Researchers at the Icahn University of Medicine at Mount Sinai have formed an innovative vaccine consisting of DNA and recombinant proteins.
Proteins composed of a portion of an HIV protein and another unrelated protein. This vaccine was tested in monkeys and was proven to induce antibodies much like these related to protection from HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Researchers first recognized part of the virus which, when bound to antibodies, destroys the virus and of virus-infected cells. Then they designed a vaccine that will induce a lot of these antibodies. This approach to vaccine design known as “reverse vaccinology.”
The goal identified by the researchers on the virus is known as the V1V2 loop of the gp120 envelope protein. In research of monkeys vaccinated with gp120 DNA and a combination of three novel recombinant proteins carrying the V1V2 region, antibodies had been induced that display many different antiviral capabilities. These antibodies have been of the type that had been related to a reduced rate of HIV an infection in earlier human clinical trials, according to the research printed in Cell Reports in July.
“Our lab, along with researchers from a number of institutions in the US, has been working for greater than a decade on a novel strategy to developing a vaccine in opposition to HIV/AIDS,” stated lead author Susan Zolla-Pazner, Ph.D., Professor of Medicine and Microbiology at the Icahn College of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “The vaccine we’ve developed is safe, in that it contains nothing that’s infectious to the person vaccinated. Within the study now being revealed, we present that this novel vaccine induces the desired antibodies in monkeys, which suggests strongly that comparable protective antibodies may be induced in people and may play a necessary function in preventing HIV infection.”