David C. Whitacre

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Hepatitis B virus (HBV) expresses two structural forms of the nucleoprotein, the intracellular nucleocapsid (hepatitis core antigen [HBcAg]) and the secreted nonparticulate form (hepatitis e antigen [HBeAg]). The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of HBcAg- and HBeAg-specific genetic immunogens to induce HBc/HBeAg-specific CD4(+)/CD8(+) T-cell(More)
The first virus-like particle to be tested for use as a vaccine carrier was based on the hepatitis B virus nucleocapsid protein. This viral subunit, while not infectious on its own, is a 36-nm particle that is highly immunogenic during a natural infection. The self-assembly and high degree of immunogenicity is maintained when expressed as a recombinant(More)
Previous studies demonstrated that the primary APCs for the hepatitis B core Ag (HBcAg) were B cells and not dendritic cells (DC). We now report that splenic B1a and B1b cells more efficiently present soluble HBcAg to naive CD4(+) T cells than splenic B2 cells. This was demonstrated by direct HBcAg-biotin-binding studies and by HBcAg-specific T cell(More)
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common cause of serious viral bronchiolitis in infants, young children, and the elderly. Currently, there is not an FDA-approved vaccine available for RSV, though the mAb palivizumab is licensed to reduce the incidence of RSV disease in premature or at-risk infants. The palivizumab epitope is a(More)
In order to design P. falciparum preerythrocytic vaccine candidates, a library of circumsporozoite (CS) T and B cell epitopes displayed on the woodchuck hepatitis virus core antigen (WHcAg) VLP platform was produced. To test the protective efficacy of the WHcAg-CS VLPs, hybrid CS P. berghei/P. falciparum (Pb/Pf) sporozoites were used to challenge immunized(More)
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha is a type-II transmembrane protein that is cleaved by TNF-alpha-converting enzyme (TACE/ADAM-17) to release soluble TNF, a cytokine with potent antitumor properties whose use in clinical applications is limited by its severe systemic toxicity. We found that human cells transfected with vectors encoding TNF without the TACE(More)
Regulatory T (Treg) cells represent one of the main mechanisms of regulating self-reactive immune cells. Treg cells are thought to play a role in down-regulating immune responses to self or allogeneic antigens in the periphery. Although the function of Treg cells has been demonstrated in many experimental settings, the precise mechanisms and antigen(More)
The rapid disruption of tropical forests probably imperils global biodiversity more than any other contemporary phenomenon. With deforestation advancing quickly, protected areas are increasingly becoming final refuges for threatened species and natural ecosystem processes. However, many protected areas in the tropics are themselves vulnerable to human(More)
6612 Background: Adenovirus (Ad) vectors have been used extensively in genetic manipulation of cultured cells and gene therapy, with the group C Ad serotypes 2 and 5 being most widely used. The group C viruses have been shown to infect target cells in a two-step process. There is an initial high-affinity step in which Ad fiber protein binds to the the(More)
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