Welkin E Johnson

Boston College, USA, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (41)264.92 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We sought to test whether vaccine-induced immune responses could protect rhesus macaques (RMs) against upfront heterologous challenges with an R5 simian-human immunodeficiency virus, SHIV-2873Nip. This SHIV strain exhibits many properties of transmitted HIV-1, such as tier 2 phenotype (relatively difficult to neutralize), exclusive CCR5 tropism, and gradual disease progression in infected RMs. Since no human AIDS vaccine recipient is likely to encounter an HIV-1 strain that exactly matches the immunogens, we immunized the RMs with recombinant Env proteins heterologous to the challenge virus. For induction of immune responses against Gag, Tat, and Nef, we explored a strategy of immunization with overlapping synthetic peptides (OSP). The immune responses against Gag and Tat were finally boosted with recombinant proteins. The vaccinees and a group of ten control animals were given five low-dose intrarectal (i.r.) challenges with SHIV-2873Nip. All controls and seven out of eight vaccinees became systemically infected; there was no significant difference in viremia levels of vaccinees vs. controls. Prevention of viremia was observed in one vaccinee which showed strong boosting of virus-specific cellular immunity during virus exposures. The protected animal showed no challenge virus-specific neutralizing antibodies in the TZM-bl or A3R5 cell-based assays and had low-level ADCC activity after the virus exposures. Microarray data strongly supported a role for cellular immunity in the protected animal. Our study represents a case of protection against heterologous tier 2 SHIV-C by vaccine-induced, virus-specific cellular immune responses.
    Vaccine. 09/2014;
  • Andrea Kirmaier, Welkin E Johnson
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    ABSTRACT: HIV-1 was isolated 31 years ago, yet models for studying HIV-1 pathogenesis in vivo are still lacking. Recent experiments using an HIV-1 strain engineered to replicate in macaques recapitulate several important features of human AIDS, and provide insight into the genetics of cross-species transmission and emergence of pathogenic retroviruses.
    Trends in Microbiology 08/2014; · 8.43 Impact Factor
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    Kevin R McCarthy, Welkin E Johnson
    PLoS Pathogens 04/2014; 10(4):e1004017. · 8.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A key goal for HIV-1 envelope immunogen design is the induction of cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies (nAbs). As AIDS vaccine recipients will not be exposed to strains exactly matching any immunogens due to multiple HIV-1 quasispecies circulating in the human population worldwide, heterologous SHIV challenges are essential for realistic vaccine efficacy testing in primates. We assessed whether polyclonal IgG, isolated from rhesus monkeys (RMs) with high-titer nAbs (termed SHIVIG), could protect RMs against the R5-tropic tier-2 SHIV-2873Nip, which was heterologous to the viruses or HIV-1 envelopes that had elicited SHIVIG. SHIVIG demonstrated binding to HIV Gag, Tat, and Env of different clades and competed with the broadly neutralizing antibodies b12, VRC01, 4E10, and 17b. SHIVIG neutralized tier 1 and tier 2 viruses, including SHIV-2873Nip. NK-cell depletion decreased the neutralizing activity of SHIVIG 20-fold in PBMC assays. Although SHIVIG neutralized SHIV-2873Nip in vitro, this polyclonal IgG preparation failed to prevent acquisition after repeated intrarectal low-dose virus challenges, but at a dose of 400 mg/kg, it significantly lowered peak viremia (P = 0.001). Unexpectedly, single-genome analysis revealed a higher number of transmitted variants at the low dose of 25 mg/kg, implying increased acquisition at low SHIVIG levels. In vitro, SHIVIG demonstrated complement-mediated Ab-dependent enhancement of infection (C'-ADE) at concentrations similar to those observed in plasmas of RMs treated with 25 mg/kg of SHIVIG. Our primate model data suggest a dual role for polyclonal anti-HIV-1 Abs depending on plasma levels upon virus encounter.
    Retrovirology 01/2014; 11(1):8. · 5.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) represent ancestral sequences of modern retroviruses or their extinct relatives. The majority of ERVs cluster alongside exogenous retroviruses into two main groups based on phylogenetic analyses of the reverse transcriptase (RT) enzyme. Class I includes gammaretroviruses, and class II-lenti-viruses, alpha-, beta-, and deltaretroviruses. However, analyses of the transmembrane subunit (TM) of the envelope glycoprotein (env) gene result in a different topology for some retroviruses, suggesting recombination events in which heterologous env sequences have been acquired.We previously demonstrated that the TM sequences of five of the six genera of Orthoretroviruses can be divided into three types, each of which infects a distinct set of vertebrate classes. Moreover, these classes do not always overlap the host range of the associated RT classes. Thus, recombination resulting in acquisition of a heterologous env gene could in theory facilitate cross-species transmissions across vertebrate classes, for example, from mammals to reptiles.Here we characterize a family of class II avian ERVs, "TgERV-F", that acquired a mammalian gammaretroviral env sequence. Although TgERV-F clusters near a sister clade to alpharetroviruses, its genome also has some features of betaretroviruses. We offer evidence that this unusual recombinant has circulated among several avian orders, and may still have infectious members. In addition to documenting the infection of a non-galliform avian species by a mammalian retrovirus, TgERV-F also underscores the importance of env sequences in reconstructing phylogenies, and supports a possible role for env-swapping in allowing cross-species transmissions across wide taxonomic distances.
    Journal of Virology 12/2013; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cellular restriction factors, which render cells intrinsically resistant to viruses, potentially impose genetic barriers to cross-species transmission and emergence of viral pathogens in nature. One such factor is APOBEC3G. To overcome APOBEC3G-mediated restriction, many lentiviruses encode Vif, a protein that targets APOBEC3G for degradation. As with many restriction factor genes, primate APOBEC3G displays strong signatures of positive selection. This is interpreted as evidence that the primate APOBEC3G locus reflects a long-term evolutionary "arms-race" between retroviruses and their primate hosts. Here, we provide direct evidence that APOBEC3G has functioned as a barrier to cross-species transmission, selecting for viral resistance during emergence of the AIDS-causing pathogen SIVmac in captive colonies of Asian macaques in the 1970s. Specifically, we found that rhesus macaques have multiple, functionally distinct APOBEC3G alleles, and that emergence of SIVmac and simian AIDS required adaptation of the virus to evade APOBEC3G-mediated restriction. Our evidence includes the first comparative analysis of APOBEC3G polymorphism and function in both a reservoir and recipient host species (sooty mangabeys and rhesus macaques, respectively), and identification of adaptations unique to Vif proteins of the SIVmac lineage that specifically antagonize rhesus APOBEC3G alleles. By demonstrating that interspecies variation in a known restriction factor selected for viral counter-adaptations in the context of a documented case of cross-species transmission, our results lend strong support to the evolutionary "arms-race" hypothesis. Importantly, our study confirms that APOBEC3G divergence can be a critical determinant of interspecies transmission and emergence of primate lentiviruses, including viruses with the potential to infect and spread in human populations.
    PLoS Pathogens 10/2013; 9(10):e1003641. · 8.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Retroviral capsid recognition by Trim5 blocks productive infection. Rhesus macaques harbor three functionally distinct Trim5 alleles: Trim5α(Q) , Trim5α(TFP) and Trim5(CypA) . Despite the high degree of amino acid identity between Trim5α(Q) and Trim5α(TFP) alleles, the Q/TFP polymorphism results in the differential restriction of some primate lentiviruses, suggesting these alleles differ in how they engage these capsids. Simian immunodeficiency virus of rhesus macaques (SIVmac) evolved to resist all three alleles. Thus, SIVmac provides a unique opportunity to study a virus in the context of the Trim5 repertoire that drove its evolution in vivo. We exploited the evolved rhesus Trim5α resistance of this capsid to identify gain-of-sensitivity mutations that distinguish targets between the Trim5α(Q) and Trim5α(TFP) alleles. While both alleles recognize the capsid surface, Trim5α(Q) and Trim5α(TFP) alleles differed in their ability to restrict a panel of capsid chimeras and single amino acid substitutions. When mapped onto the structure of the SIVmac239 capsid N-terminal domain, single amino acid substitutions affecting both alleles mapped to the β-hairpin. Given that none of the substitutions affected Trim5α(Q) alone, and the fact that the β-hairpin is conserved among retroviral capsids, we propose that the β-hairpin is a molecular pattern widely exploited by Trim5α proteins. Mutations specifically affecting rhesus Trim5α(TFP) (without affecting Trim5α(Q) ) surround a site of conservation unique to primate lentiviruses, overlapping the CPSF6 binding site. We believe targeting this site is an evolutionary innovation driven specifically by the emergence of primate lentiviruses in Africa during the last 12 million years. This modularity in targeting may be a general feature of Trim5 evolution, permitting different regions of the PRYSPRY domain to evolve independent interactions with capsid.
    PLoS Pathogens 05/2013; 9(5):e1003352. · 8.14 Impact Factor
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    Jamie E Henzy, Welkin E Johnson
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    ABSTRACT: The majority of retroviral envelope glycoproteins characterized to date are typical of type I viral fusion proteins, having a receptor binding subunit associated with a fusion subunit. The fusion subunits of lentiviruses and alpha-, beta-, delta- and gammaretroviruses have a very conserved domain organization and conserved features of secondary structure, making them suitable for phylogenetic analyses. Such analyses, along with sequence comparisons, reveal evidence of numerous recombination events in which retroviruses have acquired envelope glycoproteins from heterologous sequences. Thus, the envelope gene (env) can have a history separate from that of the polymerase gene (pol), which is the most commonly used gene in phylogenetic analyses of retroviruses. Focusing on the fusion subunits of the genera listed above, we describe three distinct types of retroviral envelope glycoproteins, which we refer to as gamma-type, avian gamma-type and beta-type. By tracing these types within the 'fossil record' provided by endogenous retroviruses, we show that they have surprisingly distinct evolutionary histories and dynamics, with important implications for cross-species transmissions and the generation of novel lineages. These findings validate the utility of env sequences in contributing phylogenetic signal that enlarges our understanding of retrovirus evolution.
    Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences 01/2013; 368(1626):20120506. · 6.23 Impact Factor
  • Welkin E Johnson
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    ABSTRACT: Since the discovery of viruses over a century ago, virologists have recognized that host genetics plays a major role in viral tropism and the distribution of viruses in nature. Traditionally, studies of tropism have centered on identification of cellular factors required for viral replication, such as cell-surface entry receptors. However, over the past 20 years, there has been a steady increase in the identification and characterization of restriction factors (RFs), here defined as dominant cellular factors that have evolved specifically to interfere with viral replication. Genetic studies suggest that restriction factors impose significant barriers to interspecies movement of viruses and are therefore critical determinants of viral tropism. Furthermore, the scope of the ever-expanding list of restriction factors, and the variety of antiviral mechanisms they represent, testifies to the extraordinary impact viruses have had on organismal evolution-an impact hitherto underappreciated by evolutionary biologists and virologists alike. Recent studies of RF-encoding genes that combine molecular evolutionary analysis with functional assays illustrate the potential for asking questions about virus-host interactions as they play out in natural populations and across evolutionary timescales. Most notably, it has become common to apply tests of positive selection to RF genes and couple these analyses with virological assays, to reveal evidence for antagonistic virus-host co-evolution. Herein, I summarize recent work on the evolutionary genetics of mammalian RFs, particularly those of humans, non-human primates, and model organisms, and how RFs can reveal the influence of virus-host interactions on organismal evolution. Because intensive investigation of RF evolution is fairly new (and because there is still much to learn), the discussion is organized around five broad, outstanding questions that will need to be answered before we can fully appreciate the evolutionary biology of restriction.
    Current topics in microbiology and immunology 01/2013; 371:123-151. · 4.86 Impact Factor
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    William E Diehl, Welkin E Johnson, Eric Hunter
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    ABSTRACT: All genes in the TRIM6/TRIM34/TRIM5/TRIM22 locus are type I interferon inducible, with TRIM5 and TRIM22 possessing antiviral properties. Evolutionary studies involving the TRIM6/34/5/22 locus have predominantly focused on the coding sequence of the genes, finding that TRIM5 and TRIM22 have undergone high rates of both non-synonymous nucleotide replacements and in-frame insertions and deletions. We sought to understand if divergent evolutionary pressures on TRIM6/34/5/22 coding regions have selected for modifications in the non-coding regions of these genes and explore whether such non-coding changes may influence the biological function of these genes. The transcribed genomic regions, including the introns, of TRIM6, TRIM34, TRIM5, and TRIM22 from ten Haplorhini primates and one prosimian species were analyzed for transposable element content. In Haplorhini species, TRIM5 displayed an exaggerated interspecies variability, predominantly resulting from changes in the composition of transposable elements in the large first and fourth introns. Multiple lineage-specific endogenous retroviral long terminal repeats (LTRs) were identified in the first intron of TRIM5 and TRIM22. In the prosimian genome, we identified a duplication of TRIM5 with a concomitant loss of TRIM22. The transposable element content of the prosimian TRIM5 genes appears to largely represent the shared Haplorhini/prosimian ancestral state for this gene. Furthermore, we demonstrated that one such differentially fixed LTR provides for species-specific transcriptional regulation of TRIM22 in response to p53 activation. Our results identify a previously unrecognized source of species-specific variation in the antiviral TRIM genes, which can lead to alterations in their transcriptional regulation. These observations suggest that there has existed long-term pressure for exaptation of retroviral LTRs in the non-coding regions of these genes. This likely resulted from serial viral challenges and provided a mechanism for rapid alteration of transcriptional regulation. To our knowledge, this represents the first report of persistent evolutionary pressure for the capture of retroviral LTR insertions.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(3):e58532. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rhesus macaques (RMs) inoculated with live-attenuated Rev-Independent Nef¯ simian immunodeficiency virus (Rev-Ind Nef¯SIV) as adults or neonates controlled viremia to undetectable levels and showed no signs of immunodeficiency over 6-8 years of follow-up. We tested the capacity of this live-attenuated virus to protect RMs against pathogenic, heterologous SIVsmE660 challenges. Three groups of four RM were inoculated with Rev-Ind Nef¯SIV and compared. Group 1 was inoculated 8 years prior and again 15 months before low dose intrarectal challenges with SIVsmE660. Group 2 animals were inoculated with Rev-Ind Nef¯SIV at 15 months and Group 3 at 2 weeks prior to the SIVsmE660 challenges, respectively. Group 4 served as unvaccinated controls. All RMs underwent repeated weekly low-dose intrarectal challenges with SIVsmE660. Surprisingly, all RMs with acute live-attenuated virus infection (Group 3) became superinfected with the challenge virus, in contrast to the two other vaccine groups (Groups 1 and 2) (P=0.006 for each) and controls (Group 4) (P=0.022). Gene expression analysis showed significant upregulation of innate immune response-related chemokines and their receptors, most notably CCR5 in Group 3 animals during acute infection with Rev-Ind Nef¯SIV. We conclude that although Rev-Ind Nef¯SIV remained apathogenic, acute replication of the vaccine strain was not protective but associated with increased acquisition of heterologous mucosal SIVsmE660 challenges.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(9):e75556. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    Amalio Telenti, Welkin E Johnson
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    ABSTRACT: Recent years have seen a significant increase in understanding of the host genetic and genomic determinants of susceptibility to HIV-1 infection and disease progression, driven in large part by candidate gene studies, genome-wide association studies, genome-wide transcriptome analyses, and large-scale in vitro genome screens. These studies have identified common variants in some host loci that clearly influence disease progression, characterized the scale and dynamics of gene and protein expression changes in response to infection, and provided the first comprehensive catalogs of genes and pathways involved in viral replication. Experimental models of AIDS and studies in natural hosts of primate lentiviruses have complemented and in some cases extended these findings. As the relevant technology continues to progress, the expectation is that such studies will increase in depth (e.g., to include host whole exome and whole genome sequencing) and in breadth (in particular, by integrating multiple data types).
    Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine 04/2012; 2(4):a007203. · 7.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vaccine regimens using different agents for priming and boosting have become popular for enhancing T cell and Ab responses elicited by candidate HIV/AIDS vaccines. Here we use a simian model to evaluate immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a recombinant modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) vaccine in the presence and absence of a recombinant DNA prime. The simian vaccines and regimens represent prototypes for candidate HIV vaccines currently undergoing clinical testing. Recombinant DNA and MVA immunogens expressed simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)mac239 Gag, PR, RT, and Env sequences. Vaccine schedules tested inoculations of MVA at months 0, 2, and 6 (MMM regimen) or priming with DNA at months 0 and 2 and boosting with MVA at months 4 and 6 (DDMM regimen). Twelve weekly rectal challenges with the heterologous SIV smE660 were initiated at 6 months following the last immunization. Both regimens elicited similar 61-64% reductions in the per challenge risk of SIVsmE660 transmission despite raising different patterns of immune responses. The DDMM regimen elicited higher magnitudes of CD4 T cells whereas the MMM regimen elicited higher titers and greater avidity Env-specific IgG and more frequent and higher titer SIV-specific IgA in rectal secretions. Both regimens elicited similar magnitudes of CD8 T cells. Magnitudes of T cell responses, specific activities of rectal IgA Ab, and the tested specificities for neutralization and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity did not correlate with risk of infection. However, the avidity of Env-specific IgG had a strong correlation with the per challenge risk of acquisition, but only for the DDMM group. We conclude that for the tested immunogens in rhesus macaques, the simpler MMM regimen is as protective as the more complex DDMM regimen.
    Vaccine 12/2011; 30(9):1737-45. · 3.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It has recently been shown that polymorphism at the rhesus macaque TRIM5 locus can affect simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) replication. Here we show that TRIM5 alleles can also affect acquisition of SIVsmE660. Animals coexpressing the TRIM5(TFP) and TRIM5(CypA) alleles took significantly longer to become infected with SIVsmE660, but not SIVmac239, after repeated limiting-dose intrarectal challenge than did animals expressing other TRIM5 allele combinations. Our results indicate that the TRIM5 alleles can be a barrier to productive infection and that this should be taken into account when designing acquisition studies using SIVsmE660 or related viruses.
    Journal of Virology 09/2011; 85(18):9637-40. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The following series of concise summaries addresses the evolution of infectious agents in relation to sex in animals and humans from the perspective of three specific questions: (1) what have we learned about the likely origin and phylogeny, up to the establishment of the infectious agent in the genital econiche, including the relative frequency of its sexual transmission; (2) what further research is needed to provide additional knowledge on some of these evolutionary aspects; and (3) what evolutionary considerations might aid in providing novel approaches to the more practical clinical and public health issues facing us currently and in the future?
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 08/2011; 1230:74-107. · 4.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) vaccine coexpressing granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) prevented infection in 71% of macaques that received 12 rectal challenges. The SIVsmE660 challenge had the tropism of incident human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections and a similar genetic distance from the SIV239 vaccine as intraclade HIV isolates. The heterologous prime-boost vaccine regimen used recombinant DNA for priming and recombinant modified vaccinia Ankara for boosting. Co-expression of GM-CSF in the DNA prime enhanced the avidity of elicited immunoglobulin G for SIV envelope glycoproteins, the titers of neutralizing antibody for easy-to-neutralize SIV isolates, and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity. Impressively, the co-expressed GM-CSF increased vaccine-induced prevention of infection from 25% in the non-GM-CSF co-expressing vaccine group to 71% in the GM-CSF co-expressing vaccine group. The prevention of infection showed a strong correlation with the avidity of the elicited Env-specific antibody for the Env of the SIVsmE660 challenge virus (r = 0.9; P < .0001).
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 07/2011; 204(1):164-73. · 5.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We sought to induce primate immunodeficiency virus-specific cellular and neutralizing antibody (nAb) responses in rhesus macaques (RM) through a bimodal vaccine approach. RM were immunized intragastrically (i.g.) with the live-attenuated Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) vector Lmdd-BdopSIVgag encoding SIVmac239 gag. SIV Gag-specific cellular responses were boosted by intranasal and intratracheal administration of replication-competent adenovirus (Ad5hr-SIVgag) encoding the same gag. To broaden antiviral immunity, the RM were immunized with multimeric HIV clade C (HIV-C) gp160 and HIV Tat. SIV Gag-specific cellular immune responses and HIV-1 nAb developed in some RM. The animals were challenged intrarectally with five low doses of R5 SHIV-1157ipEL-p, encoding a heterologous HIV-C Env (22.1% divergent to the Env immunogen). All five controls became viremic. One out of ten vaccinees was completely protected and another had low peak viremia. Sera from the completely and partially protected RM neutralized the challenge virus > 90%; these RM also had strong SIV Gag-specific proliferation of CD8⁺ T cells. Peak and area under the curve of plasma viremia (during acute phase) among vaccinees was lower than for controls, but did not attain significance. The completely protected RM showed persistently low numbers of the α4β7-expressing CD4⁺ T cells; the latter have been implicated as preferential virus targets in vivo. Thus, vaccine-induced immune responses and relatively lower numbers of potential target cells were associated with protection.
    Vaccine 06/2011; 29(34):5611-22. · 3.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: SIV infection of macaques is the most widely employed model for preclinical AIDS vaccine and pathogenesis research. In macaques, high-titer virus-specific antibodies are induced by infection, and antibody responses can drive evolution of viral escape variants. However, neutralizing antibodies (Nabs) induced in response to SIVmac239 and SIVmac251 infection or immunization are generally undetectable or of low titer, and the identification and cloning of potent Nabs from SIVmac-infected macaques remains elusive. Based on recent advances in labeling HIV-specific B lymphocytes [1-3], we have generated recombinant, secreted, soluble SIVmac envelope (Env) proteins (gp120 and gp140) for detection and quantification of SIVmac Env-specific B lymphocytes. In contrast to HIV-1, we found that soluble SIVmac239 gp140 retains the ability to form stable oligomers without the necessity for introducing additional, stabilizing modifications. Soluble oligomeric gp140 reacted with rhesus anti-SIV Env-specific monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), and was used to deplete Env-specific antibodies with SIV neutralization capability from plasma taken from a rhesus macaque immunized with live attenuated SIVmac239∆nef. Soluble gp120 and gp140 bound to SIV-specific immortalized B cells, and to SIV Env-specific B lymphocytes in peripheral blood of immunized animals. These reagents will be useful for analyzing development of Env-specific B cell responses in preclinical studies using SIV-infected or vaccinated rhesus macaques.
    Journal of immunological methods 06/2011; 370(1-2):75-85. · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We constructed vaccine vectors based on live recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) and a Semliki Forest virus (SFV) replicon (SFVG) that propagates through expression of the VSV glycoprotein (G). These vectors expressing simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) Gag and Env proteins were used to vaccinate rhesus macaques with a new heterologous prime-boost regimen designed to optimize induction of antibody. Six vaccinated animals and six controls were then given a high-dose mucosal challenge with the diverse SIVsmE660 quasispecies. All control animals became infected and had peak viral RNA loads of 10(6) to 10(8) copies/ml. In contrast, four of the vaccinees showed significant (P = 0.03) apparent sterilizing immunity and no detectable viral loads. Subsequent CD8(+) T cell depletion confirmed the absence of SIV infection in these animals. The two other vaccinees had peak viral loads of 7 × 10(5) and 8 × 10(3) copies/ml, levels below those of all of the controls, and showed undetectable virus loads by day 42 postchallenge. The vaccine regimen induced high-titer prechallenge serum neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) to some cloned SIVsmE660 Env proteins, but antibodies able to neutralize the challenge virus swarm were not detected. The cellular immune responses induced by the vaccine were generally weak and did not correlate with protection. Although the immune correlates of protection are not yet clear, the heterologous VSV/SFVG prime-boost is clearly a potent vaccine regimen for inducing virus nAbs and protection against a heterogeneous viral swarm.
    Journal of Virology 06/2011; 85(12):5764-72. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Copy number variants (CNVs), defined as losses and gains of segments of genomic DNA, are a major source of genomic variation. In this study, we identified over 2,000 human CNVs that overlap with orthologous chimpanzee or orthologous macaque CNVs. Of these, 170 CNVs overlap with both chimpanzee and macaque CNVs, and these were collapsed into 34 hotspot regions of CNV formation. Many of these hotspot regions of CNV formation are functionally relevant, with a bias toward genes involved in immune function, some of which were previously shown to evolve under balancing selection in humans. The genes in these primate CNV formation hotspots have significant differential expression levels between species and show evidence for positive selection, indicating that they have evolved under species-specific, directional selection. These hotspots of primate CNV formation provide a novel perspective on divergence and selective pressures acting on these genomic regions.
    Genome biology 05/2011; 12(5):R52. · 10.30 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
264.92 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014
    • Boston College, USA
      • Biology Department
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2013–2014
    • Chestnut Hill College
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    • Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
      Erlangen, Bavaria, Germany
  • 2011–2013
    • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
      • Department of Cancer Immunology and AIDS
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    • Harvard University
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2003–2013
    • Harvard Medical School
      • Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2012
    • University Hospital of Lausanne
      • Institut universitaire de microbiologie
      Lausanne, VD, Switzerland
  • 2003–2006
    • The Scripps Research Institute
      La Jolla, California, United States