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Evaluation the potential of virus-like particles carrying carbonic anhydrase IX as anti-cancer vaccine

Funding: European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) “On Implementation of Activity “Post-doctoral Research Aid” of the Specific Aid Objective 1.1.1 “To increase the research and innovative capacity of scientific institutions of Latvia and the ability to attract external financing, investing in human resources and infrastructure” of the Operational Programme “Growth and Employment”

Project Title: Evaluation the potential of virus-like particles carrying carbonic anhydrase IX as anti-cancer vaccine.

Project No.:

Period: 1 January 2021 – 30 June 2023

Project costs: 111 505.00 EUR

Project implementer: Dr.biol. Zane Kalniņa


The aim of the project is to elaborate a VLP-based anti-carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX) cancer vaccine candidate and evaluate its efficacy in a mouse model of breast cancer. CAIX is a membrane protein rarely found on the surface of normal cells, but frequently overexpressed in hypoxic tumours, which makes it an attractive tumour-specific target. Cell surface expression of CAIX allows to target it with CAIX-specific antibodies, leading to the antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity. Although several monoclonal anti-CAIX antibodies have been developed, they have proven to have limited efficacy in late clinical trials. Nevertheless, it is possible to induce anti-CAIX antibody production in the autologous host itself by overcoming the B cell tolerance against this self-antigen. To achieve this, we plan to use ssRNA bacteriophage virus-like particles (VLPs) with coupled mouse CAIX protein on their surfaces and use them as vaccines, thus overcoming the threshold of antigen-specific B cell activation.

Information published 04.01.2021.


Project progress

 1 January 2021 – 31 March 2021

At this stage of the project implementation, the latest scientific literature was studied, and a detailed experimental plan of the project was developed, which was presented to the project's scientific consultant.

The project has started according to the planned schedule - work has been carried out on the implementation of WP1 and WP4 of the project. Within WP1, an experimental work has been started on the development and characterization of genetically modified mouse 4T1 breast cancer cell lines with the aim of establishing two cancer cell lines – one that consistently expresses carbonic anhydrase 9 (CAIX) and one in which this gene is inactivated.

Within WP4, a CPD training on the topic “CRISPR: Revolutionizing genome editing advanced certificate program” took place and a certificate of successful completion of the training course was obtained.

Information published 31.03.2021. 

Mājas lapas izstrādi finansēja ERAF aktivitātes projekts Nr. 2010/0196/2DP/ "Latvijas biomedicīnas pētījumu integrācija Eiropas zinātnes telpā".