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    ABSTRACT: We have employed a 26-amino-acid synthetic peptide based on Plasmodium falciparum liver stage antigen-3 to evaluate improvements in immunogenicity mediated by the inclusion of a simple lipid-conjugated amino acid during peptide synthesis. Comparative immunization by the peptide in Freund's adjuvant or by the lipopeptide in saline shows that the addition of a palmitoyl chain can dramatically increase T helper (Th) cell responses in a wide range of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II haplotypes, to the extent that responses were induced in mice otherwise unable to respond to the non-modified peptide injected with Freund's adjuvant, and that the increased immunogenicity of the lipopeptide led to high and longer lasting antibody production (studied up to 8 months). B and T cell responses induced by the lipopeptide were reactive with native parasite protein epitopes, and a lipopeptide longer than ten amino acids was endogenously processed to associate with MHC class I and elicit cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses. Finally, the lipopeptide was safe and highly immunogenic in chimpanzees, whose immune system is very similar to that of humans. Our results suggest that relatively large synthetic peptides, carefully chosen from pertinent areas of proteins and incorporating a simple palmitoyl-lysine, can induce not only CTL, but also strong Th and antibody responses in genetically diverse populations. Lipopeptides engineered in this way are simple to produce and purify under GMP conditions, they are well tolerated by apes, and with the enhanced immunogenicity without the need for adjuvant that we report here, they offer a quick and relatively low-cost route to provide material for human malaria vaccination trials.
    European Journal of Immunology 06/1997; 27(5):1242-53. · 4.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Plasmodium falciparum liver-stage antigen 3 (LSA3), a recently identified preerythrocytic antigen, induces protection against malaria in chimpanzees. Using antibodies from individuals with hyperimmunity to malaria affinity purified on recombinant or synthetic polypeptides of LSA3, we identified four non-cross-reactive B-cell epitopes in Plasmodium yoelii preerythrocytic stages. On sporozoites the P. yoelii protein detected has a molecular mass similar to that of LSA3. T-cell epitopes cross-reacting with P. yoelii were also demonstrated using peripheral blood lymphocytes from LSA3-immunized chimpanzees. In contrast, no cross-reactive epitopes were found in Plasmodium berghei. LSA3-specific human antibodies exerted up to 100% inhibition of in vitro invasion of P. yoelii sporozoites into mouse hepatocytes. This strong in vitro activity was reproduced in vivo by passive transfer of LSA3 antibodies. These results indicate that the homologous epitopes may be biologically functional and suggest that P. yoelii could be used as a model to assess the antisporozoite activity of anti-LSA3 antibodies.
    Infection and Immunity 07/2001; · 4.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The gene for the circumsporozoite (CS) protein of Plasmodium falciparum has been cloned and its nucleotide sequence determined. The gene encodes a protein of 412 amino acids as deduced from the nucleotide sequence. The protein contains 41 tandem repeats of a tetrapeptide, 37 of which are Asn-Ala-Asn-Pro and four of which are Asn-Val-Asp-Pro. Monoclonal antibodies against the CS protein of Plasmodium falciparum were inhibited from binding to the protein by synthetic peptides of the repeat sequence. The CS protein of Plasmodium falciparum and the CS protein of a simian malaria parasite, Plasmodium knowlesi, have two regions of homology, one of which is present on either side of the repeat. One region contains 12 of 13 identical amino acids. Within the nucleotide sequence of this region, 25 of 27 nucleotides are conserved. The conservation of these regions in parasites widely separated in evolution suggests that they may have a function such as binding to liver cells and may represent an invariant target for immunity.
    Science 09/1984; 225(4662):593-9. · 31.03 Impact Factor

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