The Phosphoenolpyruvate Carboxykinase of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Induces Strong Cell-Mediated Immune Responses in Mice

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Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) catalyzes guanosine or adenosine mononucleotide-dependent reversible conversion of oxaloacetate (OAA) and phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP). Mycobacterium (M) tuberculosis possesses a putative GTP-dependent PEPCK. To analyze the immune responses caused by PEPCK, the effects of PEPCK on the induction of CD4+ T cells and cytokines such as IFN-α, IL-12 and TNF-α were evaluated in mice. It was found that the number of CD4+ T cells was increased in the PEPCK immunized mice although the change of the number of CD8+ T cells was not significant. The cytokines IFN-α, IL-12 and TNF-α were increased significantly in the mice immunized with PEPCK than those of incomplete adjuvant. These characteristics were further demonstrated in the mice infected by pckA mutated BCG strain. The results indicate that PEPCK can effectively induce cell-mediated immune response by increasing activity of cytokines and PEPCK may be a promising new subunit vaccine candidate for tuberculosis.

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