Accessory and regulatory proteins (nonstructural proteins) have received increasing attention as components in novel HIV/SIV vaccine design. However, the complicated interactions between nonstructural proteins and structural proteins remain poorly understood, especially their effects on immunogenicity. In this study, the immunogenicity of structural proteins in the presence and absence of nonstructural proteins was compared. First, a series of recombinant plasmids and adenoviral vectors carrying various SIVmac239 nonstructural and structural genes was constructed. Then mice were primed with DNA plasmids and boosted with corresponding Ad5 vectors of different combinations, and the resulting immune responses were measured. Our results demonstrated that when the individual Gag, Pol, or Env gene products were coimmunized with the whole repertoire of nonstructural proteins, the Gag-specific CD8 + T response was greatly enhanced, while the Env- and Pol-specific CD8 + T responses were significantly reduced. The same pattern was not observed in CD4 + T cell responses. Antibody responses against both the Gag and Env proteins were elicited more effectively when these structural antigens were immunized together with nonstructural antigens. These findings may provide helpful insights into the development of novel HIV/SIV vaccines.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases