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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2001 Jun 10;17(9):837-49.

A conformational C4 peptide polymer vaccine coupled with live recombinant vector priming is immunogenic but does not protect against rectal SIV challenge.

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Basic Research Laboratory, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


The conserved, immunogenic CD4 binding site on the viral envelope is an attractive HIV or SIV vaccine candidate. Polymerization of an 18 amino acid segment derived from the C4 domain of SIV gp120 produced a peptide polymer or "peptomer," having an alpha-helical conformation possibly mimicking a proposed structure of the C4 domain in the unbound native protein. The SIV peptomer and native gp120 were compared as subunit boosts following two adenovirus type 5 host range (Ad5hr)-SIVenv recombinant priming immunizations. Both vaccine regimens successfully elicited SIV-specific CTL responses in five of six immunized macaques. Peptomer-boosted macaques exhibited significantly higher envelope-specific T cell proliferative responses than either the gp120-boosted macaques or controls. Peptomer immunization also elicited peptomer and SIV gp120-specific binding antibodies, but only native gp120 boosting elicited SIV neutralizing antibodies. Upon intrarectal challenge with SIVmac32H, all nine macaques became infected. The solely envelope-based vaccine conferred no protection. However, changing the boosting immunogen to the C4 peptomer did not improve protective efficacy in spite of its elicitation of humoral and cellular immune responses, including robust T-helper activity. In spite of the peptomer's strong immunogenicity and potential for induction of broadly protective immune responses, it was not effective as a subunit vaccine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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