Researchers detect protein that increases effectiveness of vaccines

April 7, 2017
Credit: National Cancer Institute

Researchers have discovered a protein they believe would help make vaccinations more effective and provide protection from other diseases such as cancer.

The findings, which appear online in Scientific Reports, allows for greater understanding of how vaccine enhancers work and can best be used.

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) purified a protein found on the exterior of bacteria (neisseria meningidis) and used it as an accessary to provide a better vaccination response. Typically, vaccines can either increase the amount of or they can stimulate cells (called cytotoxic T cells) to directly kill the offending agent. In this case, the protein, called PorB, is unique in that it can do both.

"This study has wide implications as it could not only be used to help the body identify and fight off bacterial infections, but it could also potentially help the body use its own machinery to fight off other diseases like cancer, HIV, and influenza before they have a chance to establish within the body," explained corresponding author Lee Wetzler, MD, professor of medicine and microbiology at BUSM.

In this study, the researchers used two experimental models. The first model was given a vaccination with antigen and mixed PorB, while the second model was given the antigen alone. The model that received the PorB had an increase in the response to the vaccine antigen, evidenced by an increased number of activated cells in the and a gain in the production of cytotoxic T cells, as compared to the vaccination with the antigen alone.

"Our study deepens the general understanding of how vaccine adjuvants modulate immune responses. The antigen formulation with PorB triggers a sequence of cellular events at the periphery and in that are critical for the establishment of protection to a broad array of , and maybe for other diseases like cancer," added Wetzler, a physician in Boston Medical Center's Department of Infectious Diseases.

Explore further: Team tracks rare T cells in blood to better understand annual flu vaccine

More information: Michael L. Reiser et al, The TLR2 Binding Neisserial Porin PorB Enhances Antigen Presenting Cell Trafficking and Cross-presentation, Scientific Reports (2017). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-00555-4

Related Stories

Team tracks rare T cells in blood to better understand annual flu vaccine

February 17, 2017
For most vaccines to work the body needs two cell types - B cells and T helper cells - to make antibodies. B cells are the antibody factories and the T helper cells refine the strength and accuracy of antibodies to home and ...

A novel DNA vaccine design improves chances of inducing anti-tumor immunity

February 24, 2017
Scientists at The Wistar Institute and Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. have devised a novel DNA vaccine approach through molecular design to improve the immune responses elicited against one of the most important cancer antigen ...

Scientists show how to amplify or stifle signals for immune responses

March 7, 2017
T cells, the managers of our immune systems, spend their days shaking hands with another type of cell that presents small pieces of protein from pathogens or cancerous cells to the T cell. But each T cell is programmed to ...

Protein serves as a natural boost for immune system fight against tumors

January 30, 2014
Substances called adjuvants that enhance the body's immune response are critical to getting the most out of vaccines. These boosters stimulate the regular production of antibodies—caused by foreign substances in the body—toxins, ...

New study highlights effectiveness of a herpesvirus CMV-based vaccine against Ebola

February 15, 2016
As the latest in a series of studies, researchers at Plymouth University, National Institutes of Health and University of California, Riverside, have shown the ability of a vaccine vector based on a common herpesvirus called ...

Recommended for you

Exposure to larger air particles linked to increased risk of asthma in children

December 15, 2017
Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University report statistical evidence that children exposed to airborne coarse particulate matter—a mix of dust, sand and non-exhaust tailpipe emissions, such as tire rubber—are more ...

Bioengineers imagine the future of vaccines and immunotherapy

December 14, 2017
In the not-too-distant future, nanoparticles delivered to a cancer patient's immune cells might teach the cells to destroy tumors. A flu vaccine might look and feel like applying a small, round Band-Aid to your skin.

Immune cells turn back time to achieve memory

December 13, 2017
Memory T cells earn their name by embodying the memory of the immune system - they help the body remember what infections or vaccines someone has been exposed to. But to become memory T cells, the cells go backwards in time, ...

Steroid study sheds light on long term side effects of medicines

December 13, 2017
Fresh insights into key hormones found in commonly prescribed medicines have been discovered, providing further understanding of the medicines' side effects.

The immune cells that help tumors instead of destroying them

December 12, 2017
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-associated deaths. One of the most promising ways to treat it is by immunotherapy, a strategy that turns the patient's immune system against the tumor. In the past twenty years, ...

Cancer gene plays key role in cystic fibrosis lung infections

December 12, 2017
PTEN is best known as a tumor suppressor, a type of protein that protects cells from growing uncontrollably and becoming cancerous. But according to a new study from Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC), PTEN has a second, ...

0 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.