These findings need to be reproduced in vivo, but they do offer new hope for a vaccine against AIDS. Exposing healthy individuals to HIV-1 proteins before they are infected with the virus might train their immune system to respond to the virus and prevent them from developing AIDS.
The study was conducted by Pedro Reche and Derin Keskin from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, USA and other colleagues from Dana-Farber and Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA. They used bioinformatics techniques to predict which HIV-1 protein fragments – or ‘epitopes’ - were likely to trigger a response from immune system cells called cytotoxic T lymphocytes. They identified 37 epitopes. Reche, Keskin et al. then predicted which of these 37 epitopes were likely to be recognised by most people’s immune systems, taking into account genetic differences in immune system genes, called HLA genes, depending on ethnic origin. They identified 25 epitopes, which they combined into five pools with which to test immune responses. They predicted that only 5 of these epitopes would be recognised by over 95% of people’s immune systems.
The authors exposed cultured lymphocytes from HIV-1 infected patients to the epitope pools, and repeated the experiment with cultured lymphocytes from healthy donors. They assessed the response to the epitopes by measuring the levels of interferon gamma (IFN gamma) produced by the cultured T lymphocytes – IFN gamma is produced by responsive T lymphocytes upon activation by pathogenic or viral proteins and helps to destroy infectious organisms.
Reche, Keskin et al.’ s results show that only a small proportion of cells from HIV-1infected patients recognised the epitopes and mounted an adequate immune response: cells from only 31-45% of patients produced IFN gamma, and in small quantities. By contrast, cells from all healthy donors responded and produced IFN gamma in large quantities. The authors also demonstrate that these exposed lymphocytes from uninfected individuals could kill HIV-1 infected cells.
Juliette Savin | alfa
Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine