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
Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover
First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
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