Resistance-associated epitopes of HIV-1C-highly probable candidates for a multi-epitope vaccine

Sundaramurthi, Jagadish; Swaminathan, Soumya; Hanna, Luke
October 2012
Immunogenetics;Oct2012, Vol. 64 Issue 10, p767
Academic Journal
Earlier studies have identified a large number of immunogenic epitopes in HIV-1. Efforts are required to prioritize these epitopes in order to identify the best candidates for formulating an effective multi-epitope vaccine for HIV. We modeled 155 known cytotoxic T lymphocyte epitopes of HIV-1 subtype C on the 3D structure of HLA-A*0201, HLA-B*2705, and HLA-B*5101 using MODPROPEP, as these alleles are known to be associated with resistance to HIV/slow progression to AIDS. Thirty-six epitopes were identified to bind to all the three HLA alleles with better binding affinity than the control peptides complexed with each HLA allele but not to any of the HLA alleles reported to be associated with susceptibility to HIV infection/rapid progression to disease. As increase in stability of the epitope-HLA complex results in increased immunogenicity, the short-listed epitopes could be suitable candidates for vaccine development. Twenty of the 36 epitopes were polyfunctional in nature adding to their immunological relevance for vaccine design. Further, 9 of the 20 polyfunctional epitopes were found to bind to all three resistance-associated HLA alleles using an additional method, adding worth to their potential as candidates for a vaccine formulation for HIV-1C.


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