Vaccine potential of ESAT-6 protein fused with consensus CD4+ T-cell epitopes of PE/PPE proteins against highly pathogenic Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain HN878

Soo Young Choi, Kee Woong Kwon, Hongmin Kim, Hong Hee Choi, Sung Jae Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Pro-Glu/Pro-Pro-Glu (PE/PPE) family proteins in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) are contributors to pathogenesis and immune evasion. These proteins have a unique structure in which the sequence is conserved. We investigated the vaccine potential of ESAT-6 fused with consensus CD4+ T-cell epitopes of PE/PPE proteins against highly pathogenic Mtb strain HN878 in a murine model. We selected consensus CD4+ T-cell epitopes of PE/PPE proteins by multiple alignments, investigated their IFN-γ response during Mtb infection, and produced their fused ESAT-6 vaccine antigens. Our results showed an increased immune response in PE/PPE peptide -ESAT-6 fusion protein immunization group compared to ESAT-6 only immunization group. After challenge with Mtb strain HN878, we observed that induced CD4+ T-cells secreted double-positive cytokine IL-2+/IFN-γ+, which is considered to be associated with protective T-cell immunity. Additionally, lower numbers of colony-forming units were observed in the spleen of fusion protein immunization groups than in those of single ESAT-6 group. Therefore, conjugation of consensus CD4+ T-cell epitopes in N terminus of PE/PPE to vaccine antigens could potentially increase the protective efficacy of subunit vaccine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2195-2201
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sep 18


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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