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Novel codon-optimized GM-CSF gene as an adjuvant to enhance the immunity of a DNA vaccine against HIV-1 gag

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Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is a potent immunomodulatory cytokine. Here we generated a novel codon-optimized murine GM-CSF gene as an adjuvant. The codon-optimized GM-CSF gene significantly increased protein expression levels in all cells tested. Although injection of the wild-type GM-CSF plasmids adjuvanted HIV-1 Gag DNA vaccine induced detectable immune responses, co-administration of plasmids encoding the codon-optimized GM-CSF sequence with the DNA vaccine resulted in a strong antibody and CTL responses and a protective immune response against infection with recombinant vaccinia virus expressing HIV-1 Gag. This novel codon-optimized GM-CSF gene offers a practical molecular strategy for potentiating immune responses to vaccines as well as other immunotherapeutic strategies.

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Correspondence to Jian-Tai Qiu.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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  • Vaccinia Virus
  • Vaccinia
  • Recombinant Vaccinia
  • Protective Immune Response
  • Recombinant Vaccinia Virus