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Vaccine. 2012 Mar 2;30(11):1911-6. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.01.026. Epub 2012 Jan 23.

Prime boost vaccination approaches with different conjugates of a new HIV-1 gp41 epitope encompassing the membrane proximal external region induce neutralizing antibodies in mice.

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Georg-Speyer-Haus, Institute for Biomedical Research, Paul-Ehrlich-Str. 42-44, 60596 Frankfurt, Germany.


Peptide mimics of epitopes for pathogen-specific antibodies present in patient sera can be selected based on the phage display technology. Such mimotopes potentially represent vaccine candidates in case they are able to induce neutralizing antibodies upon vaccination. Here we analyze the immunogenicity of different conjugates of epitope EC26-2A4 localizing to the membrane proximal external region (MPER) of the HIV-1 transmembrane protein gp41. The EC26-2A4 epitope, which overlaps with that of the broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibody (mAb) 2F5, was coupled to sequential oligopeptide carriers (SOC) or to palmitoyl acid for better immunogenicity. Upon prime-boost immunizations of mice, the peptide conjugates induced EC26-2A4 specific antibodies in all settings and mice sera neutralized HIV-1SF162.LS in standardized neutralization assays. Thus, the EC26-2A4 MPER epitope represents a promising vaccine candidate for further analysis in larger animals with respect to the breadth of the neutralizing antibodies induced.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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