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Title

Deletion of the vaccinia virus N2L gene encoding an inhibitor of IRF3 improves the immunogenicity of modified vaccinia virus Ankara expressing HIV-1 antigens

AuthorsGarcía-Arriaza, Juan CSIC ORCID ; Gómez, Carmen E. CSIC ORCID; Sorzano, Carlos Óscar S.; Esteban, Mariano CSIC ORCID
Issue DateMar-2014
AbstractA modified vaccinia virus Ankara poxvirus vector expressing the HIV-1 Env, Gag, Pol, and Nef antigens from clade B (MVA-B) is currently being tested in clinical trials. To improve its immunogenicity, we have generated and characterized the immune profile of MVA-B containing a deletion of the vaccinia viral gene N2L, which codes for an inhibitor of IRF3 (MVA-B ΔN2L). Deletion of N2L had no effect on virus growth kinetics or on the expression of HIV-1 antigens; hence, the N2 protein is not essential for MVA replication. The innate immune responses triggered by MVA-B ΔN2L revealed an increase in beta interferon, proinflammatory cytokines, and chemokines. Mouse prime-boost protocols showed that MVA-B ΔN2L improves the magnitude and polyfunctionality of HIV-1-specific CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell adaptive and memory immune responses, with most of the HIV-1 responses mediated by CD8(+) T cells. In the memory phase, HIV-1-specific CD8(+) T cells with an effector phenotype were predominant and in a higher percentage with MVA-B ΔN2L than with MVA-B. In both immunization groups, CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell responses were directed mainly against Env. Furthermore, MVA-B ΔN2L in the memory phase enhanced levels of antibody against Env. For the vector immune responses, MVA-B ΔN2L induced a greater magnitude and polyfunctionality of VACV-specific CD8(+) T memory cells than MVA-B, with an effector phenotype. These results revealed the immunomodulatory role of N2L, whose deletion enhanced the innate immunity and improved the magnitude and quality of HIV-1-specific T cell adaptive and memory immune responses. These findings are relevant for the optimization of poxvirus vectors as vaccines.
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/345697
DOI10.1128/JVI.02723-13
ISSN0022538X
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