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.

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 July 25, 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 July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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