Adenovirus (Ad) capsids that display exogenous epitopes can be potently immunogenic, eliciting a potent humoral response against components of the capsid. We used the epitopes flag, his 6 flag, his 6 lgsflag and AdV4HVR5 as model antigens to characterize the hexon hypervariable region (HVR) 1 as a site for epitope insertion. A peptide of up to 17 amino acids could be incorporated into HVR1 of the Ad3 hexon without adversely affecting the biological characteristics of the virus. Multiple vaccinations with capsid-modified Ad3 induced a humoral response against the epitope inserted in HVR1. However, antiserum against the his 6 flag or his 6 lgsflag epitope did not recognize glutathione S-transferase (GST)-his 6 and GST-flag fusion protein. Our study illustrates that there is an immune response against the new epitope within the amino acids of his 6 flag or his 6 lgsflag epitopes. This discovery could be a warning for the generation of multivalent vaccine vectors by incorporation of multiple epitopes into single HVRs.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 2012
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