Universal vaccines can be prepared with antigens common to different pathogens. In this regard, the glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) is a common virulence factor among pathogenic bacteria of the genera Listeria, Mycobacterium and Streptococcus. Their N-terminal 22 amino acid peptides, GAPDH-L1 (Listeria), GAPDH-M1 (Mycobacterium) and GAPDH-S1 (Streptococcus), share 95–98.55% sequence homology, biochemical and MHC binding abilities and, therefore, are good candidates for universal vaccine designs. Here, we used dendritic cells (DC) as vaccine platforms to test GAPDH epitopes that conferred protection against Listeria monocytogenes, Mycobacterium marinum or Streptococcus pneumoniae in our search of epitopes for universal vaccines. DC loaded with GAPDH-L1, GAPDH-M1 or GAPDH-S1 peptides show high immunogenicity measured by the cellular DTH responses in mice, lacked toxicity and were capable of cross-protection immunity against mice infections with each one of the pathogens. Vaccine efficiency correlated with high titers of anti-GAPDH-L1 antibodies in sera of vaccinated mice, a Th1 cytokine pattern and high frequencies of GAPDH-L1-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and IFN-γ producers in the spleens. We concluded that GAPDH-L1 peptide was the best epitope for universal vaccines in the Listeria, Mycobacterium or Streptococcus taxonomic groups, whose pathogenic strains caused relevant morbidities in adults and especially in the elderly.
- GLYCERALDEHYDE-3-PHOSPHATE DEHYDROGENASE