Navigation Links
Vaccines for HIV: A new design strategy
Date:2/23/2012

San Diego, Calif. HIV has eluded vaccine-makers for thirty years, in part due to the virus' extreme ability to mutate. Physical scientists and clinical virologists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Ragon Institute in Cambridge, Mass., have identified a promising strategy for vaccine design using a mathematical technique that has also been used in problems related to quantum physics, as well as in analyses of stock market price fluctuations and studies of enzyme sequences. The team, led by Arup Chakraborty of MIT and Bruce Walker of the Ragon Institute, will give an update on its work at the Biophysical Society 56th Annual Meeting, held Feb. 25-29 in San Diego, Calif.

Vaccines prime the immune system to target molecular signatures associated with a particular pathogen. But HIV's ability to mutate has made it difficult to identify reliable vaccine targets. In their search for a new type of target, the team from the Ragon Institute did not focus on individual amino acids. Instead, the researchers sought to identify independently evolving groups of amino acids where, within each group, amino acids mutate in tandem (meaning that they rely on one another to maintain the viability of the virus). In particular, they looked for groups of amino acids within which combinations of mutations would have a greater chance of making the virus unviable. By staging a multi-pronged attack against these regions of HIV, the researchers reasoned, they might be able to trap the virus between two bad choices: be destroyed by the immune system, or mutate and destroy itself.

With a mathematical tool called random matrix theory, the team searched for high-order evolutionary constraints in the so-called Gag region of HIV. The researchers were looking for collectively co-evolving groups of amino acids with a high number of negative correlations (meaning multiple mutations would destroy the virus) and a low number of positive correlations (meaning the virus could survive multiple mutations). They found this combination in a region, which they call Gag sector 3, that is involved in stabilizing the protein shell of the virus: too many mutations here, and the virus' structure would collapse.

Interestingly, when the team studied HIV-infected individuals whose bodies are naturally able to fend off the virus' attacks so-called "elite controllers" they found that these individuals' immune systems preferentially targeted Gag sector 3 over other proteins.

At the moment, the study authors are working to extend their methods to HIV proteins beyond Gag. The team is also developing elements of the active components of a vaccine that would prime the immune system to selectively target Gag sector 3 proteins. They expect to begin testing in animal models soon.

The presentation, "Analysis of collective coevolution in HIV proteins suggests strategies for rational vaccine design," will be presented by Dr. Chakraborty's graduate student Karthik Shekhar at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012, in the San Diego Convention Center, Room 24ABC. ABSTRACT: http://tinyurl.com/6sz7kuf


'/>"/>

Contact: Ellen R. Weiss
eweiss@biophysics.org
240-290-5606
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New type of vaccines deliver stronger and faster immune response
2. Vaccines and autism: Many hypotheses, but no correlation
3. New evidence explains poor infant immune response to certain vaccines, says MU researcher
4. Princeton teams analysis of flu virus could lead to better vaccines
5. Study shows cancer vaccines led to long-term survival for patients with metastatic melanoma
6. Pitt researchers find promising candidate protein for cancer prevention vaccines
7. Bug barcode readers hold out promise of universal vaccines
8. Major breakthrough may pave the way for therapeutic vaccines
9. GEN reports on the promise of DNA vaccines
10. Vaccines preventing pneumococcal disease protect African children with sickle-cell disease
11. Prescription drug could boost effects of vaccines for HIV and other diseases
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/25/2016)... , Jan. 25, 2016   Unisys Corporation (NYSE: ... John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport, New York City ... (CBP) identify imposters attempting to enter the United States ... to them. pilot testing of the system at ... three terminals at JFK during January 2016. --> pilot ...
(Date:1/22/2016)... Jan. 22, 2016 ... of the "Global Biometrics Market in ... offering. --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/p74whf/global_biometrics ) ... "Global Biometrics Market in Retail Sector 2016-2020" ... --> Research and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/p74whf/global_biometrics ...
(Date:1/20/2016)... , Jan. 20, 2016   MedNet Solutions , ... entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to announce ... significant achievements are the result of the company,s laser ... iMedNet eClinical , it,s comprehensive, easy-to-use and highly ... --> Key MedNet growth achievements in 2015 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... 2016 Amarantus BioScience Holdings, Inc. ... on developing products for Regenerative Medicine, Neurology and Orphan ... Designation (RPDD) from the US Food and Drug Administration ... was previously granted orphan drug designation (ODD) by the ... BioScience Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB: AMBS), a ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... , Feb. 4, 2016  Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... announced today that Edward Lanphier , Sangamo,s president ... the progress of Sangamo,s ZFP Therapeutic ® development ... at 2:40 pm ET on Thursday, February 11, 2016, ... Healthcare Conference. The conference is being held in ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... , Feb. 4, 2016  CytoSorbents Corporation (NASDAQ: ... commercializing its flagship CytoSorb® blood filter to treat ... around the world, announced that CEO Dr. ... the Source Capital Group,s 2016 Disruptive Growth & ... the company.  Conference Presentation Details: ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... BETHESDA, Md. , Feb. 4, 2016  Spherix ... committed to the fostering and monetization of intellectual property, ... VTech and Uniden in the Northern District of ... are moving forward.  Inter Partes ... the U.S. Patent Office.  The IPR was initiated on ...
Breaking Biology Technology: