Navigation Links
UNL team explores new approach to HIV vaccine
Date:5/29/2014

Lincoln, Neb., May 29, 2014 -- Using a genetically modified form of the HIV virus, a team of University of Nebraska-Lincoln scientists has developed a promising new approach that could someday lead to a more effective HIV vaccine.

The team, led by chemist Jiantao Guo, virologist Qingsheng Li and synthetic biologist Wei Niu, has successfully tested the novel approach for vaccine development in vitro and has published findings in the international edition of the German journal Angewandte Chemie.

With the new approach, the UNL team is able to use an attenuated -- or weakened -- HIV virus in the vaccine. The new method involves manipulating the virus' codons -- a sequence of three nucleotides that form genetic code -- to rely on an unnatural amino acid for proper protein translation, which allows it to replicate. Because this amino acid is foreign to the human body, the virus cannot continue to reproduce, Guo said.

Adaptive immunity is developed when the body's immune system develops antibodies that attack the virus. The virus is then shut off from replicating by removing the amino acid.

"Since the unnatural amino acid is not present in humans, the virus cannot further replicate and cause disease once a desirable protection is achieved," Guo said.

On June 1, they will begin the next phase of development through a four-year, $1.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The grant will allow further research involving the genetically modified virus and lead to animal trials of the vaccine.

Since the HIV/AIDS pandemic began in the 1980s, an estimated 36 million people have died from the disease. Today, more than 35 million people live with the virus and 2.5 million new infections are recorded each year. No universal cure or vaccine exists, mainly because of the virus' persistent replication and evolution.

The most successful vaccination attempt in humans -- a trial in Thailand in the middle of the last decade -- had a roughly 31 percent efficacy rate. But that vaccine used engineered versions of HIV genes and proteins, rather than the actual virus.

"The science tells us a live-attenuated vaccine would work best to stop the pandemic and possibly eradicate the disease," Li said. "But, using a live virus in a human trial has safety concerns."

Using an attenuated virus in a vaccine has not been accomplished before because HIV -- even a weakened form of the virus -- replicates rapidly, which allows it to evolve quickly and regain is virulence and disease-causing ability.

With the funds from the grant, Guo, assistant professor of chemistry, and Li, associate professor of biology, along with Niu, research assistant professor in chemistry, will perfect the technology and begin new trials.

The project is being completed with support from the UNL Department of Chemistry, School of Biological Sciences, Nebraska Center for Virology and Nebraska Research Initiative.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jiantao Guo
jguo4@unl.edu
402-472-3525
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New clinical trial explores novel noninvasive colon cancer screening test
2. Whats in a surname? New study explores what the evolution of names reveals about China
3. Boston Healthcare Associates Roundtable Explores Challenges and Opportunities Surrounding the Value of Big Data within the Life Sciences
4. Forest killer plant study explores rapid environmental change factors
5. New clinical trial explores use of smartphone application for postpartum weight loss
6. USDA explores using novel genetic labs for faster detection of E. coli
7. UA explores promoting teen health via text message
8. The Scars of Human Evolution briefing explores physical fallout from 2-footed walking
9. Study explores long-term water quality trends in near-pristine streams
10. New book explores relentless evolution in a constantly changing world
11. Book explores place-based conservation as framework
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/15/2016)... , Dec. 15, 2016   WaferGen Bio-systems, Inc. ... genomics technology company, announced today that on December 13, ... Department of The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC which acknowledged ... price of WaferGen,s common stock had been at $1.00 ... has regained compliance with Listing Rule 5550(a)(2) of the ...
(Date:12/12/2016)... -- Researchers at Trinity College, Dublin, are opening up ... material with Silly Putty. The mixture (known as "G-putty") ... sense pulse, blood pressure, respiration, and even the ... The research team,s findings were published Thursday in ... Due ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... Avanade is helping Williams Martini Racing, one of ... biometric data in order to critically analyse every aspect ... against their rivals after their impressive, record-breaking pit stop ... with Williams during the 2016 season to capture and ... rate, temperature and peak acceleration) for key members of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... , Jan. 18, 2017  Northwest Biotherapeutics, Inc. ... DCVax® personalized immune therapies for operable and inoperable solid ... , Chief Technical Officer of NW Bio, will present ... 19, 2017, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in ... will chair the session entitled "New Therapeutic Approaches – ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , Jan. 18, 2017 BD (Becton, Dickinson and ... announced today that it will host a live webcast of its ... p.m. (ET). The webcast can be accessed from ... for replay through Tuesday, January 31, 2017. ... About BD BD is a ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... 2017 According to a new market research report "In ... Disease), & End User (Molecular Diagnostic Laboratories, Academic and Research Institutions) - Global ... 739.9 Million by 2021 from USD 557.1 Million in 2016, growing at a ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... Mass. , Jan. 18, 2017 ... applying mechanistic modeling to drug research and development, ... PhD, Co-Founder, President, and CEO of Applied BioMath, ... for Informatics and Modeling (BAGIM) Meeting on Thursday ... Cambridge , MA.   Dr. Burke,s ...
Breaking Biology Technology: