Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists freeze virus fragment in shape recognized by immune system; Development has implications for vaccine design

Date:
September 28, 2010
Source:
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Summary:
One strategy for designing an HIV vaccine involves identifying the key viral surface structures, snipping them off and developing a method to present these fragments to the immune system. When some parts of the surface of HIV are removed, they change shape such that antibodies no longer recognize and bind to them. A research team has developed a strategy to overcome this.

One approach to an HIV vaccine is to teach the immune system to recognize certain protein structures on the viral surface and produce antibodies that bind to those structures and neutralize HIV. A strategy for designing such a vaccine involves identifying the key viral surface structures, snipping them off and developing a method to present these fragments to the immune system. When some parts of the surface of HIV are removed, however, they change shape such that antibodies no longer recognize and bind to them.

Related Articles


A research team led by investigators at the Vaccine Research Center of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has developed a strategy to overcome this problem. The strategy has implications for scientists designing vaccines for HIV/AIDS as well as for other viral diseases.

The team has fashioned a technique for extracting an antibody-recognizable portion of the surface of a virus and placing this surface fragment, known as an epitope, into a computer-designed protein scaffold. The scaffold locks the epitope in the shape recognized by the immune system. In theory, when a fixed epitope is introduced into an animal model (or, eventually, a person), the immune system recognizes the epitope and makes antibodies against it. These antibodies could serve as an army ready to bind to the invading virus and prevent it from causing infection.

To demonstrate this scaffolding technique, the scientists applied it to a shape-changing epitope on the surface of HIV that is recognized by an HIV-neutralizing antibody known as 2F5. The epitope adopts a helical or spiral shape when removed from the surface of HIV, but the 2F5 antibody-recognizable version of this epitope has an irregular, kinked shape. The scientists placed copies of the kinked epitope into scaffolds that locked it in that form. Then the researchers injected these scaffold-bound epitopes into guinea pigs. In response, the animals' immune systems made antibodies very similar to 2F5 that bound tightly to the epitope.

This study demonstrates that the engineering of protein scaffolds can be a potentially useful approach in vaccine design. The NIAID researchers are continuing to refine this technique and apply it to the design of vaccines for HIV/AIDS as well as other infectious diseases.

The research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gilad Ofek, F. Javier Guenaga, William R. Schief, Jeff Skinner, David Baker, Richard Wyatt, Peter D. Kwong. Elicitation of structure-specific antibodies by epitope scaffolds. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1004728107

Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "Scientists freeze virus fragment in shape recognized by immune system; Development has implications for vaccine design." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100927155316.htm>.
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (2010, September 28). Scientists freeze virus fragment in shape recognized by immune system; Development has implications for vaccine design. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100927155316.htm
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "Scientists freeze virus fragment in shape recognized by immune system; Development has implications for vaccine design." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100927155316.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins