De novo design of peptide immunogens that mimic the coiled coil region of human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 glycoprotein 21 transmembrane subunit for induction of native protein reactive neutralizing antibodies.
ABSTRACT Peptide vaccines able to induce high affinity and protective neutralizing antibodies must rely in part on the design of antigenic epitopes that mimic the three-dimensional structure of the corresponding region in the native protein. We describe the design, structural characterization, immunogenicity, and neutralizing potential of antibodies elicited by conformational peptides derived from the human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) gp21 envelope glycoprotein spanning residues 347-374. We used a novel template design and a unique synthetic approach to construct two peptides (WCCR2T and CCR2T) that would each assemble into a triple helical coiled coil conformation mimicking the gp21 crystal structure. The peptide B-cell epitopes were grafted onto the epsilon side chains of three lysyl residues on a template backbone construct consisting of the sequence acetyl-XGKGKGKGCONH2 (where X represents the tetanus toxoid promiscuous T cell epitope (TT) sequence 580-599). Leucine substitutions were introduced at the a and d positions of the CCR2T sequence to maximize helical character and stability as shown by circular dichroism and guanidinium hydrochloride studies. Serum from an HTLV-1-infected patient was able to recognize the selected epitopes by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Mice immunized with the wild-type sequence (WCCR2T) and the mutant sequence (CCR2T) elicited high antibody titers that were capable of recognizing the native protein as shown by flow cytometry and whole virus ELISA. Sera and purified antibodies from immunized mice were able to reduce the formation of syncytia induced by the envelope glycoprotein of HTLV-1, suggesting that antibodies directed against the coiled coil region of gp21 are capable of disrupting cell-cell fusion. Our results indicate that these peptides represent potential candidates for use in a peptide vaccine against HTLV-1.
Article: Recombinant HBHA boosting effect on BCG-induced immunity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Heterologous prime-boost regimens are effective strategies to promote long-term memory and strong cellular Th1 responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis, when BCG is used in the priming step. Subcutaneous or intranasal boosting of BCG-vaccinated newborn mice with native heparin-binding haemagglutinin (nHBHA) significantly enhances protection against M. tuberculosis. However, nHBHA is characterized by a complex methylation pattern in its C-terminal domain, which is important for protective immunogenicity in primary vaccination. In this study we addressed the question whether boosting with recombinant, non-methylated HBHA (rHBHA) produced in Escherichia coli may enhance protection of BCG-primed newborn mice. We found that while subcutaneous rHBHA boosting enhanced protection of BCG-primed mice against intranasal M. tuberculosis infection both in spleen and lungs, enhanced protection against aerosol infection was only seen in the spleen (0.72 logs; P < 0.05) but not in the lungs. Thus, in BCG-primed mice the methylation of the C-terminal domain of HBHA is dispensable for the induction of enhanced protection in the lungs against intranasal but not aerosol infection, whereas it enhances protection in the spleen in both challenge models. This report thus provides evidence that rHBHA may be considered as a booster vaccine against disseminated tuberculosis.Clinical and Developmental Immunology 01/2011; 2011:730702. · 1.84 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Human T-lymphotrophic virus type-1 (HTLV-1) infects approximately 15 to 20 million people worldwide, with endemic areas in Japan, the Caribbean, and Africa. The virus is spread through contact with bodily fluids containing infected cells, most often from mother to child through breast milk or via blood transfusion. After prolonged latency periods, approximately 3 to 5% of HTLV-1 infected individuals will develop either adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL), or other lymphocyte-mediated disorders such as HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). The genome of this complex retrovirus contains typical gag, pol, and env genes, but also unique nonstructural proteins encoded from the pX region. These nonstructural genes encode the Tax and Rex regulatory proteins, as well as novel proteins essential for viral spread in vivo such as, p30, p12, p13 and the antisense encoded HBZ. While progress has been made in the understanding of viral determinants of cell transformation and host immune responses, host and viral determinants of HTLV-1 transmission and spread during the early phases of infection are unclear. Improvements in the molecular tools to test these viral determinants in cellular and animal models have provided new insights into the early events of HTLV-1 infection. This review will focus on studies that test HTLV-1 determinants in context to full length infectious clones of the virus providing insights into the mechanisms of transmission and spread of HTLV-1.Viruses 07/2011; 3(7):1131-65. · 1.50 Impact Factor
Article: Synthetic peptide-targeted selection of phage display mimotopes highlights immunogenic features of α-helical vs non-helical epitopes of Taenia solium paramyosin: implications for parasite- and host-protective roles of the protein.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Paramyosin of the pig-human parasite Taenia solium (TPmy) is a α-helical protein located on the worm surface that is suggested to fulfill an immunomodulatory role protecting the parasite against host immune system. Besides, in challenging experiments the protein shows a vaccine potential. These observations imply that TPmy harbors antigenic determinants for each of these contrasting actions. However the suggestion was not given a support from experimental data because respective epitopes have not been described thus far. To circumvent this difficulty, we use synthetic peptides with sequences of regions composed of α-helical or linear structure to induce rabbit antibody responses for phage-display mapping of epitope core amino-acid sets. Antibodies to α-helical regions were weak binders and M13 phage-displayed peptides selected by them from two different libraries exhibited no amino-acid similarities with the original protein site. In contrast, the antibodies produced in response to non-helical segment within α-helical structure were better binders and selectors of perfect structural mimics of the protein site. This first phage display epitope analysis of TPmy supports the notion that the rod-like α-helix, which encompasses over 90% of the total amino acids, may serve as an immunomodulatory shield that protects the parasite. Further, the seven non-helical segments of the TPmy molecule may represent the only anti-parasite discrete immunogenic epitopes whose representative mimotopes can be utilized in development of pure epitope vaccines.Peptides 10/2011; 34(1):232-41. · 2.43 Impact Factor