Document Type: Research Articles
Department of Physical Sciences, College of Science, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Manila City, Philippines.
Background: Majority of cancer-related deaths worldwide is attributed to non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). G protein-coupled receptor 56 (GPR56) is overexpressed and associated in the progression of NSCLC. The aim of this study is to use immunoinformatics approach in designing a multi-epitope vaccine to target overexpressed GPR56 which can potentially activate antibody-mediated cell death mechanisms and inhibit pathways involved in the proliferation, migration and survival of NSCLC. Methods: Herein, the reported overexpression of GPR56 was further investigated by conducting a differential gene expression analysis of NSCLC samples from GEO DataSets (GSE29249). Results confirmed significant overexpression of GPR56 in NSCLC compared to adjacent normal samples. A multi-epitope vaccine (Fvax) was constructed in silico by adjoining B lymphocytes (BL) and helper T lymphocytes (HTL) epitopes from the extracellular sequence of GPR56. Population coverage (PC) of HTL epitopes was also estimated. To enhance its immunogenicity, sequences of flagellin domains were fused as adjuvant. Fvax was evaluated in silico for antigenicity, allergenicity, peptide toxicity, physicochemical properties and cross-reactivity. Its tertiary structure was predicted, refined, and validated followed by structural epitope prediction. Lastly, Fvax DNA was optimized and cloned in silico. Results: This is the first work to design a potential vaccine against GPR56-overexpressing NSCLC. Fvax has 3 BL and 7 HTL immunogenic epitopes on GPR56. In silico evaluations suggest that Fvax is antigenic, non-toxic, non-allergenic, stable, and has accessible BL epitopes with high PC worldwide for HTL epitopes. Conclusion: Overall, results showed that Fvax is a potential vaccine against NSCLC. The approach of this study efficiently minimized the number of tests, cost and time required to select the best epitopes and to design a vaccine for the treatment of NSCLC.