Cationic polypeptides are required for anti-HIV-1 activity of human vaginal fluid.

Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Biomolecular Science Center, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816-2364, USA.
The Journal of Immunology (Impact Factor: 5.36). 01/2006; 175(11):7560-7. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.175.11.7560
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Mucosal surfaces of the vagina are the portals for heterosexual transmission of HIV-1 and therefore play a fundamental role in the pathogenesis of primary infection. In the search for direct biological evidence for the role of human vaginal fluid in innate host defense, we characterized the anti-HIV-1 function of cationic polypeptides within minimally manipulated vaginal fluid. In the current study we revealed that vaginal fluid confers intrinsic anti-HIV-1 properties against both X4 and R5 strains of HIV-1 and could protect against HIV-1 infection and reduce proviral genome integration in organotypic cultures of human cervicovaginal tissue. The majority of this activity was contained in the cationic polypeptide fraction, and the depletion of cationic polypeptides using a selective cation exchange resin ablated most of the intrinsic activity against HIV-1. By adding the cationic polypeptide fraction to depleted vaginal fluid, we were able to restore activity against HIV-1. Using a proteomic approach, we identified 18 cationic polypeptides within vaginal fluid, nearly all of which are either known antimicrobials or have other purported roles in host defense. Interestingly, physiologic concentrations of 13 of the cationic polypeptides were not active alone against HIV-1, yet in concert they partially restored the anti-HIV-1 activity of cation-depleted vaginal fluid. These results suggest that synergism between cationic polypeptides is complex, and full anti-HIV-1 activity probably involves the aggregate of the cationic peptides and proteins in vaginal fluid.

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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Background Mucosal specimens are essential to evaluate compartmentalized immune responses to HIV vaccine candidates and other mucosally targeted investigational products. We studied the acceptability and feasibility of repeated mucosal sampling in East African clinical trial participants at low risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Methods and Findings The Kenya AIDS Vaccine Initiative (KAVI) enrolled participants into three Phase 1 trials of preventive HIV candidate vaccines in 2011–2012 at two clinical research centers in Nairobi. After informed consent to a mucosal sub-study, participants were asked to undergo collection of mucosal secretions (saliva, oral fluids, semen, cervico-vaginal and rectal), but could opt out of any collection at any visit. Specimens were collected at baseline and two additional time points. A tolerability questionnaire was administered at the final sub-study visit. Of 105 trial participants, 27 of 34 women (79%) and 62 of 71 men (87%) enrolled in the mucosal sub-study. Nearly all sub-study participants gave saliva and oral fluids at all visits. Semen was collected from about half the participating men (47–48%) at all visits. Cervico-vaginal secretions were collected by Softcup from about two thirds of women (63%) at baseline, increasing to 78% at the following visits, with similar numbers for cervical secretion collection by Merocel sponge; about half of women (52%) gave cervico-vaginal samples at all visits. Rectal secretions were collected with Merocel sponge from about a quarter of both men and women (24%) at all 3 visits, with 16% of men and 19% of women giving rectal samples at all visits. Conclusions Repeated mucosal sampling in clinical trial participants in Kenya is feasible, with a good proportion of participants consenting to most sampling methods with the exception of rectal samples. Experienced staff members of both sexes and trained counselors with standardized messaging may improve acceptance of rectal sampling.
    PLoS ONE 10/2014; DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0110228 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The proteomic analysis of body fluids is a growing technology for the identification of protein biomarkers of disease. Given that Papanicolaou tests (Pap tests) are routinely performed on over 30 million women annually in the U.S. to screen for cervical cancer, we examined the residual Pap test fluid as a source of protein for analysis by mass spectrometry (MS). In the liquid-based Pap test, cervical cells are collected from the ectocervix and placed into an alcohol-based fixative prior to staining and pathologic examination. We hypothesized that proteins shed by cells of the female genital tract can be detected in the Pap test fixative by MS-based proteomic techniques. We examined the feasibility of using residual fluid from discarded Pap tests with cytologically "normal" results to optimize sample preparation for MS analysis. The protein composition of the cell-free Pap test fluid was determined by silver staining of sodium dodecyl sulfate -polyacrylamide gels, and the abundance of serum proteins was examined by Western immunoblot using an antibody against human serum albumin. Both pooled and individual samples were trypsin digested and analyzed by two-dimensional MS/MS. Proteins were identified by searching against the Human Uniprot database, and characterized for localization, function and relative abundance.
    Clinical Proteomics 01/2014; 11(1):30. DOI:10.1186/1559-0275-11-30

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