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Title:  Method for producing temperature-sensitive morbillivirus
United States Patent: 
7,208,163
Issued: 
April 24, 2007

Inventors: 
Komase; Katsuhiro (Tokyo, JP), Suzuki; Noriko (Tokyo, JP), Nakayama; Tetsuo (Tokyo, JP), Aizawa; Chikara (Saitama, JP)
Assignee: 
The Kitasato Institute (Tokyo, JP)
Appl. No.: 
10/203,703
Filed: 
October 18, 2000
PCT Filed: 
October 18, 2000
PCT No.: 
PCT/JP00/07234
371(c)(1),(2),(4) Date: 
November 05, 2002
PCT Pub. No.: 
WO01/59125
PCT Pub. Date: 
August 16, 2001


 

Covidien Pharmaceuticals Outsourcing


Abstract

It was found that a mutation of an amino acid at a specific position in the P protein of a morbillivirus gives a temperature-sensitivity character to a virus. By introducing this mutation, a virus to which a temperature-sensitivity character has been introduced can be produced. According to this invention, attenuated viruses useful in the preparation of vaccines can be easily produced.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

An objective of the present invention is to provide DNA to be used for introducing a temperature-sensitivity character. Another objective of this invention is to provide methods for introducing a temperature-sensitivity character to a virus by a site-specific mutation of its P protein, and also to provide a virus having a temperature-sensitivity character due to a site-specific mutation in its P protein. Viruses having an introduced temperature-sensitivity character that are produced by the methods of this invention are useful in producing vaccines, and such as attenuated viruses.

The present inventors thought that, if a certain mutation in a viral protein is controlling a temperature-sensitivity, it may be possible to regulate viral proliferation and pathogenicity by identifying that mutation and producing a virus having such a mutant protein. Therefore, the present inventors searched for a gene involved in the temperature-sensitivity of the genus Morbillivirus using the N, P, and L genes derived from the AIK-C strain, which is a temperature-sensitive measles virus vaccine strain, and its parent non-temperature-sensitive Edmonston strain. As a result, the inventors discovered that the P gene is associated with the temperature-sensitivity.

Then the inventors introduced amino acid substitutions into the P gene of the Edmonston strain or AIK-C strain and examined effects of these mutant P genes on the temperature-sensitivity. As a result, the inventors found out that amino acid at the 439.sup.th position of the P protein is closely associated with the temperature-sensitivity. In the Edmonston stain capable of proliferating at a high temperature, amino acid at the 439.sup.th position of the P protein is leucine. Among P proteins having mutations at multiple positions, those having leucine at the 439.sup.th position thereof as Edmonston strain has exhibit a viral proliferation ability equal to the P protein of the Edmonston strain. The inventors succeeded in introducing a temperature-sensitivity character by the mutation of this amino acid. Thus, this invention is the first to disclose a relationship between the 439.sup.th amino acid in the P protein and temperature-sensitivity.

Based on the above-described knowledge, the present inventors discovered that modification of an amino acid at the 439.sup.th position in the viral P protein enables the introduction of temperature-sensitivity character into viruses. Viruses having a temperature-sensitivity character introduced become difficult to proliferate and propagate in hosts, which leads to viral attenuation. Isolation of attenuated viruses useful in the development of vaccines has hitherto relied on screening for mutant viral strains, which is a low-efficient and time-consuming procedure. The present invention makes it possible to easily attenuate any desired viruses.

Furthermore, the present inventors discovered that, in addition to the 439.sup.th amino acid in the P protein, amino acids at the 110.sup.th and 275.sup.th positions are also associated with the temperature-sensitivity. Therefore, modification of these amino acids also enables the introduction of temperature-sensitivity character.

Namely, the present invention relates to DNA used in introducing temperature-sensitivity character, methods for introducing temperature-sensitivity character into viruses by a mutation of a specific amino acid in the viral P protein, and a virus having a temperature-sensitivity character introduced due to a mutation at a specific position in the P protein, and more specifically relates to each of the following inventions:

[1] a DNA that encodes a protein derived from the P protein of a virus belonging to the genus Morbillivirus, wherein the protein encoded by the DNA comprises an amino acid other than leucine at a position corresponding to the 439.sup.th position of a protein comprising the amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 2, and that is used for introducing a temperature-sensitivity character into a virus; [2] a DNA that encodes a protein having at least 40% identity to the amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 2, wherein the protein encoded by the DNA comprises an amino acid other than leucine at a position corresponding to the 439.sup.th position of a protein comprising the amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 2, and that is used for introducing a temperature-sensitivity character into a virus; [3] the DNA according to [1] or [2], wherein the amino acid other than leucine is proline; [4] the DNA according to any one of [1] through [3], wherein the DNA encodes a protein derived from a measles virus; [5] the DNA according to [4], wherein the DNA further encodes a protein as described in the following (a) and/or (b):

(a) a protein that comprises an amino acid other than aspartic acid at a position corresponding to the 110.sup.th position of a protein comprising the amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 2, and

(b) a protein that comprises an amino acid other than cysteine at a position corresponding to the 275.sup.th position of a protein comprising the amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 2;

[6] the DNA according to [5], wherein the amino acid other than aspartic acid and/or the amino acid other than cysteine is tyrosine;

[7] the protein encoded by the DNA according to any one of [1] through [6];

[8] a vector into which the DNA according to any one of [1] through [6] is inserted;

[9] the vector according to [8], wherein the vector is used for reconstituting a measles virus into which a temperature-sensitivity character is introduced;

[10] a method for introducing a temperature-sensitivity character into a virus belonging to the genus Morbillivirus, said method comprising introducing a mutation into the P protein of the virus at an amino acid at a position corresponding to 439.sup.th position of a protein comprising the amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 2; [11] a method for introducing a temperature-sensitivity character into a virus comprising a protein having at least 40% identity to the amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 2, said method comprising introducing a mutation into the protein at an amino acid at a position corresponding to the 439.sup.th position of a protein comprising the amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 2; [12] the method according to [10] or [11], wherein the amino acid at a position corresponding to the 439.sup.th position is substituted with proline; [13] the method according to any one of [10] through [12], wherein the virus is a measles virus; [14] the method according to [13], wherein a mutation is further introduced into the protein at a amino acid described in the following (a) and/or (b):

(a) an amino acid at a position corresponding to the 110.sup.th position of the protein comprising the amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 2, and

(b) an amino acid at a position corresponding to the 275.sup.th position of the protein comprising the amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 2;

[15] the method according to [14], wherein the amino acid at a position corresponding to the 110.sup.th position and/or the amino acid at a position corresponding to the 275.sup.th position is substituted with tyrosine;

[16] a virus into which a temperature-sensitivity character is introduced, said virus being obtainable by the method according to any one of [10] through [15];

[17] the virus according to [16], wherein the virus is an attenuated virus;

[18] a pharmaceutical composition comprising the virus according to [16] or [17]; and

[19] the pharmaceutical composition according to [18], wherein the pharmaceutical composition is used as a vaccine.

The present invention also relates to the use of DNA in a method for producing a virus having a temperature-sensitivity character introduced, in which the DNA encodes a protein derived from the P protein of a virus belonging to the genus Morbillivirus wherein the protein encoded by the DNA comprises an amino acid other than leucine at a position corresponding to the 439.sup.th position of a protein comprising the amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 2. This invention also relates to the use of the DNA in producing a virus with a temperature-sensitivity character introduced, in which the DNA encodes a protein having at least 40% identity to the amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 2 and has an amino acid other than leucine at a position corresponding to the 439.sup.th position of a protein comprising the amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 2. Furthermore, the present invention relates to the use of a vector having such DNA in reconstituting a measles virus with a temperature-sensitivity character introduced.

The present invention relates to DNA used for introducing the temperature-sensitivity character. The DNA of this invention include DNA encoding a protein derived from the P protein of virus belonging to the genus Morbillivirus and having an amino acid other than leucine at a position corresponding to the 439.sup.th position in the P protein of the measles virus Edmonston strain (SEQ ID NO: 2). The DNA of this invention also include DNA encoding a protein having at least 40% identity to the amino acid sequence of the P protein in the Edmonston strain (SEQ ID NO: 2) and having an amino acid other than leucine at a position corresponding to the 439.sup.th position in the P protein of the Edmonston strain. Identity to the amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 2 is preferably 60% or more, more preferably 80% or more. Amino acid sequence identity can be determined by the 3 Lipman-Person method using Genetyx-Mac Ver. 10 (Software Development).

Examples of viruses belonging to the genus Morbillivirus are the measles virus, canine distemper virus, phocid distemper virus, rinderpest virus, etc.

In this invention, a protein comprising an amino acid sequence having at least 40% identity to the amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 2 has a structure similar to that of a protein comprising the amino acid sequence described in SEQ ID NO: 2. Therefore, it can be assumed that leucine at a position homologous to the 439.sup.th position in SEQ ID NO: 2, crucially influences the phenotype of temperature-sensitivity similar to the leucine at the 439.sup.th position in SEQ ID NO: 2. Furthermore, since viruses belonging to the genus Morbillivirus are taxonomically closely related to one another, the structure of the P proteins has been conserved among them. Therefore, leucine at a position homologous to the 439.sup.th position in SEQ ID NO: 2 can be assumed to crucially influence the phenotype of temperature-sensitivity. Results of comparisons of amino acid sequences in the P proteins of viruses belonging to the genus Morbillivirus are shown in FIG. 8. Thus, an amino acid corresponding to the 439.sup.th position in an amino acid sequence composing the P protein of each virus can be identified.

In this invention, whether a temperature-sensitivity character is introduced or not can be judged, for example, by a significantly poor growth shown by a virus having a target protein (in which amino acid at a position corresponding to the 439.sup.th position in the P protein is other than leucine) at a temperature at which a virus comprising a control protein having leucine at a position corresponding to the 439.sup.th position is able to grow, and, by a growth equivalent to that of the virus having the control protein shown by the virus of interest at a lower different temperature than that. Alternatively, when the optimum growth temperature for a virus comprising the target protein is significantly lowered compared to a virus having the control protein, that virus is judged to be temperature-sensitive. More specifically, for example, a virus that shows a poorer growth than the virus comprising the control protein at the body temperature of a host is judged to be temperature-sensitive.

In addition, "introduction of temperature-sensitivity" in this invention also includes an additional introduction of temperature sensitivity. That is, a virus whose original temperature-sensitivity is further elevated is also included in the virus having a temperature-sensitivity character introduced in the present invention. For example, in a virus having amino acid other than leucine at a position corresponding to the 439.sup.th position in the P protein and the control virus having leucine at that position, when the growth of a virus having amino acid other than leucine at a position corresponding to the 439.sup.th position in the P protein is significantly reduced compared to the control virus at a different temperature higher than the predetermined growth temperature, that virus can be said to be introduced with a temperature-sensitivity. This can be also judged based on the significantly lowered optimal growth temperature of virus.

Viral growth can be measured by calculating the virus amount in virus-infected cells or the culture supernatant thereof with time. For calculating the amount of virus such as the measles virus that brings about cytopathic effects (CPE) including cell degeneration and necrosis on appropriate sensitive cells, the plaque method and TCID50 method are mainly employed. In the plaque method, a single layer of cultured cells is prepared in a 35-mm Petri dish or 6-well culture plate, inoculated with 10-fold stepwise dilutions of virus sample, overlaid with agar, cultured, and then vital-stained with neutral red. Vital cells are stained red, while cells degenerated and necrotized due to viral infection are left unstained and observed as white spots (plaques). Plaque numbers in dishes expressing several tens to hundreds of plaques are counted to calculate the virus amount (PFU: plaque forming unit/ml) in the original sample solution. In the TCID50 method, a single layer of cells are prepared in a 96-well culture plate or the like. Ten-fold stepwise dilutions of viral solution are prepared, inoculated onto cells in 4 to 6 wells each for each dilution, and cultured for several days to confirm the CPE appearance. For the calculation of virus amount (TCID50 value), the Reed and Muench method can be employed (Reed, L. and Muench, H., A simple method of estimating fifty percent endpoints, Am. J. Hyg., 27, 493 (1938)).

Decrease in the viral growth potency due to the introduction of temperature-sensitivity character results in the achievement of attenuation of virus. On the other hand, based on the present invention, since the viral attenuation is achieved by mutation of merely a single amino acid, the structure as an antigen is maintained. Therefore, attenuation is effectively achieved with the seroconversion rate maintained at a high level.

The amino acid sequence of the P protein in the measles virus Edmonston strain and cDNA sequence encoding the protein are set forth in SEQ ID NOs: 2 and 1, respectively. In a protein of interest, a position homologous to the 439.sup.th position in the P protein of the Edmonston strain can be determined by comparing the amino acid sequences. The position in a protein of interest need not be the 439.sup.th position. For example, in the case of a protein having the structure of the P protein in the Edmonston strain that has been modified by, for example, an addition, insertion, and/or deletion of one or more amino acids, the homologous position may be a position other than the 439.sup.th position. In such a protein, to determine a position homologous to the 439.sup.th position in the P protein of the Edmonston strain, amino acid sequences of both proteins are aligned so as to match mutual amino acids as well as amino acids having similar properties as much as possible by inserting appropriate gaps in both amino acid sequences if necessary. Thus, it can be determined which position in a protein of interest corresponds to a position homologous to the 439.sup.th position in the P protein of the Edmonston strain. Such a technique has been known among those skilled in the art, and can be performed easily using commercially available or published computer software, for example, the analytical software GENETYX-MAC VER. 10 (Software), etc.

DNA encoding a protein of interest comprising an amino acid other than leucine at a position corresponding to the 439.sup.th position in the P protein of the Edmonston strain is used for introducing the temperature-sensitivity character according to this invention. There is no particular limitation on the origin of these DNA, which may be naturally occurring DNA or DNA into which a mutation has been artificially or spontaneously introduced. Alternatively, they may be DNA comprising artificially designed sequences.

The DNA of the present invention can be prepared using, for example, hybridization techniques well-known in the field (Sambrook, J., Fritsch, E. F., and Maniatis, T. Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual (2.sup.nd edition). Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor). DNA can also be isolated using the polymerase chain reaction technique (Sambrook, J., Fritsch, E. F., and Maniatis, T. Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual (2.sup.nd edition). Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor).

That is, those skilled in the art can isolate DNA by screening virus-derived DNA, and such, using the hybridization technique and PCR method. Nucleotide sequences of probes necessary in the hybridization method and primers required in the PCR method can be designed based on, for example, the cDNA sequence (SEQ ID NO: 1) of the P protein of the Edmonston strain. By identifying the position in the amino acid sequence encoded by the isolated DNA, which is homologous to the 439.sup.th position in the P protein of the Edmonston strain, DNA encoding a protein having an amino acid other than leucine at that position can be readily prepared.

By appropriately modifying the DNA thus obtained, the amino acid in the protein encoded by the DNA, which is at a position corresponding to the 439.sup.th position in the P protein of the Edmonston strain, can be substituted with any desired amino acid other than leucine. Alternatively, the introduction of a mutation so as to delete the leucine is also included in this invention. The amino acid used for the substitution, can be appropriately selected. As described in Examples, a protein having an amino acid that was substituted with proline at a position homologous to the 439.sup.th position in the P protein of the Edmonston strain gave the temperature-sensitivity character to viruses. Therefore, DNA encoding a protein having an amino acid that was modified with proline at a position homologous to the 439.sup.th position in the P protein of the Edmonston strain can be preferably used in the present invention.

Furthermore, the present invention proved that an amino acid at this position in the P protein crucially influences the phenotype of temperature-sensitivity. Therefore, in the case where an amino acid other than leucine is present at the corresponding position, the temperature-sensitivity may be further elevated or, reversely, the degree of the elevation of temperature-sensitivity may be lowered by further mutating this amino acid to another amino acid. The elevation of the temperature-sensitivity and introduction of temperature-sensitivity character in the present invention include cases where the function of P protein is completely inactivated in the whole temperature range.

Methods for introducing a mutation into an amino acid in a protein are well known. For example, DNA encoding a desired amino acid sequence can be isolated by preparing a viral library comprising mutant viruses, DNA library encoding mutant P proteins, and such, and screening them for the desired DNA. Alternatively, mutant viruses can be screened from nature. Furthermore, site-specific mutagenesis can be performed using well-known genetic engineering techniques. For the introduction of site-specific mutations, for example, the SOE (splicing-by-overlap-extension)-PCR method (Ho, S. N., Hunt, H. D., Horton, R. M., Pullen, J. K., and Pease, L. R. (1989) Gene 77, 51 59), and Kunkel method (Kunkel, T. A. (1985) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 82 (2): 488 92) can be used.

In addition, in the present invention, as long as the amino acid at a position corresponding to the 439.sup.th position in the P protein is any amino acid other than leucine, a position other than that may be further modified. As shown in Examples, for example, it was revealed that, in the P protein (SEQ ID NO: 2) of the Edmonston stain, the temperature-sensitivity is elevated by substituting aspartic acid at the 110.sup.th position with tyrosine (FIGS. 5 and 6; pCIP005). Also, for example, when cysteine at the 275.sup.th position is substituted with tyrosine, the temperature-sensitivity was elevated (FIGS. 5 and 6; pCIP003). These facts indicate that mutation of amino acids at the 110.sup.th and 275.sup.th positions results in the elevation of viral temperature-sensitivity. Therefore, DNA encoding proteins whose amino acid at a position corresponding to the 439.sup.th position of the P protein is amino acid other than leucine, and whose amino acids at positions corresponding to the 110.sup.th and/or 275.sup.th positions are those other than aspartic acid and/or cysteine, respectively, are preferable for more effectively introducing the temperature-sensitivity character. Preferably, amino acids at positions corresponding to the 110.sup.th and/or 275.sup.th positions can be tyrosine. In a naturally-occurring virus, when amino acid at positions corresponding to the 110.sup.th and/or 275.sup.th positions is tyrosine, this can be used for introducing temperature-sensitivity according to this invention, leaving amino acid at these positions untouched. Also, by mutating amino acids at these positions to, for example, aspartic acid, the degree of temperature-sensitivity may be attenuated.

In addition, the DNA of this invention include DNA encoding proteins having an amino acid other than leucine at the 439.sup.th position of the P protein in the Edmonston strain (SEQ ID NO: 2) and also having one or more substitution, deletion, insertion, and/or addition of amino acids other than that at the 439.sup.th position. In the case of the artificial modification of amino acids in the P protein encoded by DNA obtained from viruses belonging to Morbillivirus, the number of amino acids modified is usually ten or less, preferably five or less, even more preferably, three amino acid excluding the one at the position corresponding to the 439.sup.th position. Such an amino acid modification can be performed, for example, aiming at further elevating the temperature-sensitivity of the P protein, and also aiming at improving the manipulability of DNA, for example, by the insertion of a restriction enzyme site, and such, and also with the aim of modifying a property of the P protein other than its temperature-sensitivity. Mutations of amino acids in proteins may occur also in nature.

In general, to minimize the loss of properties of a protein as much as possible, an amino acid used for substitution is thought to be preferably one with a property similar to the substituted amino acid. For example, Ala, Val, Leu, Ile, Pro, Met, Phe, and Trp are all classified into the non-polar amino acid group, and thought to have similar properties. Furthermore, non-charged amino acids are exemplified by Gly, Ser, Thr, Cys, Tyr, Asn, and Gln. Acidic amino acids are exemplified by Asp and Glu, and basic amino acids by Lys, Arg, and His.

Furthermore, the present invention relates to proteins encoded by the DNA of this invention. The temperature-sensitivity character can be introduced into viruses using the proteins of this invention. A protein of this invention can be expressed by inserting DNA encoding the protein into an appropriate expression vector, and introducing the vector into host cells. In the measles virus, and such, viruses with a temperature-sensitivity character introduced can be reconstituted from vectors having DNA encoding the proteins of this invention. Several methods for reconstituting the measles virus from cDNA have been reported, namely, the method of Radecke (Radecke, F., Spielhofer, P., Schneider, H., Kaelin, K., Huber, M., Dotsch, C., Christiansen, G. and Billeter, M. A. (1995) EMBO J. 14(23): 5773 84) and the method of Schneider (Schneider, H., Spielhofer, P., Kaelin, K., Dotsch, C., Radecke, F., Sutter, G. and Billeter, M. A. (1997) J. Virol. Methods 64(1): 57 64). According to these methods, a measles virus can be reconstituted from DNA encoding the N, P, M, F, H, and L proteins of the measles virus. Therefore, by using the DNA of this invention as DNA encoding this P protein, a measles virus with a temperature-sensitivity character introduced can be reconstituted. That is, transcription of DNA encoding the N, P, M, F, H, and L proteins allows their transcription products to function as genomic RNA of the measles virus, so that measles viral particles can be formed in the presence of the N, P, and L proteins. The virus thus obtained can be further amplified by infecting the virus to appropriate hosts.

Several methods for reconstituting morbilliviruses other than the measles virus are known. For example, the method of Baron, et al. (Baron, M. D., and Barrett, T. (1997) J. Virol. 71(2): 1265 71); the method of Kai, et al. (Kai, C., Miura, R., Shimizu, F., Sato, H., Fujita, K., Hatama, S., Ohashi, K., Kamima, T., and Takahashi, E. Abstracts of the 47.sup.th General Assembly of the Japanese Society for Virology (1999), p. 289: Preparation of recombinant canine distemper virus using the reverse genetic method), and furthermore, Patent WO97/16538 are known.

In addition to the present invention, it is possible to reduce cell-fusion ability in a virus by mutating the viral F protein together with the introduction of temperature-sensitivity character. The present inventors have proved that a cell-fusion ability can be reduced in morbilliviruses using a protein having an amino acid other than phenylalanine at a position corresponding to the 278.sup.th position of the F protein of the measles virus Edmonston strain. Combination of this knowledge with the instant invention enables one to alter the cell-fusion ability together with the temperature-sensitivity, providing extremely safer vaccine preparations.

It is also possible to provide a safe and excellent vaccine preparation with a different antigenicity by incorporating DNA encoding the measles viral protein with a different antigenicity, for example, a gene expressing the H protein that is most closely associated with phylaxis into a vector comprising DNA encoding a protein whose amino acid at the 439.sup.th position of P protein or its homologous position is other than leucine, and a protein whose amino acid at the 278.sup.th position of F protein or its homologous position is other than phenylalanine, and transfecting the resulting recombinant vector into host cells to reconstitute a virus.

In addition, the present invention relates to methods for introducing a temperature-sensitivity character into virus. A method of this invention is characteristic in that, in a protein having at least 40% identity with the amino acid sequence of the P protein of virus belonging to the genus Mobillivirus or Edmonston strain, a mutation is introduced to amino acid at the 439.sup.th position of P protein (SEQ ID NO: 2) of the measles virus Edmonston strain or its homologous position. Although there is no particular limitation on the type of mutation to be introduced, substitution with proline is one example. The temperature-sensitivities of viruses that can be obtained by this invention can be compared by the above-described methods.

In the above-described protein, it is further possible to introduce mutation to amino acids at positions corresponding to the 110.sup.th and/or 275.sup.th positions in the P protein (SEQ ID NO: 2) of the measles virus Edmonston stain, and further additionally confer the viral temperature-sensitivity character. Amino acids at these positions can be substituted, for example, with tyrosine.

Viruses thus obtained having a temperature-sensitivity character introduced are less pathogenic because their proliferation and propagation abilities in hosts are reduced. These viruses are extremely useful for producing safe live vaccines. According to the present invention, any virus strain can be attenuated by modifying its P protein using genetic engineering technology. When a virus of this invention is used as a pharmaceutical composition such as a vaccine, besides the use of the virus itself as a drug, it can be formulated by applying a known pharmaceutical procedure. For example, the virus may be administered as a pharmaceutical preparation by appropriately combining with a pharmacologically acceptable carrier or media, more specifically, sterilized water, physiological saline, a plant oil, emulsifier, suspending agent, surfactant, stabilizer, etc. When using the virus as a vaccine, it can be administered suitably in combination with an adjuvant. Administration to patients can be performed by methods known to those skilled in the art, for example, besides the intra-arterial, intravenous, and subcutaneous injections, it can be given intranasally, transbronchially, intramuscularly, percutaneously, or orally. Doses may vary depending on the weight and age of patients as well as the method of administration, purpose of usage, and so on, and may be appropriately selected by one skilled in the art.

In general, in Japan, the vaccine strain of the measles virus is cultured by inoculation to cultured chicken embryos cells prepared from embryonated eggs produced in SPF facilities approved by the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare. After the culture, a stabilizer is added to a vaccine solution that has cleared the germ-free test, and purified to obtain an undiluted vaccine concentrate. This vaccine concentrate is stored at -80.degree. C., and at the same time examined for its safety and efficacy. Vaccine concentrates that have cleared the test are pooled as the final bulk, from which vaccine preparations are made. Those that have cleared repeated national tests and private tests are sold as the final preparation.

 

Claim 1 of 53 Claims

1. An isolated polynucleotide that encodes a Morbillivirus P protein, wherein said Morbillivirus is other than the AIK-C measles virus strain, wherein said P protein has a mutation of an amino acid at a position corresponding to the 439.sup.th position of a protein comprising the amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 2, and wherein said mutation confers temperature-sensitivity on the virus when introduced into the virus.
 

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