Recombinant Polypeptides with Optimized T-Cell-Activating Properties

Funding: Bayerische Forschungsstiftung
Duration: 1.10.2013 – 27.01.2017

The ForBIMed Research Cluster (led by Prof. Dr. Ralf Wagner) funded by the Bavarian Research Foundation focuses on the development of new biomarkers to improve diagnosis, therapy and prevention of infectious diseases.
Within this cluster we will - together with our partner Lophius Biosciences GmbH - concentrate our efforts on the development and improvement of novel technologies to monitor pathogen specific T-cell responses.

Recombinantly produced proteins are frequently used to stimulate T-cell responses either in diagnostic (e.g. detection of virus-specific T-cells) or immunoprophylaxis settings (i.e. as a vaccine). The pathogen-derived proteins, however, differ in their stimulatory capacity due to diverse inherent protein properties. The immediate early 1 (IE1) protein of cytomegalovirus (CMV) would be an interesting candidate for the above named applications due to its high and early expression during the viral replication cycle, however it lacks potent stimulatory activity. Therefore, our aim in this project is to modify and formulate the protein in a manner to increase the T-cell-activating properties. The resulting IE1-variants/formulations will be tested in suitable ex vivo and in vivo models for their potential to re-stimulate or prime naïve IE1-specific T-cells.