GSBS Student Publications

Student Author(s)

Michael Vaine

GSBS Program

Immunology & Virology Program

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

AIDS Vaccines; Animals; Antibodies, Viral; Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay; Epitopes; Female; HIV Envelope Protein gp120; HIV-1; Immunization, Secondary; Models, Molecular; Neutralization Tests; Rabbits; Vaccines, DNA; Vaccines, Subunit; Vaccines, Synthetic


Immunology and Infectious Disease | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


A major challenge in HIV-1 vaccine development is to elicit potent and broadly neutralizing antibodies effective against primary viral isolates. Previously, we showed that DNA prime-protein boost vaccination using HIV-1 gp120 antigens was more effective in eliciting neutralizing antibodies against primary HIV-1 isolates compared to a recombinant gp120 protein only vaccination approach. In the current study, we analyzed the difference of antibody specificities in rabbit sera elicited by these two immunization regimens using peptide ELISA and a competitive virus capture assay. Our results indicate that a DNA prime-protein boost regimen is more effective than a protein alone vaccination approach in inducing antibodies that target two key neutralizing domains: the V3 loop and CD4 binding site. In particular, positive antibodies targeting several peptides that overlap with the known CD4 binding area were only detected in DNA primed sera. Different profiles of antibody specificities provide insight into the mechanisms behind the elicitation of better neutralizing antibodies with the DNA prime-protein boost approach and our results support the use of this approach to further optimize Env formulations for HIV vaccine development.

Rights and Permissions

J Virol. 2008 Aug;82(15):7369-78. Epub 2008 May 21. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID




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