HIV-1 vaccine development: Pinning down a moving target

HIV-1 is a genetically diverse collection of viruses, making it a moving target in vaccine development.

In a study published in the , researchers led by Brad Jones at the University of Toronto in investigated the feasibility of eliminating HIV-infected cells by targeting cellular immune responses against a human endogenous retrovirus (HERV).

HERVs are the DNA remnants of ancient infectious retroviruses that became part of the germ line cells of our ancestors.

Jones and colleagues found that stimulated the expression of HERV proteins, effectively tagging HIV-infected cells.

targeted to these proteins specifically eliminated cells infected with several different strains of HIV in vitro. This study suggests that HERV-targeted immune responses should be considered in the development of HIV vaccines.

More information: HERV-K-targeted T-cells eliminate diverse HIV-1/2 and SIV primary isolates, Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2012.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Exhausted B cells fail to fight HIV

Jul 14, 2008

HIV tires out the cells that produce virus-fighting proteins known as antibodies, according to a human study that will be published online July 14 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Scientists find another key to HIV success

Mar 22, 2006

Weill Cornell Medical College scientists say they've determined a protein produced by HIV infected cells prevents immune B cells from producing antibodies.

Exhausted B cells hamper immune response to HIV

Jul 14, 2008

Recent studies have shown that HIV causes a vigorous and prolonged immune response that eventually leads to the exhaustion of key immune system cells--CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells--that target HIV. These tired cells become less ...

Recommended for you

Cambodia orders probe into mass HIV infection

Dec 18, 2014

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday ordered a probe into an apparent mass HIV infection believed to have been spread by contaminated needles, as the number of suspected cases passed 100.

A fresh setback for efforts to cure HIV infection

Dec 17, 2014

Researchers are reporting another disappointment for efforts to cure infection with the AIDS virus. Six patients given blood-cell transplants similar to one that cured a man known as "the Berlin patient" have ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.