Vaccination of rhesus monkeys with synthetic peptide in a fusogenic proteoliposome elicits simian immunodeficiency virus-specific CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes

Michael D. Miller, Susan Gould-Fogerite, Ling Shen, Robert M. Woods, Scott Koenig, Raphael J. Mannino, Norman L. Letvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


An effective vaccine against the human immunodeficiency virus should be capable of eliciting both an antibody and a cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response. However, when viral proteins and peptides are formulated with traditional immunological adjuvants and inoculated via a route acceptable for use in humans, they have not been successful at eliciting virus-specific, major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I-restricted CTL. We have designed a novel viral subunit vaccine by encapsulating a previously defined synthetic peptide CTL epitope of the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) gag protein within a proteoliposome capable of attaching to and fusing with plasma membranes. Upon fusing, the encapsulated contents of this proteoliposome can enter the MHC class I processing pathway through the cytoplasm. In this report, we show that after a single intramuscular vaccination, rhesus monkeys develop a CD8+ cell-mediated, MHC class I-restricted CTL response that recognizes the synthetic peptide immunogen. The induced CTL also demonstrate antiviral immunity by recognizing SIV gag protein endogenously processed by target cells infected with SIV/vaccinia recombinant virus. These results demonstrate that virus-specific, MHC class I-restricted, CD8+ CTL can be elicited by a safe, nonreplicating viral subunit vaccine in a primate model for acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Moreover, the proteoliposome vaccine formation described can include multiple synthetic peptide epitopes, and, thus, offers a simple means of generating antiviral cell-mediated immunity in a genetically heterogeneous population.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1739-1744
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

Cite this