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DNA vaccines for prophylaxis and therapy

Padmanaban, G (1999) DNA vaccines for prophylaxis and therapy. In: Current Science, 77 (4). pp. 492-493.

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Abstract

DNA vaccines are tatnalizingly giving hope of a third vaccine revolution. Ever since the serendipitous discovery of Wolff et al.1 that naked DNA injection into the muscle of mice led to expression of the encoded marker protein, there has been a surge to use this approach to generate DNA vaccines against a variety of infectious diseases. While, many aspects of the basic of genetic immunization need to be worked out, some unique features of this phenomenon have become evident. The injected plasmid DNA with appropriate promoter and regulatory sequences remains as an episome, but is transcribed and translated to give rise to the vector-encoded protein. This protein is processed similar to an antigen presented by an infectious virus, resulting in presentation of antigenic fragments in association with MHC-class I determinants, leading to activation of cytolytic cells. The generation of CD8(+) CTLs is proving to be crucial f or defense against many viral, bacterial and parasitic diseases. Genetic immunization also results in stimulation of T helper cells and B cells leading to antibody production, which is generally weak, but long investigations. Since, muscle cells express only low levels of MHC-class I antigens and lack expression of MHC-class II antigens, it has been suggested that dendritic cells in muscle tissue could get activated and up-regulate MHC and co-stimulatory molecules. These start to secrete cytokines, migrate to lymphatic tissues and initiate immune response. Since, the dendritic cells have a finite life span, the muscle cells being poor target for CTLs, might serve as a reservoir of antigen, providing a constant reminder to the immune system2.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright for this articles belong to the Indian Academy of Sciences.
Keywords: Genetic immunization;DNA vaccines
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Biochemistry
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2004
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:15
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/id/eprint/1609

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