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Viruses. 2014 Aug 21;6(8):3271-92. doi: 10.3390/v6083271.

Mechanisms of HIV protein degradation into epitopes: implications for vaccine design.

Author information

1
Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. Rucevic.Marijana@mgh.harvard.edu.
2
Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. jnoucau@mgh.harvard.edu.
3
Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. jdinter@mgh.harvard.edu.
4
Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. gkourjian@mgh.harvard.edu.
5
Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. sylvie_legall@hms.harvard.edu.

Abstract

The degradation of HIV-derived proteins into epitopes displayed by MHC-I or MHC-II are the first events leading to the priming of HIV-specific immune responses and to the recognition of infected cells. Despite a wealth of information about peptidases involved in protein degradation, our knowledge of epitope presentation during HIV infection remains limited. Here we review current data on HIV protein degradation linking epitope production and immunodominance, viral evolution and impaired epitope presentation. We propose that an in-depth understanding of HIV antigen processing and presentation in relevant primary cells could be exploited to identify signatures leading to efficient or inefficient epitope presentation in HIV proteomes, and to improve the design of immunogens eliciting immune responses efficiently recognizing all infected cells.

PMID:
25196483
PMCID:
PMC4147695
DOI:
10.3390/v6083271
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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