Molecular biotechnology

A Plant-Derived Multi-HIV Antigen Induces Broad Immune Responses in Orally Immunized Mice.

PMID 25779638


Multi-HIV, a multiepitopic protein derived from both gp120 and gp41 envelope proteins of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), has been proposed as a vaccine prototype capable of inducing broad immune responses, as it carries various B and T cell epitopes from several HIV strains. In this study, the immunogenic properties of a Multi-HIV expressed in tobacco chloroplasts are evaluated in test mice. BALB/c mice orally immunized with tobacco-derived Multi-HIV have elicited antibody responses, including both the V3 loop of gp120 and the ELDKWA epitope of gp41. Based on splenocyte proliferation assays, stimulation with epitopes of the C4, V3 domain of gp120, and the ELDKWA domain of gp41 elicits positive cellular responses. Furthermore, specific interferon gamma production is observed in both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells stimulated with HIV peptides. These results demonstrate that plant-derived Multi-HIV induces T helper-specific responses. Altogether, these findings illustrate the immunogenic potential of plant-derived Multi-HIV in an oral immunization scheme. The potential of this low-cost immunization approach and its implications on HIV/AIDS vaccine development are discussed.