Induction of broad T-cell immune responses is regarded as critical for vaccines against the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) which exhibit high diversity and, therefore, focus has been on inducing cytotoxic CD8 T-cell responses against the more conserved parts of the virus, such as the Gag protein. Herein, we have used the p24 protein which contains a range of conserved T-cell epitopes. We demonstrate that a vaccine of HIV-1 subtype B consensus group-specific antigen (Gag) p24 protein with the CD8-inducing liposomal cationic adjuvant formulation (CAF) 05, induces both CD4 and CD8 T-cell responses in CB6F1 mice. The adjuvanted vaccine also induced functional antigen-specific cytotoxicity in vivo. Furthermore, we found that when fragmenting the Gag p24 protein into overlapping Gag p24 peptides, a broader T-cell epitope specificity was induced in the humanized human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A2/DR-transgenic mouse model. Thus, combining overlapping Gag p24 peptides with CAF05 appears to be a promising and simple strategy for inducing broader T-cell responses to multiple conserved epitopes which will be relevant for both prophylactic and therapeutic HIV-1 vaccines.
Plos One, 2013, Vol 8, Issue 5
AIDS Vaccines; Amino Acid Sequence; Analysis of Variance; Animals; CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes; Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay; Enzyme-Linked Immunospot Assay; Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte; HIV Core Protein p24; HIV-1; HLA-A2 Antigen; Immunity, Cellular; Mice; Mice, Transgenic; Molecular Sequence Data