Anthrax lethal factor inhibition
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Authors: Shoop, WL; Xiong, Y; Wiltsie, J; Woods, A; Guo, J; Pivnichny, JV; Felcetto, T; Michael, BF; Bansal, A; Cummings, RT; Cunningham, BR; Friedlander, AM; Douglas, CM; Patel, SB; Wisniewski, D; Scapin, G; Salowe, SP; Zaller, DM; Chapman, KT; Scolnick, EM; Schmatz, DM; Bartizal, K; MacCoss, M; Hermes, JD
The primary virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis is a secreted zinc-dependent metalloprotease toxin known as lethal factor (LF) that is lethal to the host through disruption of signaling pathways, cell destruction, and circulatory shock. Inhibition of this proteolytic-based LF toxemia could be expected to provide therapeutic value in combination with an antibiotic during and immediately after an active anthrax infection. Herein is shown the crystal structure of an intimate complex between a hydroxamate, (2R)-2-[(4-fluoro-3-methylphenyl)sulfonylamino]-N-hydroxy-2-(tetrahydro-2H-pyran- 4-yl)acetamide, and LF at the LF-active site. Most importantly, this molecular interaction between the hydroxamate and the LF active site resulted in (i) inhibited LF protease activity in an enzyme assay and protected macrophages against recombinant LF and protective antigen in a cell-based assay, (h) 100% protection in a lethal mouse toxemia model against recombinant LF and protective antigen, (iii) &AP; 50% survival advantage to mice given a lethal challenge of B. anthracis Sterne vegetative cells and to rabbits given a lethal challenge of B. anthracis Ames spores and doubled the mean time to death in those that died in both species, and (iv) 100% protection against B. anthracis spore challenge when used in combination therapy with ciprofloxacin in a rabbit "point of no return" model for which ciprofloxacin alone provided 50% protection. These results indicate that a small molecule, hydroxamate LF inhibitor, as revealed herein, can ameliorate the toxemia characteristic of an active B. anthracis infection and could be a vital adjunct to our ability to combat anthrax.
Recombinant Vaccine Displaying the Loop-Neutralizing Determinant from Protective Antigen Completely Protects Rabbits from Experimental Inhalation Anthrax
CLINICAL AND VACCINE IMMUNOLOGY
Authors: Oscherwitz, Jon; Yu, Fen; Jacobs, Jana L.; Cease, Kemp B.
We previously showed that a multiple antigenic peptide (MAP) vaccine displaying amino acids (aa) 304 to 319 from the 2 beta 2-2 beta 3 loop of protective antigen was capable of protecting rabbits from an aerosolized spore challenge with Bacillus anthracis Ames strain. Antibodies to this sequence, referred to as the loop-neutralizing determinant (LND), are highly potent at neutralizing lethal toxin yet are virtually absent in rabbit and human protective antigen (PA) antiserum. While the MAP vaccine was protective against anthrax, it contains a single heterologous helper T cell epitope which may be suboptimal for stimulating an outbred human population. We therefore engineered a recombinant vaccine (Rec-LND) containing two tandemly repeated copies of the LND fused to maltose binding protein, with enhanced immunogenicity resulting from the p38/P4 helper T cell epitope from Schistosoma mansoni. Rec-LND was found to be highly immunogenic in four major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-diverse strains of mice. All (7/7) rabbits immunized with Rec-LND developed high-titer antibody, 6 out of 7 developed neutralizing antibody, and all rabbits were protected from an aerosolized spore challenge of 193 50% lethal doses (LD50) of the B. anthracis Ames strain. Survivor serum from Rec-LND-immunized rabbits revealed significantly increased neutralization titers and specific activity compared to prechallenge levels yet lacked PA or lethal factor (LF) antigenemia. Control rabbits immunized with PA, which were also completely protected, appeared sterilely immune, exhibiting significant declines in neutralization titer and specific activity compared to prechallenge levels. We conclude that Rec-LND may represent a prototype anthrax vaccine for use alone or potentially combined with PA-containing vaccines.