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Replicating Ad-recombinants encoding non-myristoylated rather than wild-type HIV Nef elicit enhanced cellular immunity

Replicating Ad-recombinants encoding non-myristoylated rather than wild-type HIV Nef elicit enhanced cellular immunity

Aids 20(17): 2149-2157

To determine if immunization with non-myristoylated nef would elicit enhanced cellular immune responses resulting from improved presentation of Nef peptides by MHC-I on the cell surface, and enhanced T-cell help. The myristoylation site of HIV and SIV Nef is required for several Nef functions that modulate the immune response in an infected host, including downregulation of MHC-I, MHC-II, and CD4, and increased expression of the invariant chain on the cell surface. We constructed replication-competent Ad5- and Ad7-HIV recombinants encoding wild-type nef (nefWT) or a nef mutant (nefNM) lacking 19 amino-terminal amino acids, including the myristoylation site, and sequentially immunized chimpanzees mucosally, first with Ad5-HIVnef recombinants and subsequently with Ad7-HIVnef recombinants. Peripheral blood lymphocytes were evaluated over the immunization course for Nef-specific cellular immune responses by interferon (IFN)-gamma ELISPOT and T-cell proliferation assays. Nef-specific CD4 and CD8 memory T cells that produced intracellular IFN-gamma, interleukin-2, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha were assessed by flow cytometry. In comparison to immunization with Ad-HIVnefWT, Ad-HIVnefNM elicited statistically significant increases in numbers of IFN-gamma-secreting cells after the Ad7-HIVnefNM immunization and increased T-cell proliferative responses following both Ad5- and Ad7-HIVnefNM immunizations. Nef-specific CD4 and CD8 memory T-cell populations secreting TNF-alpha were also significantly increased in the Ad-HIVnefNM immunization group. The results support the hypothesis that immunization with Ad-recombinants encoding HIVnefNM rather than HIVnefWT elicits enhanced cellular immunity resulting from improved antigen presentation and greater T-cell help.

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Accession: 012816047

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PMID: 17086054

DOI: 10.1097/qad.0b013e32801086ee

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