Jiangsu Affynigen Biotechnologies Inc.

Taizhou, China

Jiangsu Affynigen Biotechnologies Inc.

Taizhou, China
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Pei Z.,Hubei University | Jiang X.,University of California at Berkeley | Yang Z.,Taizhou Institute of Virology | Yang Z.,Jiangsu Affynigen Biotechnologies Inc. | And 11 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Attenuated strains of invasive enteric bacteria, such as Salmonella, represent promising gene delivery agents for nucleic acid-based vaccines as they can be administrated orally. In this study, we constructed a novel attenuated strain of Salmonella for the delivery and expression of the hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) of a highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza virus. We showed that the constructed Salmonella strain exhibited efficient gene transfer activity for HA and NA expression and little cytotoxicity and pathogenicity in mice. Using BALB/c mice as the model, we evaluated the immune responses and protection induced by the constructed Salmonella-based vaccine. Our study showed that the Salmonella- based vaccine induced significant production of anti-HA serum IgG and mucosal IgA, and of anti-HA interferon-γ producing T cells in orally vaccinated mice. Furthermore, mice orally vaccinated with the Salmonella vaccine expressing viral HA and NA proteins were completely protected from lethal challenge of highly pathogenic H5N1 as well as H1N1 influenza viruses while none of the animals treated with the Salmonella vaccine carrying the empty expression vector with no viral antigen expression was protected. These results suggest that the Salmonella-based vaccine elicits strong antigen-specific humoral and cellular immune responses and provides effective immune protection against multiple strains of influenza viruses. Furthermore, our study demonstrates the feasibility of developing novel attenuated Salmonella strains as new oral vaccine vectors against influenza viruses. Copyright © 2015 Pei et al.


Yang Z.,Nanjing University | Yang Z.,Taizhou Institute of Virology | Yang Z.,Jiangsu Affynigen Biotechnologies Inc. | Mao G.,Nanjing University | And 18 more authors.
Virologica Sinica | Year: 2013

A quantitative real time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) assay with specific primers recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) has been widely used successfully for detection and monitoring of the pandemic H1N1/2009 influenza A virus. In this study, we report the design and characterization of a novel set of primers to be used in a qRT-PCR assay for detecting the pandemic H1N1/2009 virus. The newly designed primers target three regions that are highly conserved among the hemagglutinin (HA) genes of the pandemic H1N1/2009 viruses and are different from those targeted by the WHO-recommended primers. The qRT-PCR assays with the newly designed primers are highly specific, and as specific as the WHO-recommended primers for detecting pandemic H1N1/2009 viruses and other influenza viruses including influenza B viruses and influenza A viruses of human, swine, and raccoon dog origin. Furthermore, the qRT-PCR assays with the newly designed primers appeared to be at least 10-fold more sensitive than those with the WHO-recommended primers as the detection limits of the assays with our primers and the WHO-recommended primers were 2.5 and 25 copies of target RNA per reaction, respectively. When tested with 83 clinical samples, 32 were detected to be positive using the qRT-PCR assays with our designed primers, while only 25 were positive by the assays with the WHO-recommended primers. These results suggest that the qRT-PCR system with the newly designed primers represent a highly sensitive assay for diagnosis of the pandemic H1N1/2009 virus infection. © 2013 Wuhan Institute of Virology, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Yang Z.,Nanjing University | Yang Z.,Taizhou Institute of Virology | Yang Z.,Jiangsu Affynigen Biotechnologies Inc | Vu G.-P.,University of California at Berkeley | And 8 more authors.
Viruses | Year: 2014

RNase P ribozyme can be engineered to be a sequence-specific gene-targeting agent with promising application in both basic research and clinical settings. By using an in vitro selection system, we have previously generated RNase P ribozyme variants that have better catalytic activity in cleaving an mRNA sequence than the wild type ribozyme. In this study, one of the variants was used to target the mRNA encoding human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) essential transcription factor immediate-early protein 2 (IE2). The variant was able to cleave IE2 mRNA in vitro 50-fold better than the wild type ribozyme. A reduction of about 98% in IE2 expression and a reduction of 3500-fold in viral production was observed in HCMV-infected cells expressing the variant compared to a 75% reduction in IE2 expression and a 100-fold reduction in viral production in cells expressing the ribozyme derived from the wild type sequence. These results suggest that ribozyme variants that are selected to be highly active in vitro are also more effective in inhibiting the expression of their targets in cultured cells. Our study demonstrates that RNase P ribozyme variants are efficient in reducing HCMV gene expression and growth and are potentially useful for anti-viral therapeutic application. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Yang Z.,Nanjing University | Yang Z.,Taizhou Institute of Virology | Yang Z.,Jiangsu Affynigen Biotechnologies Inc | Reeves M.,University of California at Berkeley | And 9 more authors.
Viruses | Year: 2015

An engineered RNase P-based ribozyme variant, which was generated using the in vitro selection procedure, was used to target the overlapping mRNA region of two proteins essential for human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) replication: capsid assembly protein (AP) and protease (PR). In vitro studies showed that the generated variant, V718-A, cleaved the target AP mRNA sequence efficiently and its activity was about 60-fold higher than that of wild type ribozyme M1-A. Furthermore, we observed a reduction of 98%-99% in AP/PR expression and an inhibition of 50,000 fold in viral growth in cells with V718-A, while a 75% reduction in AP/PR expression and a 500-fold inhibition in viral growth was found in cells with M1-A. Examination of the antiviral effects of the generated ribozyme on the HCMV replication cycle suggested that viral DNA encapsidation was inhibited and as a HCMV replication cycle suggested that viral DNA encapsidation was inhibited and as a consequence, viral capsid assembly was blocked when the expression of AP and PR was consequence, viral capsid assembly was blocked when the expression of AP and PR was inhibited by the ribozyme. Thus, our study indicates that the generated ribozyme variant is inhibited by the ribozyme. Thus, our study indicates that the generated ribozyme variant highly effective in inhibiting HCMV gene expression and blocking viral replication, and is highly effective in inhibiting HCMV gene expression and blocking viral replication, and suggests that engineered RNase P ribozyme can be potentially developed as a promising suggests that engineered RNase P ribozyme can be potentially developed as a promising gene-targeting agent for anti-HCMV therapy. gene-targeting agent for anti-HCMV therapy. © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Liu M.Y.,CAS Wuhan Institute of Virology | Liu W.,CAS Wuhan Institute of Virology | Liu W.,HIGH-TECH | Luo J.,CAS Wuhan Institute of Virology | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Recent outbreaks of human enterovirus 71 (EV71) infection and EV71-associated hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) in China have affected millions and potentially lead to life-threatening complications in newborns. Furthermore, these outbreaks represent a significant global public health issue in the world. Understanding the epidemiology of HFMD and EV71 infection and their transmission patterns in China is essential for controlling outbreaks. However, no studies on the outbreaks of HFMD and EV71 infection in China during 2010 have been reported. In this report, we carried out an epidemiological analysis to study an outbreak of HFMD and EV71 infection in 2010 in the city of Nanchang in the Jiangxi province of People's Republic of China. From April 7 to May 11, 2010, a total of 109 HFMD cases were reported, and in this report the HFMD cases were studied by both epidemiological and laboratory analyses. The epidemiological study indicates that children aged younger than 8 years old represented more than 90% of the reported cases, with the age group of 1-3 years containing the highest number of cases. Laboratory studies detected a high prevalence of EV71 amongst the cases in our study, suggesting EV71 as a common enterovirus found in HFMD cases in Nanchang. Phylogenetic analysis of the sequence of the VP1 region of four EV71 isolates indicated that the Nanchang strains belong to the C4 subgenotype commonly found in China during outbreaks in 2008 but contain distinct variations from these strains. Our study for the first time characterizes the epidemiology of HFMD and EV71 infection in China in 2010 and furthermore, provides the first direct evidence of the genotype of EV71 circulating in Nanchang, China. Our study should facilitate the development of public health measures for the control and prevention of HFMD and EV71 infection in at-risk individuals in China. © 2011 Liu et al.

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