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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 1991 Jan;7(1):29-36.

Highly immunogenic human immunodeficiency viruslike particles are produced by recombinant vaccinia virus-infected cells.

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  • 1Central Institute of Training of Physicians, USSR Minstry of Health, Moscow.


CV-1 cells were infected with two recombinant vaccinia viruses carrying the gag gene with deletion of 231 bp from 3' terminus (strain vC5) and env gene (strain vE234L) of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Both recombinant proteins synthesized in the cells (p50gag and gp160/120env) were localized predominantly in cell membranes; however, some amount of p50 was found in cell nuclei. Thin-section immunoelectron microscopy showed accumulation of viruslike particles undistinguished from immature HIV-1 virions in the culture medium of the cells infected with vC5. The similar particles containing gag and env proteins were produced into the culture medium when the cells were coinfected with vC5 and vE234L strains. The particles contained heterogeneous cellular RNA, but no virus-specific RNA as shown by Northern blot hybridization. Immunization of the rabbits with purified viruslike particles produced virus-specific antibodies against gag and env proteins. The titer of antibodies was significantly higher than after immunization with cell lysate or recombinant proteins purified from the infected cells. Highly immunogenic HIV-1-like particles containing gag and env proteins but no virus-specific RNA are good candidates for potential vaccine.

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