Minjin Kim received MA in international studies from Graduate School of International Studies, Yonsei University, Korea. She was one of the council member for The 5th Creative Technology Management Student Council, CUANTUM Yonsei University, Korea. Her research interests include vaccines.
For robust and effective production of nanoparticle (NP) vaccines, it is important that folding of monomeric antigens and subsequent high-dimensional assembly be done in a timely and reproducible manner. While there have been significant advances in in silico design and structure-based assembly, engineered NPs have significant hurdles in manufacturing processes not only at the step of soluble expression but assembly of monomeric antigens. The problem lies in the lack of understanding the kinetic pathway for assembly and enabling technical platform. Utilizing the novel functions of RNA as a molecular chaperon (chaperna: chaperone+RNA), we have established a protein folding vehicle that can implement the correct NP assembly in the bacterial host. The receptor binding domain of the MERS -CoV fused with the RNA interaction domain and the bacterioferritin was expressed in soluble form in E. coli. Site specific proteolytic removal of RID promoted the assembly of monomers into nanoparticles, which were confirmed by electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering. Mutations affecting RNA binding to the receptor binding domain significantly increased soluble aggregation into the nonstructural structure and that reduced the overall yield of nanoparticles of defined size. This underscores the importance of RNA-protein interactions during the folding of monomers and their subsequent assembly into NP. The results suggest RNA binding affects the overall kinetic network of the antigen-folding pathway and supports enhanced assembly of NPs in an immunologically relevant manner. The chaperna function for macromolecular assembly enables the development and delivery of NPs and VLP, and the serological detection of viral infections.
Lopes Cardoso is an Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Genetics at the Faculty of Health Sciences from University Fernando Pessoa. She has completed her PhD in Biotechnology by the Superior School of Biotechnology from the Portuguese Catholic University and degree in Biochemistry from the Faculty of Sciences, the University of Porto. She is an Integrated Member of CEBIMED (Centre for Studies in Biomedicine) of the FP-ENAS (Research Unit in Energy, Environment and Health of the Fernando Pessoa University). She has published several books with national publishers and papers in international scientific journals in the area of Biochemistry, Genetics and Health Sciences.
The average life expectancy is increasing and leads to an increase of the pathologies associated with bone tissue that can be overcome with the bone substitutes. The use of antibacterial agents is an option often used to inhibit bacterial adhesion to biomaterials and to control biofilm formation and subsequent infections. Calcium-phosphate porous microspheres, used as bone fillers, can be loaded with antibacterial agents aiming at preventing bone infections. Gentamicin is frequently used to treat and prevent bone infection and cerium is pointed as an alternative antibacterial substance. The antibacterial activity and bacterial adhesion in the microspheres loaded with gentamicin and cerium chloride were evaluated. The antibacterial effect was evaluated by Kirby-Bauer method, adaptation and the bacterial adhesion by the MTT test. Both studies were performed with Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. The antibacterial activity studies showed that only microspheres with gentamicin have antibacterial activity for both species. Concerning bacterial adhesion studies, it was possible to conclude that both gentamicin and cerium chloride microspheres have the capacity to inhibit bacterial adhesion on their surface; moreover, there was a higher adhesion inhibition effect on Escherichia coli than on Staphylococcus aureus. Although cerium did not present antibacterial activity, it revealed the ability to inhibit bacterial adhesion, contributing to the possible control of the early stages of biofilm formation.