Identification of immunodominant epitopes in inactivated Tat-vaccinated healthy and HIV-1-infected volunteers

Douglas M. Noonan, Alessandro Gringeri, Raffaella Meazza, Ombretta Rosso, Stefania Mazza, Myrvet Muça-Perja, Hélène Le Buanec, Roberto S. Accolla, Adriana Albini, Silvano Ferrini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We analyzed the epitopes and the molecular forms of Tat recognized by the antibodies raised by Tat-toxoid vaccination in both healthy and HIV-infected volunteers. Tat-toxoid - vaccinated healthy volunteer sera reacted predominantly with peptides covering amino acids 1 through 24 and 46 through 60, corresponding to the N-terminus and basic domains of Tat. In contrast, whereas all sera from vaccinated HIV-1 - positive patients reacted with the N-terminus and (with a single exception) with the basic domain, most of these sera also recognized peptides encompassing distinct domains of Tat, particularly the C-terminus (79-86). The sera of vaccinated individuals recognized both monomeric and oligomeric forms of Tat 1 through 86 or of Tat 1 through 101 and also blocked the ability of cell-released extracellular Tat to transactivate the HIV-1 LTR promoter. Synthetic Tat preincubated with sera from vaccinated individuals lost its functional activity as well. This is probably because of its inability to enter the cells as a result of immune complex formation with anti-Tat IgG. These data demonstrate that Tat-toxoid vaccination induces an efficient antibody response blocking the functional activity of Tat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-55
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2003


  • Epitope mapping
  • HIV
  • Humoral response
  • Kaposi sarcoma
  • Tat
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Immunology


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