(1833 - 1889)
Médico y pedagogo. Miembro fundador de la Real Academia de Ciencias Médicas, Físicas y Naturales de la Habana, en 1861. Además fue miembro corresponsal de la Sociedad de Medicina Legal de Nueva York, Estados Unidos.
Biomedical Sciences
2005 | Contribution to knowledge on pathogenicity and antigenicity of Hepatitis C virus covering E2 protein
Main author: Gillian Martínez Donato
Coauthors: Santiago Dueñas Carreras, Liz Alvarez-Lajonchere Ponce de León, Juan Morales Grillo, Nelson Acosta Rivero, Eduardo martínez, Arfiel Viña Rodríguez, Ivis Guerra Aizpurúa, Angel Pérez Aguiar, Alexis Musacchio Lasa, José García, Osvaldo reyes, Hilda E. Garay, Luís J. González, Julio C. Alvarez, Yordanka Soria.

•  Hepatitis C is the main caused of no A and no B parenteral hepatitis. More than the 70% of the infected patients develop chronic hepatitis. Obtainig a vaccine against this infection is a top priority at world level. It is considered that the virus E2 protein plays a critical role in virus cell entering, being a potential target for the vaccine development.

•  In this study, the authors clone, express and purify in Pichia pastoris and E coli in several E2 protein variants. This protein, along with some synthetic peptides, were evaluated before a positive sera panel of infected individuals. The obtained recombinant proteins were also evaluated before a monoclonal antibody panel against E2 protein.

•  One of the variants of E2 680 was recognized by the 70% of the positive sera used in the study. This protein is recognized, at the same time, both for lineal epitopes recognizing monoclonal antibodies and conformational epitopes recognizong monoclonal antibodies; it was also able to induce antibodies response in immunized mice as well as a specific cell response.

Obtained results allowed to identify for the first time a cells B epitope in E2 protein, which was not known before. Additionally, E2 recombinant protein expressed in Pichia pastoris presents a conformational domain similar to the viral antigen, succeeding for the first time in obtaining the expression of a recombinant protein of a domain similar to the native virus. Results also pointed out the critical role played by the E2 N terminal region in virus antigenicity and pathogenicity.

Obtained results are novel, with the view to apply them in the vaccine development field. The study also allowed to obtained different analitic tools of great usefulness in an agent of such a difficult handling as VHC is. The research is supported by a publication accepted by the American J Biochemistry y Biotechnology, another in J Peptide Res in 2001 and other two in Biotecnología Aplicada (Applied Biotechnology) 2000 y 2003.