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Vaccines (Basel). 2014 Mar 25;2(2):196-215. doi: 10.3390/vaccines2020196.

Co-Administration of Molecular Adjuvants Expressing NF-Kappa B Subunit p65/RelA or Type-1 Transactivator T-bet Enhance Antigen Specific DNA Vaccine-Induced Immunity.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. shedlock@mail.med.upenn.edu.
2
Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. colleen.tingey@gmail.com.
3
Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. swaanya@gmail.com.
4
Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. nhutnick@gmail.com.
5
Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. emmareuschel@gmail.com.
6
Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. sagarkud@gmail.com.
7
Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. seleeke@mail.med.upenn.edu.
8
Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. jenyan@sas.upenn.edu.
9
Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc., 1787 Sentry Parkway West, Building 18, Suite 400, Blue Bell, PA 191422, USA. kim@inovio.com.
10
Department of Molecular Medicine, University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, Tampa, FL 33612, USA. kugen@health.usf.edu.
11
Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. dbweiner@mail.med.upenn.edu.
12
Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. muthuman@mail.med.upenn.edu.

Abstract

DNA vaccine-induced immunity can be enhanced by the co-delivery of synthetic gene-encoding molecular adjuvants. Many of these adjuvants have included cytokines, chemokines or co-stimulatory molecules that have been demonstrated to enhance vaccine-induced immunity by increasing the magnitude or type of immune responses and/or protective efficacy. In this way, through the use of adjuvants, immune responses can be highly customizable and functionally tailored for optimal efficacy against pathogen specific (i.e., infectious agent) or non-pathogen (i.e., cancer) antigens. In the novel study presented here, we examined the use of cellular transcription factors as molecular adjuvants. Specifically the co-delivery of (a) RelA, a subunit of the NF-κB transcription complex or (b) T-bet, a Th1-specific T box transcription factor, along with a prototypical DNA vaccine expressing HIV-1 proteins was evaluated. As well, all of the vaccines and adjuvants were administered to mice using in vivo electroporation (EP), a technology demonstrated to dramatically increase plasmid DNA transfection and subsequent transgene expression with concomitant enhancement of vaccine induced immune responses. As such, this study demonstrated that co-delivery of either adjuvant resulted in enhanced T and B cell responses, specifically characterized by increased T cell numbers, IFN-γ production, as well as enhanced antibody responses. This study demonstrates the use of cellular transcription factors as adjuvants for enhancing DNA vaccine-induced immunity.

KEYWORDS:

DNA vaccine; T cell immunity; adjuvant-enhanced immunity; antibody responses; transcription factors

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