The ability of Hepatitis B surface antigen DNA vaccine to elicit cell-mediated immune responses, but not antibody responses, was affected by the deglysosylation of S antigen
Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infection remains a major worldwide infectious disease with serious long-term morbidity and mortality. The limited selections of drug treatment are not able to control the progress of disease in people with active and persistent HBV infection. Immunotherapy to control the degree of viral infection is one possible alternative solution to this challenge. HBV DNA vaccines, with their strong ability to induce cell-mediated immune responses, offer an attractive option. HBV surface protein is important in viral immunity. Re-establishing anti-S immunity in chronic HBV infected patients will bring significant benefit to the patients. Previous studies have shown that HBV S DNA vaccines are immunogenic in a number of animal studies. In the current study, we further investigated the effect of glycosylation to the expression and immunogenicity of S DNA vaccines. Our results demonstrate that deglycosylation at the two potential N-linked glycosylation sites in S protein resulted in a significant decrease of S-specific cell-mediated immune responses, but did not affect anti-S antibody responses. This finding provides important direction to the development of S DNA vaccines to elicit the optimal and balanced antibody and cell-mediated immune responses to treat people with HBV chronic infections.
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