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Comparative Study
. 1992;127(1-4):139-52.
doi: 10.1007/BF01309580.

Immunological Reactivity of a Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type I Derived Peptide Representing a Consensus Sequence of the GP120 Major Neutralizing Region V3

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Comparative Study

Immunological Reactivity of a Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type I Derived Peptide Representing a Consensus Sequence of the GP120 Major Neutralizing Region V3

R Wagner et al. Arch Virol. .

Abstract

To reduce the opportunities for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) to evade vaccine induced immunity, the development of subunit vaccines must focus on the characterization of immunogenic epitopes, which are major targets for the immune system. The most dominant site for elicitation of neutralising immune response is located on the external envelope glycoprotein gp120 within the third variable domain (V3). To overcome virus type specificity of antibodies directed to the V3-domain we designed a 36 amino acids long gp120/V3-consensus peptide (V3-C36) based on published biological data and sequence comparisons of various HIV-1 virus isolates. This peptide contains a conserved core sequence which is suggested to form a surface-exposed beta-turn. This peptide also includes T-cell epitopes defined in mice and humans, an ADCC-epitope and two highly conserved cysteine residues which were oxidized to form a cystine derivate, thus allowing correct peptide folding. In ELISA-tests, this peptide reacts with at least 90% of randomly selected sera of European and African patients infected with HIV-1 and is recognized by three different HIV-1/V3 "type-specific" antisera (MN, RF, IIIB-strain). Using this peptide as immunogen in rabbits, antisera could be raised with highly cross-reactive and HIV-1/IIIB strain neutralizing properties. Moreover, HTLV/HIV-1/IIIB specific cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTLs) of BALB/c mice infected with a gp120 recombinant vaccinia virus recognized the central 16- and 12-mer peptides of the V3-C36 consensus peptide in cytolytic assays, indicating perfect compatibility of the consensus peptide with the IIIB-primed CTLs. The DNA-sequence encoding the V3-consensus loop region might be an important component in newly designed recombinant subunit vaccines. In addition, due to its broad serological reactivity, the V3-consensus peptide might play an important role in special diagnostic purposes.

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