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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Brucella abortus conjugated with a gp120 or V3 loop peptide derived from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 induces neutralizing anti-HIV antibodies, and the V3-B. abortus conjugate is effective even after CD4+ T-cell depletion.

Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection is associated with loss of function and numbers of CD4+ T-helper cells. In order to bypass the requirement for CD4+ cells in antibody responses, we have utilized heat-inactivated Brucella abortus as a carrier. In this study we coupled a 14-mer V3 loop peptide (V3), which is homologous to 9 of 11 amino acids from the V3 loop of HIV-1 MN, and gp120 from HIV-1 SF2 to B. abortus [gp120(SF2)-B. abortus]. Our results showed that specific antibody responses, dominated by immunoglobulin G2a in BALB/c mice, were induced by these conjugates. Sera from the immunized mice bound native gp120 expressed on the surfaces of cells infected with a recombinant vaccinia virus gp160 vector (VPE16). Sera from mice immunized with gp120(SF2)-B. abortus inhibited binding of soluble CD4 to gp120, whereas sera from mice immunized with V3-B. abortus were ineffective. Sera from mice immunized with either conjugate were capable of blocking syncytium formation between CD4+ CEM cells and H9 cells chronically infected with the homologous virus. Sera from mice immunized with gp120(SF2)-B. abortus were more potent than sera from mice immunized with V3-B. abortus in inhibiting syncytia from heterologous HIV-1 laboratory strains. Importantly, in primary and secondary responses, V3-B. abortus evoked anti-HIV MN antibodies in mice depleted of CD4+ cells, and sera from these mice were able to inhibit syncytia. These findings indicate that B. abortus can provide carrier function for peptides and proteins from HIV-1 and suggest that they could be used for immunization of individuals with compromised CD4+ T-cell function.[1]


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