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Peptides boost immunity

Technology Number: 

1618

Principal Investigator

Prof.
Yechiel
Shai

Department: 

Biological Chemistry
Summary 

A novel method is disclosed here for boosting the immune response, useful not only for the treatment of microbial and chronic viral infections, but also for activating the immune system against cancer cells. TLR-4 is a central player in the innate immune system as it specifically recognizes lipopolysaccharide (LPS), the major cell wall component of Gram-negative bacteria, and activates the immune system. Newly developed peptides derived from the N-terminus of a TLR-4 trans-membrane domain are capable of activating TLR-4 mediated immune response, thus useful both as stand-alone treatments and as vaccine adjuvants, increasing the immunogenicity of an antigen in a vaccine. Taken together, the newly developed peptides are useful for the treatment and prevention of a large variety of infections, such as microbial (e.g. Salmonella, Escherichia, Pseudomonas), viral (including HIV, Hepatitis and Influenza) and fungal infections. Further, they are useful in the treatment and prevention of a wide variety of cancers.

Applications


  • Treatment for a wide variety of infectious diseases and cancers.
  • Prophylaxis for a wide variety of infectious diseases and cancers, as an adjuvant administered together with specific antigen.

Advantages


  • Treats a wide variety of bacterial, viral and fungal infections.
  • Suitable both as a treatment and prophylaxis.
  • Boosts the endogenous immune system
  • Peptides are easy to synthetize and purify
  • Patient-friendly administration, either systemic or local.

Technology's Essence


The technology is based on the discovery that peptides derived from the N-terminus of a TLR-4 TM domain or their analogs are capable of activating TLR-4 mediated immune response. These peptides activate TLR-4 receptor, possibly by dimerizing within the cell membrane and stabilizing the TLR-4 dimer. Through TLR-4 activation, these peptides activate macrophages to secrete TNF-alpha, thereby stimulating the immune system. In addition, the ability of these peptides to modulate the immune system's innate response renders them useful as vaccine adjuvants, increasing the immunogenicity of an antigen in a vaccine.

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