Immunogenicity of DNA vaccines expressing tuberculosis proteins fused to tissue plasminogen activator signal sequences

Giovanni Delogu, Z Li, A Howard, C Kelley, F Collins, S. Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

153 Citations (Scopus)


Novel tuberculosis DNA vaccines encoding native ESAT-6, MPT-64, KatG, or HBHA mycobacterial proteins or the same proteins fused to tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) signal sequences were evaluated for their capacity to elicit humoral, cell-mediated, and protective immune responses in vaccinated mice. While all eight plasmids induced specific humoral responses, the constructs expressing the TPA fusions generally evoked higher antibody responses in vaccinated hosts. Although most of the DNA vaccines tested induced a substantial gamma interferon response in the spleen, the antigen-specific lung responses were 2- to 10-fold lower than the splenic responses at the time of challenge. DNA vaccines encoding the ESAT-6, MPT-64, and KatG antigens fused to TPA signal sequences evoked significant protective responses in mice aerogenically challenged with low doses of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Erdman 17 to 21 days after the final immunization. However, the protective response induced by live Mycobacterium bovis BCG vaccine was greater than the response induced by any of the DNA vaccines tested. These results suggest that the tuberculosis DNA vaccines were able to elicit substantial immune responses in suitably vaccinated mice, but further refinements to the constructs or the use of alternative immunization strategies will be needed to improve the efficacy of these vaccine candidates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4780-4786
Number of pages7
JournalInfection and Immunity
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • BCG Vaccine
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Cytokines
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Eukaryotic Cells
  • Female
  • Hemagglutinins
  • Lectins
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Peroxidases
  • Protein Sorting Signals
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator
  • Tuberculosis
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccines, DNA


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