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Vaccine. 1998 Jan-Feb;16(2-3):119-29.

Characterization of highly purified, inactivated HIV-1 particles isolated by anion exchange chromatography.

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Immune Response Corporation, King of Prussia, PA 19406, USA.


This report characterizes inactivated, gp120 depleted, HIV-1 particles purified by an anion exchange chromatography production process. This antigen formulated with incomplete Freund's adjuvant constitutes Remune, which is being evaluated in a phase III clinical endpoint trial to determine the effect of this immune-based therapy on clinical progression of HIV-1 seropositive patients. Multiple production lots of the inactivated HIV-1 antigen strain HZ321, isolated by anion exchange chromatography, exhibit purity of > 95% by gel filtration. These findings are corroborated by thin section electron microscopy showing a homogenous field of intact particles. Analyses of the purified virus particles for protein, lipid, carbohydrate and RNA show structural retention of the envelope proteins, lipid bilayer and core components after large scale processing. The qualitative identification of at least 85% of total HIV-1 protein is determined by ELISA, Western blot, HPLC and amino acid sequencing analyses. Quantitative values are assigned to 50% of these proteins. The data confirm the presence of virally encoded proteins p6, p7, pI15, p17, p24, p32, pI39Gag, gp41, pp55Gag, p66/51, Vpr, Vif and Nef. Excellent consistency between production lots and equivalency to HIV-1 preparations purified by sucrose density gradient sedimentation has been established for protein and lipid composition, and overall purity. These findings further establish that non-viral encoded proteins and lipids are integral structural components of the intact virion and are not contaminants unique to a particular isolation method. The data confirm the presence of multicomponent antigens in the viral particles for stimulating a broad HIV-1 specific immune response. Finally, the work demonstrates that the two inactivation procedures (beta-propiolactone and gamma irradiation), which achieve efficient viral inactivation meeting US FDA guidelines, do not damage the protein antigens of the viral particles.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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