Incorporation of Ebola glycoprotein into HIV particles facilitates dendritic cell and macrophage targeting and enhances HIV-specific immune responses

Zhujun Ao, Lijun Wang, Emelissa J. Mendoza, Keding Cheng, Wenjun Zhu, Eric A. Cohen, Keith Fowke, Xiangguo Qiu, Gary Kobinger, Xiaojian Yao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

The development of an effective vaccine against HIV infection remains a global priority. Dendritic cell (DC)-based HIV immunotherapeutic vaccine is a promising approach which aims at optimizing the HIV-specific immune response using primed DCs to promote and enhance both the cellular and humoral arms of immunity. Since the Ebola virus envelope glycoprotein (EboGP) has strong DC-targeting ability, we investigated whether EboGP is able to direct HIV particles towards DCs efficiently and promote potent HIV-specific immune responses. Our results indicate that the incorporation of EboGP into non-replicating virus-like particles (VLPs) enhances their ability to target human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MDDCs) and monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs). Also, a mucin-like domain deleted EboGP (EboGPΔM) can further enhanced the MDDCs and MDMs-targeting ability. Furthermore, we investigated the effect of EboGP on HIV immunogenicity in mice, and the results revealed a significantly stronger HIV-specific humoral immune response when immunized with EboGP-pseudotyped HIV VLPs compared with those immunized with HIV VLPs. Splenocytes harvested from mice immunized with EboGP-pseudotyped HIV VLPs secreted increased levels of macrophage inflammatory proteins-1α (MIP-1α) and IL-4 upon stimulation with HIV Env and/or Gag peptides compared with those harvested from mice immunized with HIV VLPs. Collectively, this study provides evidence for the first time that the incorporation of EboGP in HIV VLPs can facilitate DC and macrophage targeting and induce more potent immune responses against HIV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0216949
JournalPloS one
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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