We have previously shown that the biologically active Tat protein targets and efficiently enters dendritic cells, and increases the proteolytic activities of the immunoproteasome, thereby favoring the generation and presentation of the subdominant MHC-I binding CTL epitopes of heterologous antigens. In the present study, we demonstrate that Tat broadens in vivo epitope-specific T cell responses directed to heterologous antigens including HIV structural proteins. Specifically, co-immunization of mice with OVA and Tat proteins induces CTL responses against subdominant and cryptic OVA-derived epitopes, which are not detected in mice vaccinated with OVA alone. Similarly, mice vaccinated with the HIV-1 Gag, Env or V2-deleted Env antigens in combination with Tat show Th1-type and CTL responses directed to a larger number of T cell epitopes, as compared to mice vaccinated with these proteins in absence of Tat. In contrast, Tat did not affect Th2-type responses to these structural HIV proteins. These results indicate that Tat is not only an antigen but also a novel Th1-type adjuvant capable of broadening in vivo the spectrum of epitopes recognized by T cells, and suggest that Tat can be considered an optimal co-antigen in the development of novel vaccination strategies against AIDS.

The Tat protein broadens T cell responses directed to the HIV-1 antigens Gag and Env: Implications for the design of new vaccination strategies against AIDS

GAVIOLI, Riccardo
Primo
;
CELLINI, Silvia
Secondo
;
CASTALDELLO, Arianna;VOLTAN, Rebecca;GALLERANI, Eleonora;FORTINI, Cinzia;TRIULZI, Chiara;CAPUTO, Antonella
Penultimo
;
ENSOLI B.
Ultimo
2008

Abstract

We have previously shown that the biologically active Tat protein targets and efficiently enters dendritic cells, and increases the proteolytic activities of the immunoproteasome, thereby favoring the generation and presentation of the subdominant MHC-I binding CTL epitopes of heterologous antigens. In the present study, we demonstrate that Tat broadens in vivo epitope-specific T cell responses directed to heterologous antigens including HIV structural proteins. Specifically, co-immunization of mice with OVA and Tat proteins induces CTL responses against subdominant and cryptic OVA-derived epitopes, which are not detected in mice vaccinated with OVA alone. Similarly, mice vaccinated with the HIV-1 Gag, Env or V2-deleted Env antigens in combination with Tat show Th1-type and CTL responses directed to a larger number of T cell epitopes, as compared to mice vaccinated with these proteins in absence of Tat. In contrast, Tat did not affect Th2-type responses to these structural HIV proteins. These results indicate that Tat is not only an antigen but also a novel Th1-type adjuvant capable of broadening in vivo the spectrum of epitopes recognized by T cells, and suggest that Tat can be considered an optimal co-antigen in the development of novel vaccination strategies against AIDS.
Gavioli, Riccardo; Cellini, Silvia; Castaldello, Arianna; Voltan, Rebecca; Gallerani, Eleonora; Gagliardoni, F.; Fortini, Cinzia; Cofano, E. B.; Triulzi, Chiara; Cafaro, A.; Srivastava, I.; Barnett, S.; Caputo, Antonella; Ensoli, B.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11392/525229
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