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Eur J Immunol. 1992 Jun;22(6):1365-72.

Mycobacterial heat-shock proteins as carrier molecules. II: The use of the 70-kDa mycobacterial heat-shock protein as carrier for conjugated vaccines can circumvent the need for adjuvants and Bacillus Calmette Guérin priming.

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World Health Organization-Immunology Research and Training Center, Department of Pathology, University of Geneva, Switzerland.


In a recent work, we have shown that mycobacterial heat-shock proteins (hsp) of 65-kDa (GroEL-type) and 70-kDa (DnaK-type) acted as carrier molecules in mice, previously primed with Mycobacterium tuberculosis var. bovis (bacillus Calmette-Guérin, BCG), for the induction of high and long-lasting titers of IgG against the repetitive malaria synthetic peptide (NANP)40. Anti-peptide antibodies were induced when the malaria peptide, conjugated to the mycobacterial hsp, was given in the absence of any adjuvants (Lussow et al., Eur. J. Immunol. 1991. 87:2960). In this report, we show that mice immunized with peptides or oligosaccharides conjugated to the 70-kDa hsp produced high titers of IgG antibodies in the absence of any previous priming with BCG. The anti-peptide antibody response persisted for at least 1 year. This adjuvant-free carrier effect of the 70-kDa hsp was T cell dependent, since no anti-peptide nor anti-70-kDa IgG antibodies were induced in athymic nu/nu mice. Previous immunization of mice with the 65-kDa or 70-kDa hsp did not have any negative effect on the induction of anti-peptide IgG antibodies after immunization with hsp-peptide conjugates in the absence of adjuvants. Furthermore, preimmunization with the 65-kDa hsp could substitute for BCG in providing an effective priming for the induction of anti-(NANP) antibodies. Finally, both the 65-kDa and 70-kDa hsp acted as carrier molecules for the induction of IgG antibodies to group C meningococcal oligosaccharides, in the absence of adjuvants. These findings strongly suggest that the use of hsp as carriers in conjugated constructs for the induction of anti-peptide and anti-oligosaccharide antibodies could be of value in the design of new vaccines for eventual use in humans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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