Pentamers not found in the universal proteome can enhance antigen specific immune responses and adjuvant vaccines

Ami Patel, Jessica C. Dong, Brett Trost, Jason S. Richardson, Sarah Tohme, Shawn Babiuk, Anthony Kusalik, Sam K.P. Kung, Gary P. Kobinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Certain short peptides do not occur in humans and are rare or non-existent in the universal proteome. Antigens that contain rare amino acid sequences are in general highly immunogenic and may activate different arms of the immune system. We first generated a list of rare, semi-common, and common 5-mer peptides using bioinformatics tools to analyze the UniProtKB database. Experimental observations indicated that rare and semi-common 5-mers generated stronger cellular responses in comparison with common-occurring sequences. We hypothesized that the biological process responsible for this enhanced immunogenicity could be used to positively modulate immune responses with potential application for vaccine development. Initially, twelve rare 5-mers, 9-mers, and 13-mers were incorporated in frame at the end of an H5N1 hemagglutinin (HA) antigen and expressed from a DNA vaccine. The presence of some 5-mer peptides induced improved immune responses. Adding one 5-mer peptide exogenously also offered improved clinical outcome and/or survival against a lethal H5N1 or H1N1 influenza virus challenge in BALB/c mice and ferrets, respectively. Interestingly, enhanced anti-HBsAg antibody production by up to 25-fold in combination with a commercial Hepatitis B vaccine (Engerix-B, GSK) was also observed in BALB/c mice. Mechanistically, NK cell activation and dependency was observed with enhancing peptides ex vivo and in NK-depleted mice. Overall, the data suggest that rare or non-existent oligopeptides can be developed as immunomodulators and supports the further evaluation of some 5-mer peptides as potential vaccine adjuvants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere43802
JournalPloS one
Volume7
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 24 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Pentamers not found in the universal proteome can enhance antigen specific immune responses and adjuvant vaccines'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this