Article

Refinement in the production and purification of recombinant HCMV IE1-pp65 protein for the generation of epitope-specific T cell immunity.

Bone Marrow Transplant Research Laboratory, 1st Floor William Buckland Building, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Vic. 3004, Australia.
Protein Expression and Purification (Impact Factor: 1.43). 06/2008; 61(1):22-30. DOI: 10.1016/j.pep.2008.05.001
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) remains one of the most common opportunistic infections causing disease following stem cell transplantation, despite the availability of anti-viral therapies. Adoptive immunotherapy has the potential to further aid in counteracting chronic viral reactivation and subsequent disease by restoring viral immunity through the transfer of virus-specific T cells from transplant donors to their recipients. Our study refines the production and purification of a recombinant HCMV protein containing two of the most immunodominant antigens (IE1 and pp65) for the generation of polyclonal HCMV-specific T cells. In doing so, a 6x His-tagged IE1-pp65 protein was generated using a serum-free baculovirus/insect cell expression system and soluble IE1-pp65 protein was subsequently purified using Ni-NTA affinity chromatography under stringent conditions to obtain a highly pure product. The ability of the recombinant IE1-pp65 protein to elicit a functional T cell mediated immune response was demonstrated by the vigorous reactivation and expansion of HLA-A2-restricted pp65(495-503)-specific CD8+ T cells. This recombinant IE1-pp65 protein can potentially generate a multitude of HLA-restricted HCMV-specific T cells, providing a better alternative to using costly overlapping peptides or HCMV lysates for expansion of T cells for use in adoptive immunotherapy strategies.

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    ABSTRACT: CD8(+) T cell immunity has a critical function in controlling human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection. In immunocompromized individuals, HCMV reactivation or disease can lead to increased morbidity and mortality, particularly in transplant recipients. In this setting, adoptive transfer of HCMV-specific CD8(+) T cells is a promising vaccine strategy to restore viral immunity, with most clinical approaches focussing on the use of peptides for the generation of single epitope-specific CD8(+) T cells. We show that using an IE1-pp65 chimeric protein as the antigen source promotes effective cross-presentation, by monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MoDCs), to generate polyclonal CD8(+) T cell epitopes. By exploring human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-restricted immunodominance hierarchies both within and across two immunodominant proteins, we show that HLA-B7 epitopes elicit higher CD8(+) T cell responses compared with HLA-A1, -A2 or -B8. This study provides important evidence highlighting both the efficacy of the IE1-pp65 chimeric protein and the importance of immunodominance in designing future therapeutic vaccines.
    Immunology and Cell Biology 03/2010; 88(6):676-84. · 3.93 Impact Factor

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