Congratulations to PhD student Zhenghui Xu on the submission of your thesis and the publication of your 1st research article in the prestigious Journal of Controlled Release.

His publication describes a simple, efficient Sortase A enzyme-mediated means to site-specifically conjugate Toll-like receptor 2 agonist lipopeptide adjuvants onto recombinant protein antigens.

This work generates highly defined, self-adjuvanting vaccines, and unlike the recombinant processes used for the production of other lipoprotein vaccines like Trumenba, it ensures that a single type of fatty acid is incorporated into the lipopeptide portion, rather than a heterogeneous mixture.

The paper demonstrates the use of this system for developing broadly protective vaccines against group A streptococcus (GAS), which is responsible for diseases ranging from a sore throat through to heart valve and kidney damage, and the flesh eating disease necrotising fasciitis.

Xu Z, Rivera-Hernandez T, Chatterjee O, Walker MJ, Moyle PM. Semisynthetic, self-adjuvanting vaccine development: Efficient, site-specific sortase A-mediated conjugation of Toll-like receptor 2 ligand FSL-1 to recombinant protein antigens under native conditions and application to a model group A streptococcal vaccine. J Control Release 2020;317:96-108