Synthetic peptide AT20 coupled to KLH elicits antibodies against a conserved conformational epitope from a major functional area of the HIV-1 matrix protein p17
Fiorentini, S.; Marsico, S.; Becker, P.D.; Iaria, M.L.; Bruno, R.; Guzmán, C.A.; Caruso, A.
Vaccine 26(36): 4758-4765
ISSN/ISBN: 0264-410X PMID: 18602957 DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2008.06.082
The major challenge for the development of a highly effective peptide-based vaccine is represented by the diversity of HIV-1 strains among human population. HIV-1 matrix protein p17 is a candidate antigen for therapeutic vaccines against AIDS. Here we show that antibodies elicited in animals by immunizing them with a synthetic peptide representative of the p17 functional epitope (AT20) derived from HIV-1 BH10 (clade B), neutralize the biological activity of p17 derived from divergent strains displaying critical mutations within AT20, by recognizing a highly conserved conformational epitope. This finding shows that AT20, as an immunogenic molecule, elicits broadly neutralizing anti-p17 antibodies.