betaAla conjugate was compared to that of native hGH in rats and monkeys, and the blood residence times were increased by 10- and 7-fold, respectively. The conjugate potency was evaluated in hypophysectomized rats demonstrating a superior pharmacodynamic profile with respect to native hGH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bc800281sDOI Listing
December 2008

Oxygen-binding modulation of hemocyanin from the slipper lobster Scyllarides latus.

Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol 2004 Oct;139(2):261-8

Department of Sciences Applied to Biosystems, University of Cagliari, Cittadella Universitaria, Monserrato I-09042, CA, Italy.

The oxygen-binding properties of hexameric hemocyanin (Hc) from Scyllarides latus were investigated with respect to pH, temperature, and modulating effect exerted by calcium, lactate, and urate. The oxygen affinity decreased at higher temperature, was slightly affected by pH, and was insensitive to lactate. Nevertheless, urate markedly increased Hc-oxygen affinity and its temperature sensitivity, acting as the physiological major positive effector: four urate sites per hexamer with an overall affinity constant of 1 x 10(4) M(-1) were found and the exothermic contribution of their binding was found to be about 30 kJ mol(-1). Calcium ions largely influenced oxygen affinity: their effect, which has an opposite sign at low (0-1 mM) and high (0.1-1 M) concentration ranges, indicates the presence of two independent types of binding sites with high and low affinity, respectively; however, only the former ones seem to be operative in vivo because, at physiological calcium concentrations, they are already saturated and the oxygen affinity is reduced.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpc.2004.08.005DOI Listing
October 2004

Structural-functional characterization of the cathodic haemoglobin of the conger eel Conger conger: molecular modelling study of an additional phosphate-binding site.

Biochem J 2003 Jun;372(Pt 3):679-86

Department of Sciences Applied to Biosystems, University of Cagliari, Cittadella Universitaria, I-09042 Monserrato (CA), Italy.

The protein sequence data for the alpha- and beta-chains have been deposited in the SWISS-PROT and TrEMBL protein knowledgebase under the accession numbers P83479 and P83478 respectively. The Conger conger (conger eel) haemoglobin (Hb) system is made of three components, one of which, the so-called cathodic Hb, representing approx. 20% of the total pigment, has been purified and characterized from both a structural and functional point of view. Stripped Hb showed a reverse Bohr effect, high oxygen affinity and slightly low cooperativity in the absence of any effector. Addition of saturating GTP strongly influences the pH dependence of the oxygen affinity, since the reverse Bohr effect, observed under stripped conditions, is converted into a small normal Bohr effect. A further investigation of the GTP effect on oxygen affinity, carried out by fitting its titration curve, demonstrated the presence of two independent binding sites. Therefore, on the basis of the amino acid sequence of the alpha- and beta-chains, which have been determined, a computer modelling study has been performed. The data suggest that C. conger cathodic Hb may bind organic phosphates at two distinct binding sites located along the central cavity of the tetramer by hydrogen bonds and/or electrostatic interactions with amino acid residues of both chains, which have been identified. Among these residues, the two Lys-alpha(G6) (where the letter refers to the haemoglobin helix and the number to the amino acid position in the helix) appear to have a key role in the GTP movement from the external binding region to the internal central cavity of the tetrameric molecule.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BJ20021865DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1223446PMC
June 2003