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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1999 Aug 2;261(2):445-51.

Codon optimization effect on translational efficiency of DNA vaccine in mammalian cells: analysis of plasmid DNA encoding a CTL epitope derived from microorganisms.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, 3600 Handa-cho, Hamamatsu, 431-3192, Japan.


Interspecific difference of codon usage is one of the major obstacles for effective induction of specific immune responses against bacteria and protozoa by DNA immunization. Using genes encoding major histocompatibility complex class I-restricted cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) epitopes, derived from an intracellular bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes and a mouse malaria parasite, Plasmodium yoelii, we report here that the codon optimization level of the genes is not precisely proportional to, but does correlate well with the translational efficiency in mammalian cells, which is concomitantly associated with the induction level of specific CTL response in the mouse. These results suggest that DNA immunization using the gene codon-optimized to mammals through the entire region is very effective.

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