IJMS, Vol. 24, Pages 2393: The Immunogenicity of DENV1–4 ED3s Strongly Differ despite Their Almost Identical Three-Dimensional Structures and High Sequence Similarities (International Journal of Molecular Sciences)
The development of a dengue (DENV) vaccine remains challenging due to the heteroserotypic infection, which can result in a potentially deadly hemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome, and only a tetravalent vaccine can overcome this issue. Here, we report the immunogenicity of DENV envelope protein domain 3 (ED3) from all four DENV serotypes (DENV1–4) in Swiss albino and BALB/c mice models. Firstly, we observed that despite having very similar sequences and structures, both the humoral and cellular immunogenicity of ED3s varied significantly, with strength ranging from DENV2 ED3 (2ED3)~3ED3 > 1ED3 > 4ED3, which was assessed through anti-ED3 IgG titers, and DENV1 ED3 (1ED3) > 2ED3~3ED3 > 4ED3 as determined by monitoring T-cell memory (CD44+CD62L+ T cells with IL-4 and IFN-γ expression). Secondly, anti-1ED3 sera cross-reacted with 2ED3 and 3ED3; anti-2ED3 and anti-3ED3 sera cross-reacted with each other, but anti-4ED3 was completely serotype-specific. The lack of reciprocity of anti-1ED3’s cross-reaction was unanticipated. Such disparity in the ED3 responses and cross-reaction might underlie the appearance of hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome. Hence, the development of an ED3-based tetravalent subunit vaccine would require understanding the aforementioned disparities.