Pinpoint accuracy: DNA vaccines that home in on DCs are more potent

Mar 07, 2008

One strategy being pursued to develop new vaccines against infectious diseases is DNA vaccination. The idea is that following administration of a DNA vaccine, the body converts the information in the DNA vaccine into a protein that activates an immune response.

However, current DNA vaccines induce relatively weak immune responses even if administered multiple times. New data, generated in mice, by Ralph Steinman and colleagues, at the Rockefeller University, New York, has now identified a way to make DNA vaccines more potent.

In the study, mice were administered a DNA vaccine that included the information to make a single protein comprised of the HIV protein gp41 fused to a single-chain Fv antibody specific for DEC205. DEC205 is expressed by immune cells known as DCs, which show proteins from infectious organisms to immune cells known as T cells that then attack the infectious organism. The authors found that the single-chain Fv antibody specific for DEC205 targeted the protein made from the information in the DNA vaccine to DCs, such that it was expressed exclusively in DCs.

Furthermore, this DNA vaccine induced a much stronger T cell response than DNA vaccines including information to make the HIV protein gp41 fused to an irrelevant single-chain Fv antibody, and it protected mice more efficiently from a virus engineered to express the HIV protein gp41. These data led to the suggestion that DNA vaccines might be more potent if the information they contain generates a protein that is targeted to DCs, for example by fusion to a single-chain Fv antibody specific for a DC surface molecule.

Source: Journal of Clinical Investigation

Explore further: Mutant protein in muscle linked to neuromuscular disorder

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A digital version of you

Mar 12, 2014

When NASA's Mars Rover Opportunity sends a photograph of the alien landscape back to Earth, it relays the information as digital data, a series of ones and zeros that computers assemble into pictures that ...

Recommended for you

Bionic ankle 'emulates nature'

4 hours ago

These days, Hugh Herr, an associate professor of media arts and sciences at MIT, gets about 100 emails daily from people across the world interested in his bionic limbs.

Firm targets 3D printing synthetic tissues, organs

6 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—A University of Oxford spin-out, OxSyBio, will develop 3D printing techniques to produce tissue-like synthetic materials for wound healing and drug delivery. In the longer term the company ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Unraveling the 'black ribbon' around lung cancer

It's not uncommon these days to find a colored ribbon representing a disease. A pink ribbon is well known to signify breast cancer. But what color ribbon does one think of with lung cancer?

Classifying cognitive styles across disciplines

Educators have tried to boost learning by focusing on differences in learning styles. Management consultants tout the impact that different decision-making styles have on productivity. Various fields have ...

Tiny power plants hold promise for nuclear energy

Small underground nuclear power plants that could be cheaper to build than their behemoth counterparts may herald the future for an energy industry under intense scrutiny since the Fukushima disaster, the ...

Hand out money with my mobile? I think I'm ready

A service is soon to launch in the UK that will enable us to transfer money to other people using just their name and mobile number. Paym is being hailed as a revolution in banking because you can pay peopl ...