Epitope enhancement of a CD4 HIV epitope toward the development of the next generation HIV vaccine

Takahiro Okazaki, C. David Pendleton, Pablo Sarobe, Elaine K. Thomas, Sujatha Iyengar, Clayton Harro, David Schwartz, Jay A. Berzofsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Virus-specific CD4+ T cell help and CD8+ cytotoxic T cell responses are critical for maintenance of effective immunity in chronic viral infections. The importance of CD4+ T cells has been documented in HIV infection. To investigate whether a stronger CD4+ T cell response can be induced by modifications to enhance the T1 epitope, the first CD4+ T cell epitope discovered in HIV-1-gp120, we developed a T1-specific CD4+ T cell line from a healthy volunteer immunized with a canarypox vector expressing gp120 and boosted with recombinant gp120. This T1-specific CD4+ T cell line was restricted to DR13, which is common in U.S. Caucasians and African-Americans and very frequent in Africans. Peptides with certain amino acid substitutions in key positions induced enhanced specific CD4+ T cell proliferative responses at lower peptide concentration than the original epitope. This relatively conserved CD4 epitope improved by the epitope enhancement strategy could be a component of a more elective second generation vaccine construct for HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3753-3759
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Epitope enhancement of a CD4 HIV epitope toward the development of the next generation HIV vaccine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this