Margherita Rosati

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HIV sequence diversity and potential decoy epitopes are hurdles in the development of an effective AIDS vaccine. A DNA vaccine candidate comprising of highly conserved p24(gag) elements (CE) induced robust immunity in all 10 vaccinated macaques, whereas full-length gag DNA vaccination elicited responses to these conserved elements in only 5 of 11 animals,(More)
Viral diversity is considered a major impediment to the development of an effective HIV-1 vaccine. Despite this diversity, certain protein segments are nearly invariant across the known HIV-1 Group M sequences. We developed immunogens based on the highly conserved elements from the p24(gag) region according to two principles: the immunogen must (i) include(More)
Studies of retroviral mRNA export identified two distinct RNA export elements utilizing conserved eukaryotic mRNA export mechanism(s), namely the Constitutive Transport Element (CTE) and the RNA Transport Element (RTE). Although RTE and CTE are potent in nucleocytoplasmic mRNA transport and expression, neither element is as powerful as the Rev-RRE(More)
IL-12 is a 70-kDa heterodimeric cytokine composed of the p35 and p40 subunits. To maximize cytokine production from plasmid DNA, molecular steps controlling IL-12p70 biosynthesis at the posttranscriptional and posttranslational levels were investigated. We show that the combination of RNA/codon-optimized gene sequences and fine-tuning of the relative(More)
We tested the concept of combining DNA with protein to improve anti-HIV Env systemic and mucosal humoral immune responses. Rhesus macaques were vaccinated with DNA, DNA&protein co-immunization or DNA prime followed by protein boost, and the magnitude and mucosal dissemination of the antibody responses were monitored in both plasma and mucosal secretions. We(More)
Inefficient DNA delivery methods and low expression of plasmid DNA have been major obstacles for the use of plasmid DNA as vaccine for HIV/AIDS. This review describes successful efforts to improve DNA vaccine methodology over the past ~30 years. DNA vaccination, either alone or in combination with other methods, has the potential to be a rapid, safe, and(More)
To target immune responses towards invariable regions of the virus, we engineered DNA-based immunogens encoding conserved elements (CE) of HIV-1 p24gag. This conserved element vaccine is designed to avoid decoy epitopes by focusing responses to critical viral elements. We previously reported that vaccination of macaques with p24CE DNA induced robust(More)
None of the HIV T-cell vaccine candidates that have reached advanced clinical testing have been able to induce protective T cell immunity. A major reason for these failures may have been suboptimal T cell immunogen designs. To overcome this problem, we used a novel immunogen design approach that is based on functional T cell response data from more than(More)
The induction of a balanced immune response targeting the major structural proteins, Gag and Env of HIV, is important for the development of an efficacious vaccine. The use of DNA plasmids expressing different antigens offers the opportunity to test in a controlled manner the influence of different vaccine components on the magnitude and distribution of the(More)
BACKGROUND A desirable HIV vaccine should induce protective long-lasting humoral and cellular immune responses. METHODS Macaques were immunized by env DNA, selected from a panel of recently transmitted SIVmac251 Env using intradermal electroporation as vaccine delivery method and magnitude, breadth and longevity of humoral and cellular immune responses.(More)