Chimeric calicivirus-like particles elicit protective anti-viral cytotoxic responses without adjuvant

E. Crisci, H. Almanza, I. Mena, L. Córdoba, E. Gómez-Casado, J. R. Castón, L. Fraile, J. Bárcena, M. Montoya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


We have analyzed the potential of virus-like particles (VLPs) from rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) as a delivery system for foreign T cell epitopes. To accomplish this goal, we generated chimeric RHDV-VLPs incorporating a CD8+ T cell epitope (SIINFEKL) derived from chicken ovalbumin (OVA). The OVA epitope was inserted in the capsid protein (VP60) of RHDV at two different locations: 1) the N-terminus, predicted to be facing to the inner core of the VLPs, and 2) a novel insertion site predicted to be located within an exposed loop. Both constructions correctly assembled into VLPs. In vitro, the chimeric VLPs activated dendritic cells for TNF-α secretion and they were processed and presented to specific T cells. In vivo, mice immunized with the chimeric VLPs without adjuvant were able to induce specific cellular responses mediated by cytotoxic and memory T cells. More importantly, immunization with chimeric VLPs was able to resolve an infection by a recombinant vaccinia virus expressing OVA protein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-312
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - 10 May 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Dendritic cells
  • RHDV virus-like particles
  • Vaccine vector
  • Vaccinia virus infection


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