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.
Article: In silico CD4+ T-cell epitope prediction and HLA distribution analysis for the potential proteins of Neisseria meningitidis Serogroup B--a clue for vaccine development.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Neisseria meningitidis, an exclusive human pathogen, is a major cause of mortality due to meningococcal meningitis and sepsis in many developing countries. Three meningococcal serogroup B proteins, i.e. T-cell stimulating protein A (TspA), autotransporter A (AutA), and IgA-specific serine endopeptidase (IGA1) elicits CD4+ T-cell response and may enhance the effectiveness of meningococcal vaccines by acting as protective immunogens. A very limited data on T-helper cell epitopes in MenB proteins is available. Hence, in silico prediction of peptide sequences which may act as helper T lymphocyte epitopes in MenB proteins was carried out by NetMHCIIpan web server. HLA distribution analysis was done by using the population coverage tool of Immune Epitope Database to determine the fraction of individuals in various populations expected to respond to a given set of predicted T-cell epitopes based on HLA genotype frequencies. Six epitopic core sequences, two from each MenB proteins, i.e. AutA, TspA and IgA1 protease were predicted to associate with a large number of HLA-DR alleles. These six peptides may act as T-cell epitope in more than 95% of populations in 8 out of 12 populations considered. The T-cell stimulation potential of these predicted peptides containing the core epitopic sequences is to be validated by using laboratory experiments for their efficient use as peptide vaccine candidates against N. meningitidis serogroup B.Vaccine 10/2010; 28(43):7092-7. · 3.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The immune system in the gastrointestinal tract plays a crucial role in the control of infection, as it constitutes the first line of defense against mucosal pathogens. The attractive features of oral immunization have led to the exploration of a variety of oral delivery systems. However, none of these oral delivery systems have been applied to existing commercial vaccines. To overcome this, a new generation of oral vaccine delivery systems that target antigens to gut-associated lymphoid tissue is required. One promising approach is to exploit the potential of microfold (M) cells by mimicking the entry of pathogens into these cells. Targeting specific receptors on the apical surface of M cells might enhance the entry of antigens, initiating the immune response and consequently leading to protection against mucosal pathogens. In this article, we briefly review the challenges associated with current oral vaccine delivery systems and discuss strategies that might potentially target mouse and human intestinal M cells.PLoS Pathogens 01/2010; 6(11):e1001147. · 9.13 Impact Factor
Article: Characterization of a branched lipopeptide candidate vaccine against influenza A/Puerto Rico 8/34 which is recognized by human B and T-cell immune responses.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The use of synthetic peptides as immunogens represents an exciting alternative to traditional vaccines. However, to date most of these synthetic peptides are not highly immunogenic. The lack of immunogenicity might be addressed by conjugation between T or B cell epitopes with universal or immunodominant T-helper epitopes. The construction of lipidated peptides, branched peptides, or designs combining both of these elements might enhance the immunogenicity, as they might target Toll-Like Receptors and/or mimic the 3-dimensional structure of epitopes within the native protein. Herein, a recognized peptide immunogen based on the hemagglutinin protein of A/Puerto Rico/8/34 was chosen as a backbone and modified to evaluate if the construction of branched peptides, lipidation, the addition of cysteine residues, or mutations could indeed alter epitope reactivity. Screening the different designs with various antibody binding and cellular assays revealed that combining a branched design with the addition of lipid moieties greatly enhanced the immunoreactivity.Virology Journal 06/2011; 8:309. · 2.34 Impact Factor