A vector-based minigene vaccine approach results in strong induction of T-cell responses specific of hepatitis C virus

Vaccine. 2008 May 12;26(20):2471-81. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2008.03.028. Epub 2008 Apr 1.


Multiepitope-based vaccines against hepatitis C virus (HCV) were designed in the form of three minigenes encompassing four domains of the NS3, NS4 and NS5B proteins that contain multiple class I/II restricted epitopes. The polyEp-WT minigene encodes all four domains in fusion, the polyEp-C minigene encodes the same fusion but optimised for mammalian translation and the polyEp-E3 minigene has an additional endoplasmic reticulum targeting sequence. Whereas the minigenes vectorised by DNA were poorly immunogenic, adenovirus vectorisation induced strong and broader IFNgamma-ELISpot and CTL responses in HLA-A2 transgenic mice. In addition, polyEp-WT and polyEp-E3 responses were found cross-reactive in a recombinant Listeria-NS3-based surrogate challenge. This study illustrates the potency of vectorised minigenes in the field of HCV vaccine development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / genetics
  • Animals
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Epitopes / genetics
  • Epitopes / immunology
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Hepacivirus / genetics
  • Hepacivirus / immunology*
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Listeria / genetics
  • Listeria / growth & development
  • Liver / immunology
  • Liver / microbiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Spleen / microbiology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology
  • Transduction, Genetic
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / genetics
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / immunology
  • Viral Hepatitis Vaccines / genetics
  • Viral Hepatitis Vaccines / immunology*
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins / immunology


  • Epitopes
  • NS3 protein, hepatitis C virus
  • NS4 protein, hepatitis C virus
  • Vaccines, Synthetic
  • Viral Hepatitis Vaccines
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins
  • Interferon-gamma
  • NS-5 protein, hepatitis C virus