Immunogenicity of HIV-1 Env and Gag in baboons using a DNA prime/protein boost regimen.

Journal Article

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the immunogenicity of sequence-modified HIV env and gag in baboons using DNA prime and protein boost strategy. METHODS: Synthetic sequence-modified HIV gene cassettes were constructed that expressed three different forms of Env proteins, gp140, gp140mut and gp140TM, plus or minus a mutation in the protease-cleavage site. These plasmids were used to immunize baboons (Papio cynocephalus). A group of baboons was also immunized with both env and gag DNA followed by p55Gag virus-like particles (VLP) boost. RESULTS: Modest antibody responses and low or no lymphoproliferative responses were observed following multiple DNA immunizations. In contrast, strong antibodies and substantial antigen-specific lymphoproliferative responses were seen following booster immunizations with oligomeric Env protein (o-gp140US4) in MF59. Neutralizing antibody responses were scored against T cell line adapted HIV-1 strains after the protein boosters, but neutralizing responses were low or absent against homologous and heterologous primary isolate strains. In the group receiving both gag and env vaccines, modest antigen-specific antibody and lymphoproliferative responses were scored after the DNA immunizations; these responses were enhanced several-fold upon boosting with the VLP preparations. The addition of Gag antigen did not interfere with Env-specific antibody responses, but there was a negative effect on the levels of Env-specific lymphoproliferation. CONCLUSIONS: These results highlight the importance of improving the potency of HIV DNA vaccines by enhanced DNA delivery and prime-boost vaccine technologies to generate more robust immune responses in larger animal models. In addition, care must be taken when immunizations with Env and Gag antigens are performed together.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Leung, L; Srivastava, IK; Kan, E; Legg, H; Sun, Y; Greer, C; Montefiori, DC; zur Megede, J; Barnett, SW

Published Date

  • April 30, 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 18 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 991 - 1001

PubMed ID

  • 15096801

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0269-9370

Language

  • eng

Conference Location

  • England