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Viral Immunol. 2002;15(1):165-76.

Immunization with influenza virus hemagglutinin globular region containing the receptor-binding pocket.

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Department of Immunology, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.


The globular region of hemagglutinin (residues 91-261) membrane glycoprotein of influenza virus that encompasses the binding zone to the oligosaccharide receptor of target cells has been cloned by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). This protein segment (denoted HA91-261 peptide) induced significant immune response in mice. The serum antibodies and lung homogenates from the immunized mice cross-reacted with native virus particles. The cellular immunity was manifested by proliferative splenocyte responses and cytokine release indicating T helper type 1 activity. The plasmid DNA containing this segment (denoted pHA91-261) provoked, in addition, a significant cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response, whereas the HA91-261 protein fragment led to no such response. Both the DNA and the protein fragment of HA91-261 induced significant protection against viral challenge, although the immune response they induce might be along different pathways. Interestingly, the combined DNA priming-protein boosting immunization regimen did not induce protection against viral challenges even though it led to significant humoral immune responses similar to that induced by the peptide vaccine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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