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A Multiantigenic DNA Vaccine That Induces Broad Hepatitis C Virus-Specific T-Cell Responses in Mice

Gummow, Jason and Li, Yanrui and Yu, Wenbo and Garrod, Tamsin and Wijesundara, Danushka and Brennan, Amelia J and Mullick, Ranajoy and Voskoboinik, Ilia and Grubor-Bauk, Branka and Gowans, Eric J (2015) A Multiantigenic DNA Vaccine That Induces Broad Hepatitis C Virus-Specific T-Cell Responses in Mice. In: JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY, 89 (15). pp. 7991-8002.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00803-15

Abstract

There are 3 to 4 million new hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections annually around the world, but no vaccine is available. Robust T-cell mediated responses are necessary for effective clearance of the virus, and DNA vaccines result in a cell-mediated bias. Adjuvants are often required for effective vaccination, but during natural lytic viral infections damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) are released, which act as natural adjuvants. Hence, a vaccine that induces cell necrosis and releases DAMPs will result in cell-mediated immunity (CMI), similar to that resulting from natural lytic viral infection. We have generated a DNA vaccine with the ability to elicit strong CMI against the HCV nonstructural (NS) proteins (3, 4A, 4B, and 5B) by encoding a cytolytic protein, perforin (PRF), and the antigens on a single plasmid. We examined the efficacy of the vaccines in C57BL/6 mice, as determined by gamma interferon enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay, cell proliferation studies, and intracellular cytokine production. Initially, we showed that encoding the NS4A protein in a vaccine which encoded only NS3 reduced the immunogenicity of NS3, whereas including PRF increased NS3 immunogenicity. In contrast, the inclusion of NS4A increased the immunogenicity of the NS3, NS4B, andNS5B proteins, when encoded in a DNA vaccine that also encoded PRF. Finally, vaccines that also encoded PRF elicited similar levels of CMI against each protein after vaccination with DNA encoding NS3, NS4A, NS4B, and NS5B compared to mice vaccinated with DNA encoding only NS3 or NS4B/5B. Thus, we have developed a promising ``multiantigen'' vaccine that elicits robust CMI. IMPORTANCE Since their development, vaccines have reduced the global burden of disease. One strategy for vaccine development is to use commercially viable DNA technology, which has the potential to generate robust immune responses. Hepatitis C virus causes chronic liver infection and is a leading cause of liver cancer. To date, no vaccine is currently available, and treatment is costly and often results in side effects, limiting the number of patients who are treated. Despite recent advances in treatment, prevention remains the key to efficient control and elimination of this virus. Here, we describe a novel DNA vaccine against hepatitis C virus that is capable of inducing robust cell-mediated immune responses in mice and is a promising vaccine candidate for humans.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the AMER SOC MICROBIOLOGY, 1752 N ST NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20036-2904 USA
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Microbiology & Cell Biology
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2015 05:26
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2015 05:26
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/52138

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