Fowlpoxvirus recombinants coding for the CIITA gene increase the expression of endogenous MHC-II and Fowlpox Gag/Pro and Env SIV transgenes


A complete eradication of an HIV infection has never been achieved by vaccination and the search for new immunogens that can induce long-lasting protective responses is ongoing. Avipoxvirus recombinants are host-restricted for replication to avian species and they do not have the undesired side effects induced by vaccinia recombinants. In particular, Fowlpox (FP) recombinants can express transgenes over long periods and can induce protective immunity in mammals, mainly due to CD4-dependent CD8+T cells. In this context, the class II transactivator (CIITA) has a pivotal role in triggering the adaptive immune response through induction of the expression of class-II major histocompatibility complex molecule (MHC-II), that can present antigens to CD4+T helper cells. Here, we report on construction of novel FPgp and FPenv recombinants that express the highly immunogenic SIV Gag-pro and Env structural antigens. Several FP-based recombinants, with single or dual genes, were also developed that express CIITA, driven from H6 or SP promoters. These recombinants were used to infect CEF and Vero cells in vitro and determine transgene expression, which was evaluated by real-time PCR and Western blotting. Subcellular localisation of the different proteins was evaluated by confocal microscopy, whereas HLA-DR or MHC-II expression was measured by flow cytometry. Fowlpox recombinants were also used to infect syngeneic T/SA tumour cells, then injected into Balb/c mice to elicit MHC-II immune response and define the presentation of the SIV transgene products in the presence or absence of FPCIITA. Antibodies to Env were measured by ELISA. Our data show that the H6 promoter was more efficient than SP to drive CIITA expression and that CIITA can enhance the levels of the gag/pro and env gene products only when infection is performed by FP single recombinants. Also, CIITA expression is higher when carried by FP single recombinants than when combined with FPgp or FPenv constructs and can induce HLA-DR cell surface expression. However, in-vivo experiments did not show any significant increase in the humoral response. As CIITA already proved to elicit immunogenicity by improving antigen presentation, further in-vivo experiments should be performed to increase the immune responses. The use of prime/boost immunisation protocols and the oral administration route of the recombinants may enhance the immunogenicity of Env peptides presented by MHC-II and provide CD4+T-cell stimulation

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Archivio istituzionale della ricerca - Università dell'Insubria

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oaioai:irinsubria.uninsubria.it:11383/2068659Last time updated on 3/15/2018

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