Enhanced immunogenicity of a conformational epitope of human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 using a novel chimeric peptide

Melanie Frangione-Beebe, Bjorn Albrecht, Naveen Dakappagari, R. Travis Rose, Charles L. Brooks, Steven P. Schwendeman, Michael Dale Lairmore, Pravin T P Kaumaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The ability of a peptide vaccine derived from the human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) surface envelope glycoprotein protein (gp46) to mimic the native protein and elicit a protective immune response has been examined. This peptide construct, designated MVFMF2, comprises amino acids (aa) 175-218 of gp46 linked by a four residue turn (GPSL) to a promiscuous T-cell epitope from the measles virus fusion protein (MVF, aa 288-302). The peptide was structurally characterized by circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy and was found to contain α-helical secondary structure. The immunogenicity of MVFMF2 in rabbits and mice was evaluated by direct ELISA and competitive ELISA using peptide constructs and the recombinant protein ACH-RE3 (aa 165-306). This peptide, when administered with adjuvant (N-acetyl-glucosamine-3yl-acetyl-L-alanyl-D-isoglutamine, nor-MDP) was immunogenic in an outbred population of both rabbits and mice. Furthermore, the peptide construct was encapsulated in biodegradable microspheres of poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) to eliminate booster immunization and to examine adjuvant requirements. The data indicate that MVFMF2 shows enhanced immunogenicity when encapsulated in biodegradable microspheres. Inoculation of the encapsulated peptide produced a similar humoral response to that of the free peptide, but did not require the use of adjuvant. Elicited anti-rabbit and anti-mouse antibodies recognized whole viral preparations and the recombinant protein ACH-RE3 in ELISA assays. Additionally, inoculated rabbits exhibited enhanced reactivity to viral antigens by western blot compared to non-vaccinated controls. Although anti-rabbit and anti-mouse antibodies were capable of inhibiting syncytium formation at low dilutions, rabbits were not protected from cell-associated viral challenge. Future development of vaccines to HTLV-1 may need to incorporate the ability to elicit cell-mediated immune responses in order to protect against cell-associated viral infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1068-1081
Number of pages14
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - Dec 8 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Biodegradable microspheres
  • HTLV-1
  • Peptide vaccines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Microbiology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • veterinary(all)


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