Generation of HIV-1 Virus-Like Particles expressing different HIV-1 glycoproteins

M. L. Visciano, L. Diomede, M. Tagliamonte, M. L. Tornesello, V. Asti, M. Bomsel, F. M. Buonaguro, L. Lopalco, L. Buonaguro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Elicitation of a potent and broadly neutralizing antibody response is the main goal of an effective preventive HIV-1 vaccine. It has been shown by us and others that the expression of Env glycoproteins on the surface of particulate structures, such as Virus-Like Particles (VLPs), could be a more efficient strategy to deliver conformational epitopes to the immune system. To this aim, VLPs expressing native HIV Env gp140 or gp41 glycoproteins have been produced in insect cells using a baculovirus expression system and characterized for appropriate protein expression. VLP-bound HIV gp140 glycoprotein showed the appropriate expression and trimeric conformation. Immunogenicity studies have been performed in BALB/C mice by intra-peritoneal administration and sera from immunized mice have been tested in ELISA assays, for their reactivity with HIV specific antigens, as well as in ex vivo neutralization assay. Sera from immunized animals showed a high reactivity with individual HIV proteins expressed in VLPs. Results of TZM-bl based neutralization assay show that combined sera from animals independently immunized with gp140- or full-length-gp41-expressing VLPs have an additive/synergistic effect in the neutralization activity of HIV pseudoviruses. In conclusion, novel VLPs expressing different HIV Env glycoproteins with native trimeric conformation have been generated, showing the induction of effective antibody response with neutralization activity in TZM-bl neutralization assay. These results confirm the effectiveness of VLPs as presentation and delivery system for conformational proteins and show the improved neutralization activity upon the combination of anti-sera elicited by different HIV envelope antigens, suggesting the possibility of broadening the spectrum of viral epitopes targeted by immune response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4903-4912
Number of pages10
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - Jul 12 2011


  • Envelope proteins
  • HIV
  • Neutralizing antibodies
  • Virus-Like Particles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • veterinary(all)
  • Molecular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Generation of HIV-1 Virus-Like Particles expressing different HIV-1 glycoproteins'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this