Amyloid form of Ovalbumin evokes native antigen specific immune response in the host: prospective immuno-prophylactic potential [Immunology]

December 15th, 2014 by Tufail, S., Owais, M., Kazmi, S., Balyan, R., Khalsa, J. K., Faisal, S. M., Sherwani, M. A., Gatoo, M. A., Umar, M. S., Zubair, S.

Amyloids are highly organized protein aggregates that arise from inappropriately folded versions of proteins or polypeptides under both physiological as well as simulated ambiences. Once thought to be irreversible assemblies, amyloids have begun to expose their more dynamic and reversible attributes depending upon the intrinsic properties of precursor protein/peptide and experimental conditions such as temperature, pressure, structural modifications in proteins or presence of chemicals in the reaction mixture. It has been repeatedly proposed that amyloids undergo transformation to the bioactive peptide/protein forms under specific conditions. In the present study, amyloids assembled from the model protein ovalbumin (OVA) were found to release the precursor protein in a slow and steady manner over an extended time period. Interestingly, the released OVA from amyloid depot was found to exhibit biophysical characteristics of native protein and reacted with native-OVA specific monoclonal as well as polyclonal antibodies. Moreover, antibodies generated upon immunization of OVA amyloidal aggregates or fibrils were found to recognize the native form of OVA. The study suggests that amyloids may act as depots for the native form of the protein and therefore can be exploited as vaccine candidates, where slow antigen release over extended time periods is a pre-requisite for development of desired immune response.