Current HIV research 2017 10 17() doi 10.2174/1570162X15666171017122229
Vaccine against HIV-1 is not currently available. In present, Virus like particles (VLPs) as effective strategy was used in several vaccine developing. Two conserved sequences; V3 loop of gp120 and the membrane-proximal external region (MPER) of gp41 are dominant sites for vaccine studies. In this study, we used fusion gene of MPER and V3 to product recombinant VLPs and introduced a novel retroviral VLPs harboring high copy of MPER-V3 for HIV-1 vaccine design. The pEGFP-N1 plasmid harboring MPER-V3 sequence with Vpr linker was constructed. To produce virus-like particles, HEK 293T cells were co-transfected with the recombinant plasmid, pSPAX-2, pMD2-G and pWPXLd plasmids, evaluated by AFM and SEM microscopy and quantified using P24 end-point ELISA assay. Time-course quantification of p24 protein as the characteristics of viral production evidenced for the efficient secretion of virus-like structures (up to 120 ng/ml) to the culture supernatant of transfected cells. Examination of the centrifuge-concentrated VLPs by AFM and SEM microscope, also illustrated particles with spherical morphologies and diameters of around 150 nm that had similar sizes to HIV virions. These data indicated the production of HIV-1 virus-like particles harboring high copy of MPER-V3 that maintained their antigenic structure. These VLPs represented a good implication as a potential vaccine candidate and this guarantees the further investigations towards the assessment of its immunogenicity.