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Biol Chem. 2001 Apr;382(4):543-52.

Revealing the potential of DNA-based vaccination: lessons learned from the hepatitis B virus surface antigen.

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  • 1Institute for Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Ulm, Germany.

Abstract

DNA-based vaccination is a novel technique to efficiently stimulate humoral (antibody) and cellular (T cell) immune responses to protein antigens. In DNA-based vaccination, immunogenic proteins are expressed in in vivo transfected cells of the vaccine recipients in their native conformation with correct posttranslational modifications from antigen-encoding expression plasmid DNA. This ensures the integrity of antibody-defined epitopes and supports the generation of protective (neutralizing) antibody titers. Plasmid DNA vaccination is furthermore an exceptionally potent strategy to stimulate CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses because antigenic peptides are efficiently generated by endogenous processing of intracellular protein antigens. These key features make DNA-based immunization an attractive strategy for prophylactic and therapeutic vaccination against extra- and intracellular pathogens. In this brief review, we summarize the current state of expression vector design, DNA delivery strategies, priming immune responses to intracellular or secreted antigens by DNA vaccines and unique advantages of DNA- versus recombinant protein-based vaccines using the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) as a model antigen.

PMID:
11405219
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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