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Vaccine. 2015 Feb 11;33(7):861-8. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.12.045. Epub 2015 Jan 2.

Liposomal vaccines incorporating molecular adjuvants and intrastructural T-cell help promote the immunogenicity of HIV membrane-proximal external region peptides.

Author information

1
Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
2
David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
3
Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
4
Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; The Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard, 400 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
5
Laboratory of Immunobiology and Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
6
Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; The Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard, 400 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chevy Chase, MD 20815, USA. Electronic address: djirvine@mit.edu.

Abstract

An HIV vaccine capable of inducing high and durable levels of broadly neutralizing antibodies has thus far proven elusive. A promising antigen is the membrane-proximal external region (MPER) from gp41, a segment of the viral envelope recognized by a number of broadly neutralizing antibodies. Though an attractive vaccine target due to the linear nature of the epitope and its highly conserved sequence, MPER peptides are poorly immunogenic and may require display on membranes to achieve a physiological conformation matching the native virus. Here we systematically explored how the structure and composition of liposomes displaying MPER peptides impacts the strength and durability of humoral responses to this antigen as well as helper T-cell responses in mice. Administration of MPER peptides anchored to the surface of liposomes induced MPER-specific antibodies whereas MPER administered in oil-based emulsion adjuvants or alum did not, even when combined with Toll-like receptor agonists. High-titer IgG responses to liposomal MPER required the inclusion of molecular adjuvants such as monophosphoryl lipid A. Anti-MPER humoral responses were further enhanced by incorporating high-Tm lipids in the vesicle bilayer and optimizing the MPER density to a mean distance of ∼10-15 nm between peptides on the liposomes' surfaces. Encapsulation of helper epitopes within the vesicles allowed efficient "intrastructural" T-cell help, which promoted IgG responses to MPER while minimizing competing B-cell responses against the helper sequence. These results define several key properties of liposome formulations that promote durable, high-titer antibody responses against MPER peptides, which will be a prerequisite for a successful MPER-targeting vaccine.

KEYWORDS:

Adjuvant; HIV vaccine; Lipid membrane; Liposome; MPER; Nanoparticle

PMID:
25559188
PMCID:
PMC4312707
DOI:
10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.12.045
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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