Viral peptide immunogens: current challenges and opportunities.
ABSTRACT Synthetic peptide vaccines have potential to control viral infections. Successful experimental models using this approach include the protection of mice against the lethal Sendai virus infection by MHC class I binding CTL peptide epitope. The main benefit of vaccination with peptide epitopes is the ability to minimize the amount and complexity of a well-defined antigen. An appropriate peptide immunogen would also decrease the chance of stimulating a response against self-antigens, thereby providing a safer vaccine by avoiding autoimmunity. In general, the peptide vaccine strategy needs to dissect the specificity of antigen processing, the presence of B-and T-cell epitopes and the MHC restriction of the T-cell responses. This article briefly reviews the implications in the design of peptide vaccines and discusses the various approaches that are applied to improve their immunogenicity.
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ABSTRACT: The ability of dendritic cells (DC) to initiate immune responses in naive T cells is dependent upon a maturation process that allows the cells to develop their potent Ag-presenting capacity. Although immature DC can be derived in vitro by treatment of peripheral blood monocytes with GM-CSF and IL-4, additional signals such as those provided by TNF-alpha, CD40 ligand, or LPS are required for complete maturation and maximum APC function. Because we recently found that microbial lipoproteins can activate monocytes and DC through Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2, we also investigated whether lipoproteins can drive DC maturation. Immature DC were cultured with or without lipoproteins and were monitored for expression of cell surface markers indicative of maturation. Stimulation with lipopeptides increased expression of CD83, MHC class II, CD80, CD86, CD54, and CD58, and decreased CD32 expression and endocytic activity; these lipopeptide-matured DC also displayed enhanced T cell stimulatory capacity in MLR, as measured by T cell proliferation and IFN-gamma secretion. The lipid moiety of the lipopeptide was found to be essential for induction of maturation. Preincubation of maturing DC with an anti-TLR2 blocking Ab before addition of lipopeptide blocked the phenotypic and functional changes associated with DC maturation. These results demonstrate that lipopeptides can stimulate DC maturation via TLR2, providing a mechanism by which products of bacteria can participate in the initiation of an immune response.The Journal of Immunology 03/2001; 166(4):2444-50. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Reconstitution of antiviral CD8 T cells is essential for controlling cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection after bone marrow transplantation. Accordingly, polyclonal CD8 T cells derived from BALB/c mice infected with murine CMV protect immunocompromised adoptive transfer recipients against CMV disease. The protective population comprises CD8 T cells with T-cell receptors (TCRs) specific for defined and for as-yet-unknown viral epitopes, as well as a majority of nonprotective cells with unrelated specificities. Defined epitopes include IE1/m123 and m164, which are immunodominant in terms of the magnitude of the CD8 T-cell response, and a panel of subordinate epitopes (m04, m18, M45, M83, and M84). While cytolytic T-lymphocyte lines (CTLLs) were shown to be protective regardless of the immunodominance of the respective epitope, the individual contributions of in vivo resident epitope-specific CD8 T cells to the antiviral control awaited investigation. The IE1 peptide 168-YPHFMPTNL-176 is generated from the immediate-early protein 1 (IE1) (pp89/76) of murine CMV and is presented by the major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) molecule Ld. To quantitate its contribution to the protective potential of a CD8-T memory (CD8-TM) cell population, IE1-TCR+ and IE1-TCR- CD8-TM cells were purified by epitope-specific cell sorting with IE1 peptide-loaded MHC-immunoglobulin G1 dimers as ligands of cognate TCRs. Of relevance for clinical approaches to an adoptive cellular immunotherapy, sorted IE1 epitope-specific CD8-TM cells were found to be exceedingly protective upon adoptive transfer. Compared with CTLLs specific for the same epitope and of comparable avidity and TCR beta-chain variable region (Vbeta)-defined polyclonality, sorted CD8-TM cells proved to be superior by more than 2 orders of magnitude.Journal of Virology 06/2005; 79(9):5400-13. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Analytical biochemistry and synthetic peptide based chemistry have helped to reveal the pivotal role that peptides play in determining the specificity, magnitude and quality of both humoral (antibody) and cellular (cytotoxic and helper T cell) immune responses. In addition, peptide based technologies are now at the forefront of vaccine design and medical diagnostics. The chemical technologies used to assemble peptides into immunogenic structures have made great strides over the past decade and assembly of highly pure peptides which can be incorporated into high molecular weight species, multimeric and even branched structures together with non-peptidic material is now routine. These structures have a wide range of applications in designer vaccines and diagnostic reagents. Thus the tools of the peptide chemist are exquisitely placed to answer questions about immune recognition and along the way to provide us with new and improved vaccines and diagnostics.Journal of Peptide Science 06/2003; 9(5):255-81. · 2.07 Impact Factor