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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2011 Jun;18(6):922-30. doi: 10.1128/CVI.05019-11. Epub 2011 Apr 20.

Adjuvant activity of the catalytic A1 domain of cholera toxin for retroviral antigens delivered by GeneGun.

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  • 1Profectus Biosciences, 6411 Beckley Street, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.


Most DNA-encoded adjuvants enhance immune responses to DNA vaccines in small animals but are less effective in primates. Here, we characterize the adjuvant activity of the catalytic A1 domain of cholera toxin (CTA1) for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) antigens in mice and macaques delivered by GeneGun. The inclusion of CTA1 with SIVmac239 Gag dramatically enhanced anti-Gag antibody responses in mice. The adjuvant effects of CTA1 for the secreted antigen HIV gp120 were much less pronounced than those for Gag, as the responses to gp120 were high in the absence of an adjuvant. CTA1 was a stronger adjuvant for Gag than was granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), and it also displayed a wider dose range than GM-CSF in mice. In macaques, CTA1 modestly enhanced the antibody responses to SIV Gag but potently primed for a recombinant Gag protein boost. The results of this study show that CTA1 is a potent adjuvant for SIV Gag when delivered by GeneGun in mice and that CTA1 provides a potent GeneGun-mediated DNA prime for a heterologous protein boost in macaques.

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