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J Invest Dermatol. 2009 May;129(5):1174-84. doi: 10.1038/jid.2008.349. Epub 2008 Nov 13.

High-level expression of glycoprotein D by a dominant-negative HSV-1 virus augments its efficacy as a vaccine against HSV-1 infection.

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Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Using the T-REx (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, CA) gene switch technology, we previously generated a dominant-negative herpes simplex virus (HSV)-1 recombinant, CJ83193, capable of inhibiting its own replication as well as that of wild-type HSV-1 and HSV-2. It has been further demonstrated that CJ83193 is an effective vaccine against HSV-1 infection in a mouse ocular model. To ensure its safety and augment its efficacy, we generated an improved CJ83193-like HSV-1 recombinant, CJ9-gD, which contains a deletion in an HSV-1 essential gene and encodes an extra copy of gene-encoding glycoprotein D (gD) driven by the tetO-bearing human cytomegalovirus major immediate-early promoter. Unlike CJ83193, which exhibits limited plaque-forming capability in Vero cells and expresses little gD in infected cells, CJ9-gD is completely replication defective, yields high-level expression of gD following infection, and cannot establish detectable infection in mouse trigeminal ganglia following intranasal and ocular inoculation. Mice immunized with CJ9-gD produced 3.5-fold higher HSV-1 neutralizing antibody titer than CJ83193-immunized mice, and were completely protected from herpetic ocular disease following corneal challenge with wild-type HSV-1. Moreover, immunization of mice with CJ9-gD elicited a strong HSV-1-specific T-cell response and led to an 80% reduction in latent infection by challenge wild-type HSV-1 compared with the mock-immunized control.

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