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United States Patent Application 20180318387
Kind Code A1
Farina; Christopher John ;   et al. November 8, 2018

METHODS FOR DIAGNOSING AND TREATING SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS

Abstract

Described herein are peptides and antibodies for prevention and/or therapeutic treatment of mammals, including humans, against systemic lupus erythematosus, as well as diagnosing the presence or absence of antibodies related to increased or decreased risk of developing SLE and/or to disease grading, staging, and/or prognosis.


Inventors: Farina; Christopher John; (Los Angeles, CA) ; Liang; Bertrand C.; (San Diego, CA) ; Ruiz; Stacey; (Beverly Hills, CA)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

CardioVax, LLC

Los Angeles

CA

US
Assignee: CardioVax, LLC
Los Angeles
CA

Family ID: 1000003462472
Appl. No.: 16/010227
Filed: June 15, 2018


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
15610527May 31, 2017
16010227
62343601May 31, 2016

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: C12Y 406/01001 20130101; G01N 33/564 20130101; A61K 38/1709 20130101; A61K 38/51 20130101; G01N 2333/775 20130101; Y02A 50/471 20180101; C07K 2317/56 20130101; C07K 2317/21 20130101; A61K 39/3955 20130101; C07K 16/18 20130101; G01N 2800/104 20130101
International Class: A61K 38/17 20060101 A61K038/17; G01N 33/564 20060101 G01N033/564; A61K 38/51 20060101 A61K038/51; A61K 39/395 20060101 A61K039/395; C07K 16/18 20060101 C07K016/18

Claims



1-41. (canceled)

42. A method of treating, inhibiting, preventing, reducing the severity of, slowing the progression of and/or promoting prophylaxis of a cardiovascular disease in a subject with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) comprising: administering an effective amount of a composition comprising an antibody capable of binding at least one fragment of apolipoprotein B (ApoB) to the subject.

43. The method of claim 42, wherein the cardiovascular disease is atherosclerosis.

44. The method of claim 42, wherein the antibody binds to at least one native fragment of ApoB.

45. The method of claim 42, wherein the antibody binds to at least one malondialdehyde-modified fragment of ApoB,

46. The method of claim 42, wherein the antibody is a human antibody.

47. The method of claim 42, wherein the antibody comprises a variable heavy region (V.sub.H) and a variable light region (V.sub.L), wherein the V.sub.H region comprises the sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO. 303 and the V.sub.L region comprises the sequence set forth in SEQ ID No. 304.

48. The method of claim 42, wherein the antibody is capable of binding at least P45 (SEQ ID NO: 45) of ApoB.

49. The method of claim 42, wherein the antibody is capable of binding at least P210 (SEQ ID NO: 210) of ApoB.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 15/610,527 filed May 31, 2017, which claims the benefit of and priority under 35 U.S.C. .sctn. 119(e) to U.S. provisional patent application No. 62/343,601, filed on May 31, 2016, the content of which is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The invention provides methods for treating systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and diagnosing SLE and cardiovascular disease in subject with SLE.

BACKGROUND

[0003] All publications herein are incorporated by reference to the same extent as if each individual publication or patent application was specifically and individually indicated to be incorporated by reference. The following description includes information that may be useful in understanding the present invention. It is not an admission that any of the information provided herein is prior art or relevant to the presently claimed invention, or that any publication specifically or implicitly referenced is prior art.

[0004] Accelerated atherosclerosis is a severe and life threatening complication of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). SLE is more prevalent in women of childbearing age and African-Americans. Current treatment is non-specific immunosuppression with substantial serious side effects. Even with these agents, patients remain at risk for cardiovascular complications. The incomplete response to treatment indicates the need for more specific and less toxic therapies. It is now understood that the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis in SLE patients is modulated by the balance between opposing immune responses, atheroprotective and pro-atherogenic. Provided herein are methods for treating SLE and diagnosing the likelihood of cardiovascular diseases in subject with SLE.

SUMMARY

[0005] The following embodiments and aspects thereof are described and illustrated in conjunction with systems, compositions and methods which are meant to be exemplary and illustrative, not limiting in scope.

[0006] Provided herein are methods for treating, inhibiting, preventing, reducing the severity of, slowing progression of, and/or promoting prophylaxis of a disease-state in a subject in need thereof. The methods include providing a composition comprising one or more peptides of ApoB-100 or derivatives, pharmaceutical equivalents, peptidomimetics or analogs thereof; and administering an effective amount of the composition to the subject, so as to treat, inhibit, reduce the severity of, slow progression of and/or promote prophylaxis of the disease-state in the subject. In one embodiment, the disease-state is systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In another embodiment, the disease-state is cardiovascular disease. In a further embodiment, the disease-state is cardiovascular disease in the subject with SLE.

[0007] Also provided herein are methods for treating, inhibiting, preventing, reducing the severity of, slowing progression of, and/or promoting prophylaxis of a disease-state in a subject in need thereof. The methods include providing a composition comprising CD8+ T cells activated with one or more peptides of ApoB-100 or derivatives, pharmaceutical equivalents, peptidomimetics or analogs thereof and (b) administering an effective amount of the composition to the subject, so as to treat, inhibit, reduce the severity of, slow progression of and/or promote prophylaxis of the disease-state in the subject. In one embodiment, the disease-state is systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In another embodiment, the disease-state is cardiovascular disease. In a further embodiment, the disease-state is cardiovascular disease in the subject with SLE.

[0008] In various embodiments of the methods described herein, the peptides of ApoB-100 are any one or more of peptides 1 to 302 of ApoB-100 as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 1 to SEQ ID NO: 302. In one embodiment, the peptide of ApoB-100 is P210 (SEQ ID NO: 210). In another embodiment, the peptide of ApoB-100 is P45 (SEQ ID NO: 45). In some embodiments, the peptides of ApoB-100 are fused to cholera toxin B (CTB). In one embodiment, P210 is fused to CTB. In another embodiment, P45 is fused to CTB.

[0009] Also provided herein are methods for diagnosing disease-states in a subject in need thereof. The methods include obtaining a sample from the subject; assaying the sample to determine the level of autoantibodies against ApoB-100; and determining that the subject has increased likelihood of having the disease if the level of the autoantibodies is decreased relative to a reference value, or determining that the subject has decreased likelihood of having the disease if the level of autoantibodies is increased relative to a reference value. In one embodiment, the disease-state is SLE. In another embodiment, the disease-state is cardiovascular disease. In a further embodiment, the disease-state is cardiovascular disease in subject with SLE.

[0010] Further provided herein are assays for determining the efficacy of treatment for a disease in a subject in need thereof. The assays comprise obtaining a sample from the subject; assaying the sample to determine the level of autoantibodies against ApoB-100; and determining that the treatment is effective if the level of the autoantibodies is increased relative to a reference value, or determining that the treatment is ineffective if the level of autoantibodies is decreases relative to a reference value. In one embodiment, the disease is cardiovascular disease in subject with SLE. In another embodiment, the disease is SLE. In a further embodiment, the disease is cardiovascular disease.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] Exemplary embodiments are illustrated in referenced figures. It is intended that the embodiments and figures disclosed herein are to be considered illustrative rather than restrictive.

[0012] FIG. 1 depicts in accordance with various embodiments of the invention, body weight measurements for the duration of the study described in Example 1. Values=averages+/-SEM.

[0013] FIG. 2 depicts in accordance with various embodiments of the invention, food consumption measurements for the duration of the study. Values=averages+/-SEM.

[0014] FIG. 3 depicts in accordance with various embodiments of the invention, significant increase in oxPL with CVX-12 administration in gld.apoE.sup.-/- mice on normal diet. Biotinylated ApoB (biot.ApoB), biotinylated antibody to oxidized phospholipids (biot.E06) and oxidized phospholipid/apoB100 (OxPL/ApoB) in Example 1 for PBS, Alum, and CVX-12 groups.

[0015] FIG. 4 depicts in accordance with various embodiments of the invention, anti-nuclear antibody reactivity detected in Example 1. Values correspond to the maximum serum dilution at which ANA reactivity is detectable, where 1=1:100, 2=1:1000, 4=1:10000, 6=1:30000, and 8=1:90000.

[0016] FIG. 5 depicts in accordance with various embodiments of the invention, serum anti-cardiolipin antibody reactivity. Anti-cardiolipin antibodies in serum of gld.apoE-/- mice on normal diet.

[0017] FIG. 6A-FIG. 6D depict in accordance with various embodiments of the invention, atherosclerotic plaque coverage of en face aorta. Atherosclerotic lesion coverage is represented as a percentage of total en face aortic area (plaque covered area/total area). Aorta plaque measurements are apoE-/- (FIG. 6A), gld (FIG. 6B), gld.apoE-/- on normal diet (FIG. 6C), and gld.apoE-/- on western diet (FIG. 6D).

[0018] FIG. 7A-FIG. 7C depicts in accordance with various embodiments of the invention described in example 1, atherosclerotic lesion area in aortic roots. Oil-red-O-stained cross-sections of aortic roots from apoE (FIG. 7A), gld.apoE normal diet (FIG. 7B), and gld.apoE western diet (FIG. 7C) mice. Representative images of each treatment group (PBS, Alum, and CVX-12) and a measurement of cross-sectional plaque area (mm.sup.2) are shown. P<0.05 for apoE.sup.-/--Alum (*) and apoE.sup.-/--CVX-12 (*) compared to apoE.sup.-/--PBS.

[0019] FIG. 8 depicts in accordance with various embodiments of the invention described in example 1, spleen and lymph node weights at sacrifice. Values=averages.+-.SEM. P=0.017 for gld treated with CVX-12 versus gld treated with PBS and P=0.002 for rosiglitazone versus normal diet gld.apoE-/- treated with PBS (*).

[0020] FIG. 9 depicts in accordance with various embodiments of the invention described in example 1, glomerular tuft size in lupus mouse models. Arrows designate glomerular tufts. Size of tuft area is measured by pixel count. SEM is shown.

[0021] FIG. 10A-FIG. 10C depict in accordance with various embodiments of the invention, that death receptors ligands induces the release of soluble death receptors in cell supernatant. The levels of the soluble death receptors (FIG. 10A) TRAILR2, (FIG. 10B) Fas and (FIG. 10C) TNFR1 obtained from cell supernatant from freshly cultured healthy donor PBMC treated with IL-1.beta. (10 ng/ml), soluble Fas ligand (0.5 .mu.g/ml), TNF (10 ng/ml) or LPS (10 .mu.g/ml).

[0022] FIG. 11A-FIG. 11F depicts in accordance with various embodiments of the invention, that treatment of PBMC with soluble Fas ligand does not activate apoptosis as extensively in SLE patients as in controls. The levels of the soluble death receptors (FIG. 11A) FAS (FIG. 11B) TRAIL and (FIG. 11C) TNFR1. (FIG. 11D) Peripheral blood mononuclear cells gated in the forward and site scatter lymphocyte gate shown as (FIG. 11E) early apoptotic lymphocytic cells (Annexin.sup.+/7-AAD.sup.-) and (FIG. 11F) late apoptotic lymphocytic cells (Annexin.sup.+/7-AAD.sup.+) after treatment with soluble Fas ligand (2.5 .mu.g/ml).

[0023] FIG. 12 depicts in accordance with various embodiments of the invention, a flow chart showing the recruitment of the Malmo Diet and Cancer cardiovascular cohort and the study participants of Example 3. See, *1. Manjer J, Elmstahl S, Janzon L, Berglund G. Invitation to a population-based cohort study: differences between subjects recruited using various strategies. Scand J Public Health. 2002;30(2):103-112. 2. Manjer J, Carlsson S, Elmstahl S, Gullberg B, Janzon L, Lindstrom M, Mattisson I, Berglund G. The Malmo Diet and Cancer study: representativity, cancer incidence and mortality in participants and non-participants. Eur J Cancer Prey. 2001 Dec;10(6):489-499.

[0024] FIG. 13A-FIG. 13E depicts in accordance with various embodiments of the invention, coronary event-free survival of autoantibody tertiles recognizing the apolipoprotein B-100 (apoB-100) peptides p45 and p210 during a 15-year follow-up. Kaplan-Meier event-free survival curves of tertiles of autoantibodies to apoB-100 peptides p45 and p210 revealed a significant positive linear trend showing lower incidence of coronary events with increasing autoantibody levels. Tertiles of IgM-p45.sub.native (FIG. 13A) IgM-p45.sub.MDA, (FIG. 13B) IgM-p210.sub.native, (FIG. 13C) IgM-p210.sub.MDA, (FIG. 13D) and IgG-p210.sub.native, (FIG. 13E) Log rank (Mantel Cox)] tests were used to calculate P for linear trends.

[0025] FIG. 14 depicts in accordance with various embodiments of the invention, one-dimensional box-plots showing median and 95% confidence interval for p45 immunoglobulin (Ig)M, malondialdehyde (M)A)-p45 IgM, p210 IgG and MDA-p210 IgG in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients with and without cardiovascular disease (CVD).

[0026] FIG. 15A-FIG. 15G depicts in accordance with various embodiments of the invention, plaque composition and features in aortic arch sections of MRL/lpr/Apoe.sup.-/- mice after treatment with PBS, CVX-14 or Adjuphos. Oil Red O lipid staining fraction of aortic arch (FIG. 15A), plaque area (FIG. 15B), and CD68 fraction (FIG. 15C- FIG. 15D) in PBS, CVX-14 or Adjuphos treated groups. Carotid artery mRNA gene expression of FOXP3 (FIG. 15E), TGF-.beta. (FIG. 15F) and TNF-.alpha. (FIG. 15G).

[0027] FIG. 16A-FIG. 16E depict in accordance with various embodiments of the invention, assessment of immune cells with flow cytometry after treatment of MRL/lpr/Apoe.sup.-/- mice with PBS, CVX-14 or Adjuphos. Splenocytes amount of regulatory T cells (CD25+Foxp3+CD3+CD4+ cells, FIG. 16A), T helper cells (CD4+ CD3+cells, FIG. 16B), cytotoxic T cells (CD8+CD3+ cells, FIG. 16C), peripheral dendritic cells (B220+CD11c+, FIG. 16D) and monocytes (CD11b+CD115+, FIG. 16E) cell populations in treated mice.

[0028] FIG. 17 depicts, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention, atherosclerotic plaque development in the aortic arch of MRL/lpr/Apoe.sup.-/- mice. Lipid staining with Oil Red O after weekly repeatedly administered oral immunizations for ten weeks. Treatment groups PBS n=11, CTB 30m/ml n=13, p45-CTB 5m/ml n=13, p45-CTB 15m/ml n=10 and p45-CTB 30m/ml n=12. Statistical analysis was performed using One-way ANOVA with Sidak's multiple comparison test, comparing to PBS and CTB where "p<0.01. Each point represents one mouse.

[0029] FIG. 18A-FIG. 18I depict, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention, splenocyte phenotype assessment with flow cytometry after treatment of MRL/lpr/Apoe.sup.-/- mice with PBS, CTB 30 .mu.g/ml, 45-CTB 5, 15 and 30 .mu.m/ml. Splenocyte percentage of (FIG. 18A) T helper cells (CD3.sup.+CD4.sup.+), (FIG. 18B) cytolytic T cells (CD3.sup.+CD8.sup.+), (FIG. 18C) T helper central memory cells (CD4.sup.+CD62L.sup.+CD44.sup.int-hi), (FIG. 18D) T helper effector cells (CD4.sup.+CD62.sup.-CD44.sup.hi), (FIG. 18E) naive T helper cells (CD4.sup.+CD62L.sup.+CD44.sup.lo), (FIG. 18F) regulatory T cells (CD3.sup.+CD4.sup.+CD25.sup.+FoxP3.sup.+), (FIG. 18G) central memory cytolytic T cells (CD8.sup.+CD62L.sup.+CD44.sup.int-hi), (FIG. 18H) cytolytic effector T cells (CD8.sup.+CD62.sup.-CD44.sup.hi) and (FIG. 18I) naive cytolytic T cells)(CD8.sup.+CD62L.sup.+CD44.sup.lo). Statistical analysis was performed using One-way ANOVA with Sidak's multiple comparison test, comparing to PBS and CTB where *p<0.05, **p<0.01 and ***p<0.001. Each point represents one mouse.

[0030] FIG. 19A-FIG. 19I depicts, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention, lymph node cell phenotype assessment with flow cytometry after treatment of MRL/lpr/Apoe.sup.-/- mice with PBS, CTB 30 .mu.g/ml, p45-CTB 5, 15 and 30 .mu.g/ml. Splenocyte percentage of (FIG. 19A) T helper cells (CD3.sup.+CD4.sup.+), (FIG. 19B) cytolytic T cells (CD3.sup.+CD8.sup.+), (FIG. 19C) T helper central memory cells (CD4.sup.+CD62L.sup.+CD44.sup.int-hi), (FIG. 19D) T helper effector cells (CD4.sup.+CD62.sup.-CD44.sup.hi), (FIG. 19E) naive T helper cells (CD4.sup.+CD62L.sup.+CD44.sup.lo), (FIG. 19F) regulatory T cells (CD3.sup.+CD4.sup.+CD25.sup.+FoxP3.sup.+), (FIG. 19G) central memory cytolytic T cells (CD8.sup.+CD62L.sup.+CD44.sup.int-hi), (FIG. 19H) cytolytic effector T cells (CD8.sup.+CD62.sup.-CD44.sup.hin) and (FIG. 19I) naive cytolytic T cells)(CD8.sup.+CD62L.sup.+CD44.sup.1.degree. . Statistical analysis was performed using One-way ANOVA with Sidak's multiple comparison test, comparing to PBS and CTB where *p<0.05, **p<0.01 and ***p<0.001. Each point represents one mouse.

[0031] FIG. 20 depicts, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention, flow cytometry analysis of blood from MRL/lpr/Apoe.sup.-/- mice at treatment day 42 of 56. Blood regulatory T cell (CD3+CD4+CD25+FoxP3+) percentages during treatment. Treatment groups PBS n=11, CTB 30 .mu.g/ml n=13, p45-CTB 5 .mu.g/ml n=12, n=9 and p45-CTB 30 .mu.g/ml n=11. Due to technical difficulties one mouse in p45-CTB 5 .mu.g/ml, one mouse in p45-CTB 15 .mu.g/ml and two mice in p45-CTB 30 .mu.g/ml groups were excluded.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0032] All references cited herein are incorporated by reference in their entirety as though fully set forth. Unless defined otherwise, technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. Allen et al., Remington: The Science and Practice of Pharmacy 22.sup.nd ed., Pharmaceutical Press (Sep. 15, 2012); Hornyak et al., Introduction to Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, CRC Press (2008); Singleton and Sainsbury, Dictionary of Microbiology and Molecular Biology 3.sup.rd ed., revised ed., J. Wiley & Sons (New York, N.Y. 2006); Smith, March's Advanced Organic Chemistry Reactions, Mechanisms and Structure 7.sup.th ed., J. Wiley & Sons (New York, N.Y. 2013); Singleton, Dictionary of DNA and Genome Technology 3.sup.rd ed., Wiley-Blackwell (Nov. 28, 2012); and Green and Sambrook, Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual 4th ed., Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. 2012), provide one skilled in the art with a general guide to many of the terms used in the present application. For references on how to prepare antibodies, see Greenfield, Antibodies A Laboratory Manual 2.sup.nd ed., Cold Spring Harbor Press (Cold Spring Harbor N.Y., 2013); Kohler and Milstein, Derivation of specific antibody-producing tissue culture and tumor lines by cell fusion, Eur. J. Immunol. 1976 Jul., 6(7):511-9; Queen and Selick, Humanized immunoglobulins, U.S. Pat. No. 5,585,089 (1996 Dec); and Riechmann et al., Reshaping human antibodies for therapy, Nature 1988 Mar. 24, 332(6162):323-7.

[0033] One skilled in the art will recognize many methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein, which could be used in the practice of the present invention. Other features and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, various features of embodiments of the invention. Indeed, the present invention is in no way limited to the methods and materials described. For convenience, certain terms employed herein, in the specification, examples and appended claims are collected here.

[0034] Unless stated otherwise, or implicit from context, the following terms and phrases include the meanings provided below. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, or apparent from context, the terms and phrases below do not exclude the meaning that the term or phrase has acquired in the art to which it pertains. The definitions are provided to aid in describing particular embodiments, and are not intended to limit the claimed invention, because the scope of the invention is limited only by the claims. Unless otherwise defined, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs.

[0035] As used herein the term "comprising" or "comprises" is used in reference to compositions, methods, and respective component(s) thereof, that are useful to an embodiment, yet open to the inclusion of unspecified elements, whether useful or not. It will be understood by those within the art that, in general, terms used herein are generally intended as "open" terms (e.g., the term "including" should be interpreted as "including but not limited to," the term "having" should be interpreted as "having at least," the term "includes" should be interpreted as "includes but is not limited to," etc.).

[0036] "Administering" and/or "administer" as used herein refer to any route for delivering a pharmaceutical composition to a patient. Routes of delivery may include non-invasive peroral (through the mouth), topical (skin), transmucosal (nasal, buccal/sublingual, vaginal, ocular and rectal) and inhalation routes, as well as parenteral routes, and other methods known in the art. Parenteral refers to a route of delivery that is generally associated with injection, including intraorbital, infusion, intraarterial, intracarotid, intracapsular, intracardiac, intradermal, intramuscular, intraperitoneal, intrapulmonary, intraspinal, intrasternal, intrathecal, intrauterine, intravenous, subarachnoid, subcapsular, subcutaneous, transmucosal, or transtracheal. Via the parenteral route, the compositions may be in the form of solutions or suspensions for infusion or for injection, or as lyophilized powders.

[0037] "Beneficial results" may include, but are in no way limited to, lessening or alleviating the severity of the disease condition, preventing the disease condition from worsening, curing the disease condition, preventing the disease condition from developing, lowering the chances of a patient developing the disease condition and/or prolonging a patient's life or life expectancy. In some embodiments, the disease condition is SLE.

[0038] The term "effective amount" as used herein refers to the amount of a pharmaceutical composition comprising one or more peptides as disclosed herein or a mutant, variant, analog or derivative thereof, to decrease at least one or more symptom of the disease or disorder, and relates to a sufficient amount of pharmacological composition to provide the desired effect. The phrase "therapeutically effective amount" as used herein means a sufficient amount of the composition to treat a disorder, at a reasonable benefit/risk ratio applicable to any medical treatment.

[0039] A therapeutically or prophylactically significant reduction in a symptom is, e.g. at least about 10%, at least about 20%, at least about 30%, at least about 40%, at least about 50%, at least about 60%, at least about 70%, at least about 80%, at least about 90%, at least about 100%, at least about 125%, at least about 150% or more in a measured parameter as compared to a control or non-treated subject or the state of the subject prior to administering the peptides described herein. Measured or measurable parameters include clinically detectable markers of disease, for example, elevated or depressed levels of a biological marker, as well as parameters related to a clinically accepted scale of symptoms or markers for atherosclerosis. It will be understood, however, that the total daily usage of the compositions and formulations as disclosed herein will be decided by the attending physician within the scope of sound medical judgment. The exact amount required will vary depending on factors such as the type of disease being treated, gender, age, and weight of the subject.

[0040] "Subject" or "individual" or "animal" or "patient" or "mammal," is meant any subject, particularly a mammalian subject, for whom diagnosis, prognosis, or therapy is desired. Mammalian subjects include, but are not limited to, humans, domestic animals, farm animals, zoo animals, sport animals, pet animals such as dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, rats, mice, horses, cattle, cows; primates such as apes, monkeys, orangutans, and chimpanzees; canids such as dogs and wolves; felids such as cats, lions, and tigers; equids such as horses, donkeys, and zebras; food animals such as cows, pigs, and sheep; ungulates such as deer and giraffes; rodents such as mice, rats, hamsters and guinea pigs; and so on. In certain embodiments, the mammal is a human subject.

[0041] "Treatment" and "treating," as used herein refer to both therapeutic treatment and prophylactic or preventative measures, wherein the object is to prevent or slow down (lessen) the targeted pathologic condition, prevent the pathologic condition, pursue or obtain beneficial results, or lower the chances of the individual developing the condition even if the treatment is ultimately unsuccessful. Those in need of treatment include those already with the condition as well as those prone to have the condition or those in whom the condition is to be prevented.

[0042] "Patient outcome" refers to whether a patient survives or dies as a result of treatment. A more accurate prognosis for patients as provided in this invention increases the chances of patient survival.

[0043] "Poor Prognosis" means that the prospect of survival and recovery of disease is unlikely despite the standard of care for the treatment of the cancer (for example, lung cancer), that is, surgery, radiation, chemotherapy. Poor prognosis is the category of patients whose survival is less than that of the median survival.

[0044] "Good Prognosis" means that the prospect of survival and recovery of disease is likely with the standard of care for the treatment of the disease, for example, surgery, radiation, chemotherapy. Good prognosis is the category of patients whose survival is not less than that of the median survival.

[0045] "Pharmaceutically acceptable carriers" as used herein refer to conventional pharmaceutically acceptable carriers useful in this invention.

[0046] The term "fusion protein" as used herein indicates a protein created through the attaching of two or more polypeptides which originated from separate proteins. In particular fusion proteins can be created by recombinant DNA technology and are typically used in biological research or therapeutics. Fusion proteins can also be created through chemical covalent conjugation with or without a linker between the polypeptides portion of the fusion proteins.

[0047] The term "attach" or "attached" as used herein, refers to connecting or uniting by a bond, link, force or tie in order to keep two or more components together, which encompasses either direct or indirect attachment such that for example where a first polypeptide is directly bound to a second polypeptide or material, and the embodiments wherein one or more intermediate compounds, and in particular polypeptides, are disposed between the first polypeptide and the second polypeptide or material.

[0048] The term "protein" or "polypeptide" as used herein indicates an organic polymer composed of two or more amino acid monomers and/or analogs thereof. The term "polypeptide" includes amino acid polymers of any length including full length proteins and peptides, as well as analogs and fragments thereof. A polypeptide of three or more amino acids is also called an oligopeptide. As used herein the term "amino acid", "amino acidic monomer", or "amino acid residue" refers to any of the twenty naturally occurring amino acids including synthetic amino acids with unnatural side chains and including both D and L optical isomers. The term "amino acid analog" refers to an amino acid in which one or more individual atoms have been replaced, either with a different atom, isotope, or with a different functional group but is otherwise identical to its natural amino acid analog

[0049] "Peptidomimetic" as used herein is a small protein-like chain designed to mimic a protein function. They may be modifications of an existing peptide or newly designed to mimic known peptides. They may be, for example peptoids and/or .beta.-peptides and/or D-peptides.

[0050] "Recombinant virus" refers to a virus that has been genetically altered (e.g., by the addition or insertion of a heterologous nucleic acid construct into the particle).

[0051] A "gene" or "coding sequence" or a sequence which "encodes" a particular protein or peptide is a nucleic acid molecule that is transcribed (in the case of DNA) and translated (in the case of mRNA) into a polypeptide in vitro or in vivo when placed under the control of appropriate regulatory sequences. The boundaries of the gene are determined by a start codon at the 5' (i.e., amino) terminus and a translation stop codon at the 3' (i.e., carboxy) terminus. A gene can include, but is not limited to, cDNA from prokaryotic or eukaryotic mRNA, genomic DNA sequences from prokaryotic or eukaryotic DNA, and even synthetic DNA sequences. A transcription termination sequence will usually be located 3' to the gene sequence.

[0052] The term "control elements" refers collectively to promoter regions, polyadenylation signals, transcription termination sequences, upstream regulatory domains, origins of replication, internal ribosome entry sites ("IRES"), enhancers, and the like, which collectively provide for the replication, transcription and translation of a coding sequence in a recipient cell. Not all of these control elements need always be present, so long as the selected coding sequence is capable of being replicated, transcribed and translated in an appropriate host cell.

[0053] The term "promoter region" is used herein in its ordinary sense to refer to a nucleotide region including a DNA regulatory sequence, wherein the regulatory sequence is derived from a gene which is capable of binding RNA polymerase and initiating transcription of a downstream (3'-direction) coding sequence.

[0054] "Operably linked" refers to an arrangement of elements wherein the components so described are configured so as to perform their usual function. Thus, control elements operably linked to a coding sequence are capable of effecting the expression of the coding sequence. The control elements need not be contiguous with the coding sequence, so long as they function to direct the expression thereof. Thus, for example, intervening untranslated yet transcribed sequences can be present between a promoter sequence and the coding sequence and the promoter sequence can still be considered "operably linked" to the coding sequence.

[0055] "Gene transfer" or "gene delivery" refers to methods or systems for reliably inserting foreign DNA into host cells. Such methods can result in transient expression of non-integrated transferred DNA, extrachromosomal replication and expression of transferred replicons (e.g., episomes), or integration of transferred genetic material into the genomic DNA of host cells. Gene transfer provides a unique approach for the treatment of acquired and inherited diseases. A number of systems have been developed for gene transfer into mammalian cells. See, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 5,399,346. Examples of well-known vehicles for gene transfer include adenovirus and recombinant adenovirus (RAd), adeno-associated virus (AAV), herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), and lentivirus (LV).

[0056] "Genetically modified cells", "genetically engineered cells", or "modified cells" as used herein refer to cells that express the polynucleotide having the sequence of any one or more SEQ ID Nos: 1-302 or combinations thereof or variants, derivatives, pharmaceutical equivalents, peptidomimetics or analogs thereof. In one embodiment, the cell express the polynucleotide having the sequence of SEQ ID NO: 210 or a variant, derivative, pharmaceutical equivalent, peptidomimetic or an analog thereof.

[0057] "Naked DNA" as used herein refers to DNA encoding a polypeptide having the sequence of any one or more of SEQ ID Nos: 1-302 or a combination thereof, or a variant, derivative, pharmaceutical equivalent, peptidomimetic or an analog thereof, cloned in a suitable expression vector in proper orientation for expression. Viral vectors which may be used include but are not limited SIN lentiviral vectors, retroviral vectors, foamy virus vectors, adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors, hybrid vectors and/or plasmid transposons (for example sleeping beauty transposon system) or integrase based vector systems. Other vectors that may be used in connection with alternate embodiments of the invention will be apparent to those of skill in the art.

[0058] "Polynucleotide" as used herein includes but is not limited to DNA, RNA, cDNA (complementary DNA), mRNA (messenger RNA), rRNA (ribosomal RNA), shRNA (small hairpin RNA), snRNA (small nuclear RNA), snoRNA (short nucleolar RNA), miRNA (microRNA), genomic DNA, synthetic DNA, synthetic RNA, and/or tRNA.

[0059] The term "transfection" is used herein to refer to the uptake of foreign DNA by a cell. A cell has been "transfected" when exogenous DNA has been introduced inside the cell membrane. A number of transfection techniques are generally known in the art. See, e.g., Graham et al. Virology, 52:456 (1973); Sambrook et al. Molecular Cloning, a laboratory manual, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, New York (1989); Davis et al., Basic Methods in Molecular Biology, Elsevier (1986), and Chu et al. Gene 13:197 (1981). Such techniques can be used to introduce one or more exogenous DNA moieties, such as a plasmid vector and other nucleic acid molecules, into suitable host cells. The term refers to both stable and transient uptake of the genetic material.

[0060] "Vector", "cloning vector" and "expression vector" as used herein refer to the vehicle by which a polynucleotide sequence (e.g. a foreign gene) can be introduced into a host cell, so as to transform the host and promote expression (e.g. transcription and translation) of the introduced sequence. Vectors include plasmids, phages, viruses, etc.

Therapeutic Methods

[0061] Provided herein are methods for treating, inhibiting, preventing, reducing the severity of, slowing progression of and/or promoting prophylaxis of SLE in a subject in need thereof. The methods include providing one or more peptides of ApoB-100 or derivatives, pharmaceutical equivalents, peptidomimetics or analogs thereof and administering a therapeutically or prophylactically effective amount of the one or more peptides to the subject so as to treat, inhibit, reduce the severity of and/or promote prophylaxis of SLE in the subject. In some embodiments, the subject with SLE is diagnosed with or is suspected of having cardiovascular disease. In some embodiments, the one or more peptides of ApoB-100 are peptides having sequences set forth in SEQ ID Nos: 1-302 or as described in Table 1. In some embodiments, the one or more peptides of ApoB-100 are immunogenic fragments of the peptides set forth in SEQ ID Nos 1-302 or as described in Table 1. In some embodiments, the ApoB-100 peptides for uses in the therapeutic methods described herein are administered sequentially or simultaneously with antibodies specific to ApoB-100. In exemplary embodiments, the antibodies comprise, consist of or consist essentially of the sequence set forth in SEQ ID NOs: 303 and/or 304. In some embodiments, the peptides described herein are administered sequentially or simultaneously with existing treatments for SLE. In some embodiments, the antibodies described herein are administered sequentially or simultaneously with existing treatments for SLE. In some embodiments, the peptides and antibodies described herein are administered sequentially or simultaneously with existing treatments for SLE. In some embodiments, the one or more peptides of ApoB-100 are administrated to the subject 1-3 times per day or 1-7 times per week. In some embodiments, the one or more peptides of ApoB-100 are administrated to the subject for 1-5 days, 1-5 weeks, 1-5 months, or 1-5 years. In one embodiment, the ApoB-100 peptide for use in the therapeutic methods described herein is the peptide P210 having the sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 210, or a derivative, pharmaceutical equivalent, peptidomimetic or analog thereof. In one embodiment, the ApoB-100 peptide for use in the therapeutic methods described herein is the peptide P45 having the sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 45, or a derivative, pharmaceutical equivalent, peptidomimetic or analog thereof. In some embodiments, the ApoB-100 peptide for use in the therapeutic methods described herein are fused to CTB. In one embodiment, the ApoB-100 peptide for use in the therapeutic methods described herein is the peptide P210 having the sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 210, or a derivative, pharmaceutical equivalent, peptidomimetic or analog thereof and is fused to CTB (P210-CTB). In one embodiment, the ApoB-100 peptide for use in the therapeutic methods described herein is the peptide P45 having the sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 45, or a derivative, pharmaceutical equivalent, peptidomimetic or analog thereof and is fused to CTB (P45-CTB).

[0062] Also provided herein are methods for treating, inhibiting, preventing, reducing the severity of, slowing progression of and/or promoting prophylaxis of cardiovascular diseases in a subject in need thereof. The methods include providing one or more peptides of ApoB-100 or derivatives, pharmaceutical equivalents, peptidomimetics or analogs thereof and administering a therapeutically or prophylactically effective amount of the one or more peptides to the subject so as to treat, inhibit, reduce the severity of and/or promote prophylaxis of cardiovascular disease in the subject. In some embodiments, the subject with cardiovascular disease is diagnosed with or is suspected of having SLE. In some embodiments, the one or more peptides of ApoB-100 are peptides having sequences set forth in SEQ ID Nos: 1-302 or as described in Table 1. In some embodiments, the one or more peptides of ApoB-100 are immunogenic fragments of the peptides set forth in SEQ ID Nos 1-302 or as described in Table 1. In some embodiments, the ApoB-100 peptides for uses in the therapeutic methods described herein are administered sequentially or simultaneously with antibodies specific to ApoB-100. In exemplary embodiments, the antibodies comprise the sequence set forth in SEQ ID NOs: 303 and/or 304. In some embodiments, the peptides described herein are administered sequentially or simultaneously with treatments for SLE. In some embodiments, the antibodies described herein are administered sequentially or simultaneously with treatments for SLE. In some embodiments, the peptides and antibodies described herein are administered sequentially or simultaneously with treatments for SLE. In various embodiments, the ApoB-100 peptides described herein or derivatives, pharmaceutical equivalents, peptidomimetics or analogs thereof are administrated to the subject before, during, or after the subject having or suspected of having SLE develops the cardiovascular disease. In some embodiments, the one or more peptides of ApoB-100 are administrated to the subject 1-3 times per day or 1-7 times per week. In some embodiments, the one or more peptides of ApoB-100 are administrated to the subject for 1-5 days, 1-5 weeks, 1-5 months, or 1-5 years. In one embodiment, the ApoB-100 peptide for use in the therapeutic methods described herein is the peptide P210 having the sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 210, or a derivative, pharmaceutical equivalent, peptidomimetic or analog thereof. In some embodiments, the methods described herein further comprise co-administering, either simultaneously or sequentially, existing therapies for atherosclerosis with the peptides described herein. In one embodiment, the ApoB-100 peptide for use in the therapeutic methods described herein is the peptide P45 having the sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 45, or a derivative, pharmaceutical equivalent, peptidomimetic or analog thereof. In some embodiments, the ApoB-100 peptide for use in the therapeutic methods described herein are fused to CTB. In one embodiment, the ApoB-100 peptide for use in the therapeutic methods described herein is the peptide P210 having the sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 210, or a derivative, pharmaceutical equivalent, peptidomimetic or analog thereof and is fused to CTB (P210-CTB). In one embodiment, the ApoB-100 peptide for use in the therapeutic methods described herein is the peptide P45 having the sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 45, or a derivative, pharmaceutical equivalent, peptidomimetic or analog thereof and is fused to CTB (P45-CTB).

[0063] Also provided herein are methods for treating, inhibiting, preventing, reducing the severity of, slowing progression of and/or promoting prophylaxis of cardiovascular diseases in subjects having SLE or suspected of having SLE. The methods include providing one or more peptides of ApoB-100 or derivatives, pharmaceutical equivalents, peptidomimetics or analogs thereof and administering a therapeutically or prophylactically effective amount of the one or more peptides to the subject so as to treat, inhibit, reduce the severity of and/or promote prophylaxis of SLE in the subject. In some embodiments, the one or more peptides of ApoB-100 are peptides having sequences set forth in SEQ ID Nos: 1-302 or as described in Table 1. In some embodiments, the one or more peptides of ApoB-100 are immunogenic fragments of the peptides set forth in SEQ ID Nos 1-302 or as described in Table 1. In some embodiments, the ApoB-100 peptides for uses in the therapeutic methods described herein are administered sequentially or simultaneously with antibodies specific to ApoB-100. In exemplary embodiments, the antibodies comprise the sequence set forth in SEQ ID NOs: 303 and/or 304. In some embodiments, the peptides described herein are administered sequentially or simultaneously with existing treatments for SLE. In some embodiments, the antibodies described herein are administered sequentially or simultaneously with existing treatments for SLE. In some embodiments, the peptides and antibodies described herein are administered sequentially or simultaneously with existing treatments for SLE. In some embodiments, the one or more peptides of ApoB-100 are administrated to the subject 1-3 times per day or 1-7 times per week. In some embodiments, the one or more peptides of ApoB-100 are administrated to the subject for 1-5 days, 1-5 weeks, 1-5 months, or 1-5 years. In one embodiment, the ApoB-100 peptide for use in the therapeutic methods described herein is the peptide P210 having the sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 210, or a derivative, pharmaceutical equivalent, peptidomimetic or analog thereof. In one embodiment, the ApoB-100 peptide for use in the therapeutic methods described herein is the peptide P45 having the sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 45, or a derivative, pharmaceutical equivalent, peptidomimetic or analog thereof. In some embodiments, the ApoB-100 peptide for use in the therapeutic methods described herein are fused to CTB. In one embodiment, the ApoB-100 peptide for use in the therapeutic methods described herein is the peptide P210 having the sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 210, or a derivative, pharmaceutical equivalent, peptidomimetic or analog thereof and is fused to CTB (P210-CTB). In one embodiment, the ApoB-100 peptide for use in the therapeutic methods described herein is the peptide P45 having the sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 45, or a derivative, pharmaceutical equivalent, peptidomimetic or analog thereof and is fused to CTB (P45-CTB).

[0064] Further provided herein are methods for treating, inhibiting, preventing, reducing the severity of, slowing progression of and/or promoting prophylaxis of SLE in a subject in need thereof. The methods include providing CD8+ T cells activated with one or more peptides of ApoB-100 or derivatives, pharmaceutical equivalents, peptidomimetics or analogs thereof and administering a therapeutically or prophylactically effective amount of the one or more peptides to the subject so as to treat, inhibit, reduce the severity of and/or promote prophylaxis of SLE in the subject. In some embodiments, the subject with SLE has or is suspected of having cardiovascular disease. In some embodiments, the one or more peptides of ApoB-100 are peptides having sequences set forth in SEQ ID Nos: 1-302 or as described in Table 1. In some embodiments, the one or more peptides of ApoB-100 are immunogenic fragments of the peptides set forth in SEQ ID Nos 1-302 or as described in Table 1. In some embodiments, the CD8+ T cells activated with the ApoB-100 peptides for uses in the therapeutic methods described herein are administered sequentially or simultaneously with antibodies specific to ApoB-100. In exemplary embodiments, the antibodies comprise the sequence set forth in SEQ ID NOs: 303 and/or 304. In some embodiments, the CD8+ T cells activated with the ApoB-100 peptides described herein are administered sequentially or simultaneously with existing treatments for SLE. In some embodiments, the antibodies described herein are administered sequentially or simultaneously with existing treatments for SLE. In some embodiments, the CD8+ T cells activated with the ApoB-100 peptides and the antibodies described herein are administered sequentially or simultaneously with existing treatments for SLE. In some embodiments, the CD8+ T cells activated with the ApoB-100 peptides or derivatives, pharmaceutical equivalents, peptidomimetics or analogs thereof are administrated to the subject 1-3 times per day or 1-7 times per week. In some embodiments, the CD8+ T cells activated with the ApoB-100 peptides or derivatives, pharmaceutical equivalents, peptidomimetics or analogs thereof are administrated to the subject for 1-5 days, 1-5 weeks, 1-5 months, or 1-5 years. In one embodiment, the CD8 30 T cells are activated with the peptide P210 having the sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 210, or a derivative, pharmaceutical equivalent, peptidomimetic or analog thereof. In one embodiment, the CD8+ T cells are activated with the peptide P45 having the sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 45, or a derivative, pharmaceutical equivalent, peptidomimetic or analog thereof. In one embodiment, the CD8+ T cells are activated with the peptide P45 having the sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 45, or a derivative, pharmaceutical equivalent, peptidomimetic or analog thereof. In some embodiments, the methods described herein further comprise co-administering, either simultaneously or sequentially, existing therapies for SLE with the CD8+ T cells activated with the ApoB-100 peptides as described herein.

[0065] Also provided herein are methods for treating, inhibiting, preventing, reducing the severity of, slowing progression of and/or promoting prophylaxis of cardiovascular diseases in a subject in need thereof. The methods include providing CD8+ T cells activated with one or more peptides of ApoB-100 or derivatives, pharmaceutical equivalents, peptidomimetics or analogs thereof and administering a therapeutically or prophylactically effective amount of the one or more peptides to the subject so as to treat, inhibit, reduce the severity of and/or promote prophylaxis of cardiovascular disease in the subject. In some embodiments, the subject with cardiovascular disease is diagnosed with or is suspected of having SLE. In some embodiments, the one or more peptides of ApoB-100 are peptides having sequences set forth in SEQ ID Nos: 1-302 or as described in Table 1. In some embodiments, the one or more peptides of ApoB-100 are immunogenic fragments of the peptides set forth in SEQ ID Nos 1-302 or as described in Table 1. In some embodiments, the CD8+ T cells activated with the ApoB-100 peptides for uses in the therapeutic methods described herein are administered sequentially or simultaneously with antibodies specific to ApoB-100. In exemplary embodiments, the antibodies comprise the sequence set forth in SEQ ID NOs: 303 and/or 304. In some embodiments, the CD8+ T cells activated with the ApoB-100 peptides described herein are administered sequentially or simultaneously with treatments for SLE. In some embodiments, the antibodies described herein are administered sequentially or simultaneously with treatments for SLE. In some embodiments, the CD8+ T cells activated with the ApoB-100 peptides and the antibodies described herein are administered sequentially or simultaneously with treatments for SLE. In various embodiments, the CD8+ T cells activated with the ApoB-100 peptides or derivatives, pharmaceutical equivalents, peptidomimetics or analogs thereof, are administrated to the subject before, during, or after the subject having or suspected of having SLE develops the cardiovascular disease. In some embodiments, the CD8+ T cells activated with the ApoB-100 peptides or derivatives, pharmaceutical equivalents, peptidomimetics or analogs thereof are administrated to the subject 1-3 times per day or 1-7 times per week. In some embodiments, the CD8+ T cells activated with the ApoB-100 peptides or derivatives, pharmaceutical equivalents, peptidomimetics or analogs thereof are administrated to the subject for 1-5 days, 1-5 weeks, 1-5 months, or 1-5 years. In one embodiment, the CD8+ T cells are activated with the peptide P210 having the sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 210, or a derivative, pharmaceutical equivalent, peptidomimetic or analog thereof. In some embodiments, the methods described herein further comprise co-administering, either simultaneously or sequentially, existing therapies for atherosclerosis with the peptides described herein. In one embodiment, the CD8+ T cells are activated with the peptide P45 having the sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 45, or a derivative, pharmaceutical equivalent, peptidomimetic or analog thereof.

[0066] As described herein, in some embodiments, the peptides and/or antibodies described herein are administered sequentially or simultaneously with treatments for SLE. In exemplary embodiments, existing treatments for SLE include but are not limited to systemic inflammation directed treatments (such as antimalarials-hydroxychloroquine, corticosteroids, cyclophosphamide, mycophenolate mofetil, azathioprine, methotrexate or combinations thereof), immune cell-targeted therapies (such as anti-CD20(rituximab), anti-CD22 (epratuzumab), abetimus (LJP-394), belimumab, atacicept), agents that target co-stimulatory pathways, anti-cytokine therapies, memantine, ntravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), DNA vaccinations, or combinations thereof. In exemplary embodiments, existing treatments for atherosclerosis include but are not limited to statins, anti-platelet agents, beta blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, surgery (such as angioplasty and stent placement, fibrinolytic therapy, percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), carotid endarterectomy), or combinations thereof

[0067] In various embodiments, the therapeutically or prophylactically effective amount of any one or more of the ApoB-100 peptides and/or a combinations thereof, or analogs, pharmaceutical equivalents or a peptidomimetics thereof for use with the methods described herein is any one or more of about 0.01 to 0.05 .mu.g/kg/day, 0.05-0.1 .mu.g/kg/day, 0.1 to 0.5 .mu.g/kg/day, 0.5 to 5 .mu.g/kg/day, 0.5 to 1 .mu.g/kg/day, 1 to 5 .mu.g/kg/day, 5 to 10 .mu.g/kg/day, 10 to 20 .mu.g/kg/day, 20 to 50 .mu.g/kg/day, 50 to 100 .mu.g/kg/day, 100 to 150 .mu.g/kg/day, 150 to 200 .mu.g/kg/day, 200 to 250 .mu.g/kg/day, 250 to 300 .mu.g/kg/day, 300 to 350 .mu.g/kg/day, 350 to 400 .mu.g/kg/day, 400 to 500 .mu.g/kg/day, 500 to 600 .mu.g/kg/day, 600 to 700 .mu.g/kg/day, 700 to 800 .mu.g/kg/day, 800 to 900 .mu.g/kg/day, 900 to 1000 .mu.g/kg/day, 0.01 to 0.05 mg/kg/day, 0.05-0.1 mg/kg/day, 0.1 to 0.5 mg/kg/day, 0.5 to 1 mg/kg/day, 1 to 5 mg/kg/day, 5 to 10 mg/kg/day, 10 to 15 mg/kg/day, 15 to 20 mg/kg/day, 20 to 50 mg/kg/day, 50 to 100 mg/kg/day, 100 to 200 mg/kg/day, 200 to 300 mg/kg/day, 300 to 400 mg/kg/day, 400 to 500 mg/kg/day, 500 to 600 mg/kg/day, 600 to 700 mg/kg/day, 700 to 800 mg/kg/day, 800 to 900 mg/kg/day, 900 to 1000 mg/kg/day or a combination thereof. Typical dosages of the any one or more of the ApoB-100 peptides and/or a combinations thereof, or analogs, pharmaceutical equivalents or a peptidomimetics thereof can be in the ranges recommended by the manufacturer where known therapeutic compounds are used, and also as indicated to the skilled artisan by the in vitro responses or responses in animal models. Such dosages typically can be reduced by up to about an order of magnitude in concentration or amount without losing relevant biological activity. The actual dosage can depend upon the judgment of the physician, the condition of the patient, and the effectiveness of the therapeutic method based, for example, on the in vitro responsiveness of relevant cultured cells or histocultured tissue sample, such as biopsied malignant tumors, or the responses observed in the appropriate animal models. In various embodiments, the any one or more of the ApoB-100 peptides and/or a combinations thereof, or analogs, pharmaceutical equivalents or a peptidomimetics thereof may be administered once a day (SID/QD), twice a day (BID), three times a day (TID), four times a day (QID), or more, so as to administer an effective amount to the subject, where the effective amount is any one or more of the doses described herein.

[0068] In various embodiments, the therapeutically or prophylactically effective amount of the antibodies or fragments thereof specific to ApoB-100, for use with the methods described herein is any one or more of about 0.01 to 0.05 .mu.g/kg/day, 0.05-0.1 .mu.g/kg/day, 0.1 to 0.5 .mu.g/kg/day, 0.5 to 5 .mu.g/kg/day, 0.5 to 1 .mu.g/kg/day, 1 to 5 .mu.g/kg/day, 5 to 10 .mu.g/kg/day, 10 to 20 .mu.g/kg/day, 20 to 50 .mu.g/kg/day, 50 to 100 .mu.g/kg/day, 100 to 150 .mu.g/kg/day, 150 to 200 .mu.g/kg/day, 200 to 250 .mu.g/kg/day, 250 to 300 .mu.g/kg/day, 300 to 350 .mu.g/kg/day, 350 to 400 .mu.g/kg/day, 400 to 500 .mu.g/kg/day, 500 to 600 .mu.g/kg/day, 600 to 700 .mu.g/kg/day, 700 to 800 .mu.g/kg/day, 800 to 900 .mu.g/kg/day, 900 to 1000 .mu.g/kg/day, 0.01 to 0.05 mg/kg/day, 0.05-0.1 mg/kg/day, 0.1 to 0.5 mg/kg/day, 0.5 to 1 mg/kg/day, 1 to 5 mg/kg/day, 5 to 10 mg/kg/day, 10 to 15 mg/kg/day, 15 to 20 mg/kg/day, 20 to 50 mg/kg/day, 50 to 100 mg/kg/day, 100 to 200 mg/kg/day, 200 to 300 mg/kg/day, 300 to 400 mg/kg/day, 400 to 500 mg/kg/day, 500 to 600 mg/kg/day, 600 to 700 mg/kg/day, 700 to 800 mg/kg/day, 800 to 900 mg/kg/day, 900 to 1000 mg/kg/day or a combination thereof. Typical dosages of the antibodies can be in the ranges recommended by the manufacturer where known therapeutic compounds are used, and also as indicated to the skilled artisan by the in vitro responses or responses in animal models. Such dosages typically can be reduced by up to about an order of magnitude in concentration or amount without losing relevant biological activity. The actual dosage can depend upon the judgment of the physician, the condition of the patient, and the effectiveness of the therapeutic method based, for example, on the in vitro responsiveness of relevant cultured cells or histocultured tissue sample, such as biopsied malignant tumors, or the responses observed in the appropriate animal models. In various embodiments, the antibodies may be administered once a day (SID/QD), twice a day (BID), three times a day (TID), four times a day (QID), or more, so as to administer an effective amount to the subject, where the effective amount is any one or more of the doses described herein.

[0069] In various embodiments, the subject is selected from the group consisting of human, non-human primate, monkey, ape, dog, cat, cow, horse, rabbit, mouse and rat.

Diagnostic Methods

[0070] Further provided herein are assays for diagnosing SLE in a subject in need thereof. The assays include obtaining a sample from the subject; assaying the sample to determine the level of autoantibodies against ApoB-100; and determining that the subject has increased likelihood of SLE if the level of the autoantibodies is decreased relative to a reference value, or determining that the subject has decreased likelihood of SLE if the level of autoantibodies is increased relative to a reference value. In some embodiments, the method may further comprise selecting or prescribing a therapy for SLE.

[0071] Also provided herein are assays for determining likelihood of cardiovascular disease in a subject having or suspected of having SLE. The assays include obtaining a sample from the subject; assaying the sample to determine the level of autoantibodies against ApoB-100; and determining that the subject has increased likelihood of cardiovascular disease if the level of the autoantibodies is decreased relative to a reference value, or determining that the subject has decreased likelihood of cardiovascular disease if the level of autoantibodies is increased relative to a reference value. In some embodiments, the method may further comprise selecting or prescribing a therapy for cardiovascular disease.

[0072] Also provided herein are assays for determining the efficacy of treatment for SLE in a subject in need thereof. The assays include obtaining a sample from the subject undergoing treatment for SLE; assaying the sample to determine the level of autoantibodies against ApoB-100; and determining that the treatment is effective if the level of the autoantibodies is increased relative to a reference value, or determining that the treatment is ineffective if the level of autoantibodies is decreased or unchanged relative to a reference value.

[0073] Also provided herein are assays for determining the efficacy of treatment for cardiovascular diseases in subject with SLE. The assays include obtaining a sample from the subject undergoing treatment for cardiovascular diseases; assaying the sample to determine the level of autoantibodies against ApoB-100; and determining that the treatment is effective if the level of the autoantibodies is increased relative to a reference value, or determining that the treatment is ineffective if the level of autoantibodies is decreased or unchanged relative to a reference value.

[0074] Further provided herein is an assay for diagnosing SLE in a subject in need thereof. The assay includes obtaining a sample from the subject; assaying the sample to determine the level of soluble forms of the apoptosis-signaling receptors Fas, TNF-R1, and/or TRAIL-R2; and determining that the subject has increased likelihood of having SLE if the level of the said apoptosis-signaling receptors is increased relative to a reference value, or determining that the subject has decreased likelihood of having SLE if the level of said apoptosis-signaling receptors is decreased relative to a reference value.

[0075] Further provided herein is an assay for determining the efficacy of treatment for SLE in a subject in need thereof. The assay includes obtaining a sample from the subject; assaying the sample to determine the level of soluble forms of the apoptosis-signaling receptors Fas, TNF-R1, and/or TRAIL-R2; and determining that the treatment is effective if the level of the said apoptosis-signaling receptors is decreased relative to a reference value, or determining that the treatment is less effective or not effective if the level of said apoptosis-signaling receptors is increased relative to a reference value

[0076] Also provided herein is an assay for determining likelihood of cardiovascular disease in a subject having or suspected of having SLE. The assay includes obtaining a sample from the subject; assaying the sample to determine the level of soluble forms of the apoptosis-signaling receptors Fas, TNF-R1, and/or TRAIL-R2; and determining that the subject has increased likelihood of cardiovascular disease if the level of said apoptosis-signaling receptors is increased relative to a reference value, or determining that the subject has decreased likelihood of cardiovascular disease if the level of said apoptosis-signaling receptors is decreased relative to a reference value.

[0077] In various embodiments, assaying comprises using is immunoassays. Exemplary embodiments of immunoassays include but are not limited to any one or more of ELISA, RIA, Western blotting, Southern blotting, or combinations thereof.

[0078] In some embodiments of the assays described herein, the sample is any one or more of blood, plasma, urine, tissue or combinations thereof In some embodiments of the assays described herein, the sample is obtained before, during or after treatment for SLE.

[0079] In one embodiment of the assays described herein, the subject is human.

[0080] In one embodiment of the assays described herein, cardiovascular disease is atherosclerosis. In an exemplary embodiment, the atherosclerosis is accelerated atherosclerosis. In some embodiments, the sample is obtained before, during and/or after treatment for cardiovascular diseases in subject having or suspected of having SLE.

[0081] Any suitable immunoassay method may be utilized, including those which are commercially available, to determine the level ApoB-100 specific autoantibodies measured according to the invention. Extensive discussion of the known immunoassay techniques is not required here since these are known to those of skill in the art. Typical suitable immunoassay techniques include sandwich enzyme-linked immunoassays (ELISA), radioimmunoassays (RIA), competitive binding assays, homogeneous assays, heterogeneous assays, etc. Various known immunoassay methods are reviewed, e.g., in Methods in Enzymology, 70, pp. 30-70 and 166-198 (1980).

[0082] In the assays of the invention, "sandwich-type" assay formats can be used. Some examples of such sandwich-type assays are described in by U.S. Pat. No. 4,168,146 to Grubb, et al. and U.S. Pat. No. 4,366,241 to Tom, et al. An alternative technique is the "competitive-type" assay. In a competitive assay, the labeled probe is generally conjugated with a molecule that is identical to, or an analog of, the analyte. Thus, the labeled probe competes with the analyte of interest for the available receptive material. Competitive assays are typically used for detection of analytes such as haptens, each hapten being monovalent and capable of binding only one antibody molecule. Examples of competitive immunoassay devices are described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,235,601 to Deutsch, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 4,442,204 to Liotta, and U.S. Pat. No. 5,208,535 to Buechler, et al.

[0083] The antibodies can be labeled. In some embodiments, the detection antibody is labeled by covalently linking to an enzyme, label with a fluorescent compound or metal, label with a chemiluminescent compound. For example, the detection antibody can be labeled with catalase and the conversion uses a colorimetric substrate composition comprises potassium iodide, hydrogen peroxide and sodium thiosulphate; the enzyme can be alcohol dehydrogenase and the conversion uses a colorimetric substrate composition comprises an alcohol, a pH indicator and a pH buffer, wherein the pH indicator is neutral red and the pH buffer is glycine-sodium hydroxide; the enzyme can also be hypoxanthine oxidase and the conversion uses a colorimetric substrate composition comprises xanthine, a tetrazolium salt and 4,5-dihydroxy-1,3-benzene disulphonic acid. In one embodiment, the detection antibody is labeled by covalently linking to an enzyme, label with a fluorescent compound or metal, or label with a chemiluminescent compound.

[0084] Direct and indirect labels can be used in immunoassays. A direct label can be defined as an entity, which in its natural state, is visible either to the naked eye or with the aid of an optical filter and/or applied stimulation, e.g., ultraviolet light, to promote fluorescence. Examples of colored labels which can be used include metallic sol particles, gold sol particles, dye sol particles, dyed latex particles or dyes encapsulated in liposomes. Other direct labels include radionuclides and fluorescent or luminescent moieties. Indirect labels such as enzymes can also be used according to the invention. Various enzymes are known for use as labels such as, for example, alkaline phosphatase, horseradish peroxidase, lysozyme, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, lactate dehydrogenase and urease. For a detailed discussion of enzymes in immunoassays see Engvall, Enzyme Immunoassay ELISA and EMIT, Methods of Enzymology, 70, 419-439 (1980).

[0085] The antibody can be attached to a surface. Examples of useful surfaces on which the antibody can be attached for the purposes of detecting the desired antigen include nitrocellulose, PVDF, polystyrene, and nylon. The surface or support may also be a porous support (see, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 7,939,342). The assays can be carried out in various assay device formats including those described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,906,439; 5,051,237 and 5,147,609 to PB Diagnostic Systems, Inc.

Reference Values

[0086] In various embodiments of the assays described herein, the reference value is based on the levels of ApoB-100 specific autoantibodies. In one embodiment, the reference value is the mean or median level of autoantibodies against ApoB-100 in a population of subjects that do not have SLE. In another embodiment, the reference value is the mean or median level of autoantibodies against ApoB-100 in a sample obtained from the subject at a different time point (for example, prior to starting treatment). In a further embodiment, the reference value is the mean or median level of autoantibodies against ApoB-100 in a population of subjects that have SLE and have undergone or are undergoing treatment for SLE. In an additional embodiment, the reference value is the mean or median level of autoantibodies against ApoB-100 in a population of subjects that have SLE and have undergone or are undergoing treatment for SLE and have not undergone or are not undergoing treatment for cardiovascular diseases. In an additional embodiment, the reference value is the mean or median level of autoantibodies against ApoB-100 in a population of subjects that have SLE and have undergone or are undergoing treatment for SLE and have undergone or are undergoing treatment for cardiovascular diseases.

[0087] In various embodiments, the levels of ApoB-100 specific autoantibodies in the subject compared to the reference values is decreased by at least or about 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90% or 100%. In various embodiments, the levels of ApoB-100 specific autoantibodies in the subject compared to the reference values is decreased by at least or about 1-fold, 2-fold, 3-fold, 4-fold, 5-fold, 10-fold, 15-fold, 20-fold, 25-fold, 30-fold, 35-fold, 40-fold, 45-fold, 50-fold, 55-fold, 60-fold, 65-fold, 70-fold, 75-fold, 80-fold, 85-fold, 90-fold, 95-fold or 100-fold

Peptides of Apo11-100

[0088] Specific immunogenic epitopes of ApoB-100 were characterized and a peptide library including 302 peptides, each about 20 amino acid residues in length, covering the complete 4563 amino acid sequence of human ApoB-1.00 was produced. The peptides were produced with a 5 amino acid overlap to cover all sequences at break points. Peptides were numbered 1-302 starting at the N-terminal of .ApoB-100 as indicated in Table 1 below.

TABLE-US-00001 TABLE 1 Pep- Apolipo- SEQ ID tide Sequence protein B NO P1: EEEML ENVSL VCPKD ATRFK aa 1-20 SEQ ID NO: 1 P2: ATRFK HLRKY TYNYE AESSS aa 16-35 SEQ ID NO: 2 P3: AESSS GVPGT ADSRS ATRIN aa 31-50 SEQ ID NO: 3 P4: ATRIN CKVEL EVPQL CSFIL aa 46-65 SEQ ID NO: 4 P5: CSFIL KTSQC TLKEV YGFNP aa 61-80 SEQ ID NO: 5 P6: YGFNP EGKAL LKKTK NSEEF aa 76-95 SEQ ID NO: 6 P7: NSEEF AAAMS RYELK LAIPE aa 91-110 SEQ ID NO: 7 P8: LAIPE GKQVF LYPEK DEPTY aa 106-125 SEQ ID NO: 8 P9: DEPTY ILNIK RGIIS ALLVP aa 121-140 SEQ ID NO: 9 P10: ALLVP PETEE AKQVL FLDTV aa 136-155 SEQ ID NO: 10 P11: FLDTV YGNCS THFTV KTRKG aa 151-170 SEQ ID NO: 11 P12: KTRKG NVATE ISTER DLGQC aa 166-185 SEQ ID NO: 12 P13: DLGQC DRFKP IRTGI SPLAL aa 181-200 SEQ ID NO: 13 P14: SPLAL IKGMT RPLST LISSS aa 196-215 SEQ ID NO: 14 P15: LISSS QSCQY TLDAK RKHVA aa 211-230 SEQ ID NO: 15 P16: RKHVA EAICK EQHLF LPFSY aa 226-245 SEQ ID NO: 16 P17: LPFSY NNKYG MVAQV TQTLK aa 241-260 SEQ ID NO: 17 P18: TQTLK LEDTP KINSR FFGEG aa 256-275 SEQ ID NO: 18 P19: FFGEG TKKMG LAFES TKSTS aa 271-290 SEQ ID NO: 19 P20: TKSTS PPKQA EAVLK TLQEL aa 286-305 SEQ ID NO: 20 P21: TLQEL KKLTI SEQNI QRANL aa 301-320 SEQ ID NO: 21 P22: QRANL FNKLV TELRG LSDEA aa 316-335 SEQ ID NO: 22 P23: LSDEA VTSLL PQLIE VSSPI aa 331-350 SEQ ID NO: 23 P24: VSSPI TLQAL VQCGQ PQCST aa 346-365 SEQ ID NO: 24 P25: PQCST HILQW LKRVH ANPLL aa 361-380 SEQ ID NO: 25 P26: ANPLL IDVVT YLVAL IPEPS aa 376-395 SEQ ID NO: 26 P27: IPEPS AQQLR EIFNM ARDQR aa 391-410 SEQ ID NO: 27 P28: ARDQR SRATL YALS AVNNY aa 406-425 SEQ ID NO: 28 P29: AVNNY HKTNP TGTQE LLDIA aa 421-440 SEQ ID NO: 29 P30: LLDIA NYLME QIQDD CTGDE aa 436-455 SEQ ID NO: 30 P31: CTGDE DYTYL ILRVI GNMGQ aa 451-470 SEQ ID NO: 31 P32: GNMGQ TMEQL TPELK SSILK aa 466-485 SEQ ID NO: 32 P33: SSILK CVQST KPSLM IQKAA aa 481-500 SEQ ID NO: 33 P34: IQKAA IQALR KMEPK DKDQE aa 496-515 SEQ ID NO: 34 P35: DKDQE VLLQT FLDDA SPGDK aa 511-530 SEQ ID NO: 35 P36: SPGDK RLAAY LMLMRSPSQA aa 526-545 SEQ ID NO: 36 P37: SPSQA DINKIVQILP WEQNE aa 541-560 SEQ ID NO: 37 P38: WEQNE QVKNF VASHI ANILN aa 556-575 SEQ ID NO: 38 P39: ANILN SEELD IQDLK KLVKE aa 571-590 SEQ ID NO: 39 P40: KLVKE ALKES QLPTV MDFRK aa 586-605 SEQ ID NO: 40 P41: MDFRK FSRNY QLYKS VSLPS aa 601-620 SEQ ID NO: 41 P42: VSLPS LDPAS AKIEG NLIFD aa 616-635 SEQ ID NO: 42 P43: NLIFD PNNYL PKESM LKTTL aa 631-650 SEQ ID NO: 43 P44: LKTTL TAFGF ASADL IEIGL aa 646-665 SEQ ID NO: 44 P45: IEIGL EGKGF EPTLE ALFGK aa 661-680 SEQ ID NO: 45 P46: ALFGK QGFFP DSVNK ALYWV aa 676-695 SEQ ID NO: 46 P47: ALYWV NGQVP DGVSK VLVDH aa 691-710 SEQ ID NO: 47 P48: VLVDH FGYTK DDKHE QDMVN aa 706-725 SEQ ID NO: 48 P49: QDMVN GIMLS VEKLI KDLKS aa 721-740 SEQ ID NO: 49 P50: KDLKS KEVPE ARAYL RILGE aa 736-755 SEQ ID NO: 50 P51: RILGE ELGFA SLHDL QLLGK aa 751-770 SEQ ID NO: 51 P52: QLLGK LLLMG ARTLQ GIPQM aa 766-785 SEQ ID NO: 52 P53: GIPQM IGEVI RKGSK NDFFL aa 781-800 SEQ ID NO: 53 P54: NDFFL HYIFM ENAFE LPTGA aa 796-815 SEQ ID NO: 54 P55: LPTGA GLQLQ ISSSG VIAPG aa 811-830 SEQ ID NO: 55 P56: VIAPG AKAGV KLEVA NMQAE aa 826-845 SEQ ID NO: 56 P57: NMQAE LVAKP SVSVE FVTNM aa 841-860 SEQ ID NO: 57 P58: FVTNM GIIIP DFARS GVQMN aa 856-875 SEQ ID NO: 58 P59: GVQMN TNFFH ESGLE AHVAL aa 871-890 SEQ ID NO: 59 P60: AHVAL KAGKL KFIIP SPKRP aa 886-905 SEQ ID NO: 60 P61: SPKRP VKLLS GGNTL HLVST aa 901-920 SEQ ID NO: 61 P62: HLVST TKTEV IPPLI ENRQS aa 916-935 SEQ ID NO: 62 P63: ENRQS WSVCKQVFPG LNYCT aa 931-950 SEQ ID NO: 63 P64: LNYCT SGAYS NASST DSASY aa 946-965 SEQ ID NO: 64 P65: DSASY YPLTG DTRLE LELRP aa 961-980 SEQ ID NO: 65 P66: LELRP TGEIE QYSVS ATYEL aa 976-995 SEQ ID NO: 66 P67: ATYEL QREDR ALVDT LKFVT aa 991-1010 SEQ ID NO: 67 P68: LKFVT QAEGA KQTEA TMTFK aa 1006-1025 SEQ ID NO: 68 P69: TMTFK YNRQS MTLSS EVQIP aa 1021-1040 SEQ ID NO: 69 P70: EVQIP DFDVD LGTIL RVNDE aa 1036-1055 SEQ ID NO: 70 P71: RVNDE STEGK TSYRL TLDIQ aa 1051-1070 SEQ ID NO: 71 P72: TLDIQ NKKIT EVALM GHLSC aa 1066-1085 SEQ ID NO: 72 P73: GHLSC DTKEE RKIKG VISIP aa 1081-1100 SEQ ID NO: 73 P74: VISIP RLQAE ARSEI LAHWS aa 1096-1115 SEQ ID NO: 74 P75: LAHWS PAKLL LQMDS SATAY aa 1111-1130 SEQ ID NO: 75 P76: SATAY GSTVS KRVAW HYDEE aa 1126-1145 SEQ ID NO: 76 P77: HYDEE LIEFE WNTGT NVDTK aa 1141-1160 SEQ ID NO: 77 P78: NVDTK KMTSN FPVDL SDYPK aa 1156-1175 SEQ ID NO: 78 P79: SDYPK SLHMY ANRLL DHRVP aa 1171-1190 SEQ ID NO: 79 P80: DHRVP ETDMT FRHVG SKLIV aa 1186-1205 SEQ ID NO: 80 P81: SKLIV AMSSW LQKAS GSLPY aa 1201-1220 SEQ ID NO: 81 P82: GSLPY TQTLQ DHLNS LKEFN aa 1216-1235 SEQ ID

NO: 82 P83: LKEFN LQNMG LPDFH IPENL aa 1231-1250 SEQ ID NO: 83 P84: IPENL FLKSD GRVKY TLNKN aa 1246-1260 SEQ ID NO: 84 P85: TLNKN SLKIE IPLPF GGKSS aa 1261-1280 SEQ ID NO: 85 P86: GGKSS RDLKM LETVR TPALH aa 1276-1295 SEQ ID NO: 86 P87: TPALH FKSVG FHLPS REFQV aa 1291-1310 SEQ ID NO: 87 P88: REFQV PTFTI PKLYQ LQVPL aa 1306-1325 SEQ ID NO: 88 P89: LQVPL LGVLD LSTNV YSNLY aa 1321-1340 SEQ ID NO: 89 P90: YSNLY NWSAS YSGGN TSTDH aa 1336-1355 SEQ ID NO: 90 P91: TSTDH FSLRA RYHMK ADSVV aa 1351-1370 SEQ ID NO: 91 P92: ADSVV DLLSY NVQGS GETTY aa 1366-1385 SEQ ID NO: 92 P93: GETTY DHKNT FTLSC DGSLR aa 1381-1400 SEQ ID NO: 93 P94: DGSLR HKFLD SNIKF SHVEK aa 1396-1415 SEQ ID NO: 94 P95: SHVEK LGNNP VSKGL LIFDA aa 1411-1430 SEQ ID NO: 95 P96: LIFDA SSSWG PQMSA SVHLD aa 1426-1445 SEQ ID NO: 96 P97: SVHLD SKKKQ HLFVK EVKID aa 1441-1460 SEQ ID NO: 97 P98: EVKID GQFRV SSFYA KGTYG aa 1456-1475 SEQ ID NO: 98 P99: KGTYG LSCQR DPNTG RLNGE aa 1471-1490 SEQ ID NO: 99 P100: RLNGE SNLRF NSSYL QGTNQ aa 1486-1505 SEQ ID NO: 100 P101: QGTNQ ITGRY EDGTL SLTST aa 1501-1520 SEQ ID NO: 101 P102: SLTST SDLQS GIIKN TASLK aa 1516-1535 SEQ ID NO: 102 P103: TASLK YENYE LTLKS DTNGK aa 1531-1550 SEQ ID NO: 103 P104: DTNGK YKNFA TSNKM DMTFS aa 1546-1565 SEQ ID NO: 104 P105: DMTFS KQNAL LRSEY QADYE aa 1561-1580 SEQ ID NO: 105 P106: QADYE SLRFF SLLSG SLNSH aa 1576-1595 SEQ ID NO: 106 P107: SLNSH GLELN ADILG TDKIN aa 1591-1610 SEQ ID NO: 107 P108: TDKIN SGAHK ATLRI GQDGI aa 1606-1625 SEQ ID NO: 108 P109: GQDGI STSAT TNLKCSLLVL aa 1621-1640 SEQ ID NO: 109 P110: SLLVL ENELN AELGL SGASM aa 1636-1655 SEQ ID NO: 110 P111: SGASM KLTTN GRFRE HNAKF aa 1651-1670 SEQ ID NO: 111 P112: HNAKF SLDGK AALTE LSLGS aa 1666-1685 SEQ ID NO: 112 P113: LSLGS AYQAM ILGVD SKNIF aa 1681-1700 SEQ ID NO: 113 P114: SKNIF NFKVS QEGLK LSNDM aa 1696-1715 SEQ ID NO: 114 P115: LSNDM MGSYA EMKFD HTNSL aa 1711-1730 SEQ ID NO: 115 P116: HTNSL NIAGL SLDFS SKLDN aa 1726-1745 SEQ ID NO: 116 P117: SKLDN IYSSD KFYKQ TVNLQ aa 1741-1760 SEQ ID NO: 117 P118: TVNLQ LQPYS LVTTL NSDLK aa 1756-1775 SEQ ID NO: 118 P119: NSDLK YNALD LTNNG KLRLE aa 1771-1790 SEQ ID NO: 119 P120: KLRLE PLKLH VAGNL KGAYQ aa 1786-1805 SEQ ID NO: 120 P121: KGAYQ NNEIK HIYAI SSAAL aa 1801-1820 SEQ ID NO: 121 P122: SSAAL SASYK ADTVA KVQGV aa 1816-1835 SEQ ID NO: 122 P123: KVQGV EFSHR LNTDI AGLAS aa 1831-1850 SEQ ID NO: 123 P124: AGLAS AIDMS TNYNS DSLHF aa 1846-1865 SEQ ID NO: 124 P125: DSLHF SNVFR SVMAP FTMTI aa 1861-1880 SEQ ID NO: 125 P126: FTMTI DAHTN GNGKL ALWGE aa 1876-1895 SEQ ID NO: 126 P127: ALWGE HTGQL YSKFL LKAEP aa 1891-1910 SEQ ID NO: 127 P128: LKAEP LAFTF SHDYK GSTSH aa 1906-1925 SEQ ID NO: 128 P129: GSTSH HLVSR KSISA ALEHK aa 1921-1940 SEQ ID NO: 129 P130: ALEHK VSALL TPAEQ TGTWK aa 1936-1955 SEQ ID NO: 130 P131: TGTWK LKTQF NNNEY SQDLD aa 1951-1970 SEQ ID NO: 131 P132: SQDLD AYNTK DKIGV ELTGR aa 1966-1985 SEQ ID NO: 132 P133: ELTGR TLADL TLLDS PIKVP aa 1981-2000 SEQ ID NO: 133 P134: PIKVP LLLSE PINII DALEM aa 1996-2015 SEQ ID NO: 134 P135: DALEM RDAVE KPQEF TIVAF aa 2011-2030 SEQ ID NO: 135 P136: TIVAF VKYDK NQDVH SINLP aa 2026-2045 SEQ ID NO: 136 P137: SINLP FFETL QEYFE RNRQT aa 2041-2060 SEQ ID NO: 137 P138: RNRQT IIVVV ENVQR NLKHI aa 2056-2075 SEQ ID NO: 138 P139: NLKHI NIDQF VRKYR AALGK aa 2071-2090 SEQ ID NO: 139 P140: AALGK LPQQA NDYLN SFNWE aa 2086-2105 SEQ ID NO: 140 P141: SFNWE RQVSH AKEKL TALTK aa 2101-2120 SEQ ID NO: 141 P142: TALTK KYRIT ENDIQ IALDD aa 2116-2135 SEQ ID NO: 142 P143: IALDD AKINF NEKLS QLQTY aa 2131-2150 SEQ ID NO: 143 P144: QLQTY MIQFD QYIKD SYDLH aa 2146-2165 SEQ ID NO: 144 P145: SYDLH DLKIA IANII DEIIE aa 2161-2180 SEQ ID NO: 145 P146: DEIIE KLKSL DEHYH IRVNL aa 2176-2195 SEQ ID NO: 146 P147: IRVNL VKTIH DLHLF IENID aa 2191-2210 SEQ ID NO: 147 P148: IENID FNKSG SSTAS WIQNV aa 2206-2225 SEQ ID NO: 148 P149: WIQNV DTKYQ IRIQI QEKLQ aa 2221-2240 SEQ ID NO: 149 P150: QEKLQ QLKRH IQNID IQHLA aa 2236-2255 SEQ ID NO: 150 P151: IQHLA GKLKQ HIEAI DVRVL aa 2251-2270 SEQ ID NO: 151 P152: DVRVL LDQLG TTISF ERIND aa 2266-2285 SEQ ID NO: 152 P153: ERIND VLEHV KHFVI NLIGD aa 2281-2300 SEQ ID NO: 153 P154: NLIGD FEVAE KINAF RAKVH aa 2296-2315 SEQ ID NO: 154 P155: RAKVH ELIER YEVDQ QIQVL aa 2311-2330 SEQ ID NO: 155 P156: QIQVL MDKLV ELTHQ YKLKE aa 2326-2345 SEQ ID NO: 156 P157: YKLKE TIQKL SNVLQ QVKIK aa 2341-2360 SEQ ID NO: 157 P158: QVKIK DYFEK LVGFI DDAVK aa 2356-2375 SEQ ID NO: 158 P159: DDAVK KLNEL SFKTF IEDVN aa 2371-2390 SEQ ID NO: 159 P160: IEDVN KFLDM LIKKL KSFDY aa 2386-2405 SEQ ID NO: 160 P161: KSFDY HQFVD ERNDK IREVT aa 2401-2420 SEQ ID NO: 161 P162: IREVT QRLNG EIQAL ELPQK aa 2416-2435 SEQ ID NO: 162 P163: ELPQK AEALK LFLEE TKATV aa 2431-2450 SEQ ID NO: 163 P164: TKATV AVYLE SLQDT KITLI aa 2446-2465 SEQ ID NO: 164 P165: KITLI INWLQ EALSS ASLAH aa 2461-2480 SEQ ID NO: 165

P166: ASLAH MKAKF RETLE DTRDR aa 2476-2495 SEQ ID NO: 166 P167: DTRDR MYQMD IQQEL QRYLS aa 2491-2510 SEQ ID NO: 167 P168: QRYLS LVGQV YSTLV TYISD aa 2506-2515 SEQ ID NO: 168 P169: TYISD WWTLA AKNLT DFAEQ aa 2521-2540 SEQ ID NO: 169 P170: DFAEQ YSIQD WAKRM KALVE aa 2536-2555 SEQ ID NO: 170 P171: KALVE QGFTV PEIKT ILGTM aa 2551-2570 SEQ ID NO: 171 P172: ILGTM PAFEV SLQAL QKATF aa 2566-2585 SEQ ID NO: 172 P173: QKATF QTPDF IVPLT DLRIP aa 2581-2600 SEQ ID NO: 173 P174: DLRIP SVQIN FKDLK NIKIP aa 2596-2615 SEQ ID NO: 174 P175: NIKIP SRFST PEFTI LNTFH aa 2611-2630 SEQ ID NO: 175 P176: LNTFH IPSFT IDFVE MKVKI aa 2626-2645 SEQ ID NO: 176 P177: MKVKI IRTID QMQNS ELQWP aa 2641-2660 SEQ ID NO: 177 P178: ELQWP VPDIY LRDLK VEDIP aa 2656-2675 SEQ ID NO: 178 P179: VEDIP LARIT LPDFR LPEIA aa 2671-2690 SEQ ID NO: 179 P180: LPEIA IPEFI IPTLN LNDFQ aa 2686-2705 SEQ ID NO: 180 P181: LNDFQ VPDLH IPEFQ LPHIS aa 2701-2720 SEQ ID NO: 181 P182: LPHIS HTIEV PTFGK LYSIL aa 2716-2735 SEQ ID NO: 182 P183: LYSIL KIQSP LFTLD ANADI aa 2731-2750 SEQ ID NO: 183 P184: ANADI GNGTT SANEA GIAAS aa 2746-2765 SEQ ID NO: 184 P185: GIAAS ITAKG ESKLE VLNFD aa 2761-2780 SEQ ID NO: 185 P186: VLNFD FQANA QLSNP KINPL aa 2776-2795 SEQ ID NO: 186 P187: KINPL ALKES VKFSS KYLRT aa 2791-2810 SEQ ID NO: 187 P188: KYLRT EHGSE MLFFG NAIEG aa 2806-2825 SEQ ID NO: 188 P189: NAIEG KSNTV ASLHT EKNTL aa 2821-2840 SEQ ID NO: 189 P190: EKNTL ELSNG VIVKI NNQLT aa 2836-2855 SEQ ID NO: 190 P191: NNQLT LDSNT KYFHK LNIPK aa 2851-2870 SEQ ID NO: 191 P192: LNIPK LDFSS QADLR NEIKT aa 2866-2885 SEQ ID NO: 192 P193: NEIKT LLKAG HIAWT SSGKG aa 2881-2900 SEQ ID NO: 193 P194: SSGKG SWKWA CPRFS DEGTH aa 2896-2915 SEQ ID NO: 194 P195: DEGTH ESQIS FTIEG PLTSF aa 2911-2930 SEQ ID NO: 195 P196: PLTSF GLSNK INSKH LRVNQ aa 2926-2945 SEQ ID NO: 196 P197: LRVNQ NLVYE SGSLN FSKLE aa 2941-2960 SEQ ID NO: 197 P198: FSKLE IQSQV DSQHV GHSVL aa 2956-2975 SEQ ID NO: 198 P199: GHSVL TAKGM ALFGE GKAEF aa 2971-2990 SEQ ID NO: 199 P200: GKAEF TGRHD AHLNG KVIGT aa 2986-3005 SEQ ID NO: 200 P201: KVIGT LKNSL FFSAQ PFEIT aa 3001-3020 SEQ ID NO: 201 P202: PFEIT ASTNN EGNLK VRFPL aa 3016-3035 SEQ ID NO: 202 P203: VRFPL RLTGK IDFLN NYALF aa 3031-3050 SEQ ID NO: 203 P204: NYALF LSPSA QQASW QVSAR aa 3046-3065 SEQ ID NO: 204 P205: QVSAR FNQYK YNQNF SAGNN aa 3061-3080 SEQ ID NO: 205 P206: SAGNN ENIME AHVGI NGEAN aa 3076-3095 SEQ ID NO: 206 P207: NGEAN LDFLN IPLTI PEMRL aa 3091-3110 SEQ ID NO: 207 P208: PEMRL PYTII TTPPL KDFSL aa 3106-3125 SEQ ID NO: 208 P209: KDFSL WEKTG LKEFL KTTKQ aa 3121-3140 SEQ ID NO: 209 P210: KTTKQ SFDLS VKAQY KKNKH aa 3136-3155 SEQ ID NO: 210 P211: KKNKH RHSIT NPLAV LCEFI aa 3151-3170 SEQ ID NO: 211 P212: LCEFI SQSIK SFDRH FEKNR aa 3166-3185 SEQ ID NO: 212 P213: FEKNR NNALD FVTKS YNETK aa 3181-3200 SEQ ID NO: 213 P214: YNETK IKFDK YKAEK SHDEL aa 3196-3215 SEQ ID NO: 214 P215: SHDEL PRTFQ IPGYT VPVVN aa 3211-3230 SEQ ID NO: 215 P216: VPVVN VEVSP FTIEM SAFGY aa 3226-3245 SEQ ID NO: 216 P217: SAFGY VFPKA VSMPS FSILG aa 3241-3260 SEQ ID NO: 217 P218: FSILG SDVRV PSYTL ILPSL aa 3256-3275 SEQ ID NO: 218 P219: ILPSL ELPVL HVPRN LKLSL aa 3271-3290 SEQ ID NO: 219 P220: LKLSL PHFKE LCTIS HIFIP aa 3286-3305 SEQ ID NO: 220 P221: HIFIP AMGNI TYDFS FKSSV aa 3301-3320 SEQ ID NO: 221 P222: FKSSV ITLNT NAELF NQSDI aa 3316-3335 SEQ ID NO: 222 P223: NQSDI VAHLL SSSSS VIDAL aa 3331-3350 SEQ ID NO: 223 P224: VIDAL QYKLE GTTRL TRKRG aa 3346-3365 SEQ ID NO: 224 P225: TRKRG LKLAT ALSLS NKFVE aa 3361-3380 SEQ ID NO: 225 P226: NKFVE GSHNS TVSLT TKNME aa 3376-3395 SEQ ID NO: 226 P227: TKNME VSVAK TTKAE IPILR aa 3391-3410 SEQ ID NO: 227 P228: IPILR MNFKQ ELNGN TKSKP aa 3406-3425 SEQ ID NO: 228 P229: TKSKP TVSSS MEFKY DFNSS aa 3421-3440 SEQ ID NO: 229 P230: DFNSS MLYST AKGAV DHKLS aa 3436-3455 SEQ ID NO: 230 P231: DHKLS LESLT SYFSI ESSTK aa 3451-3470 SEQ ID NO: 231 P232: ESSTK GDVKG SVLSR EYSGT aa 3466-3485 SEQ ID NO: 232 P233: EYSGT IASEA NTYLN SKSTR aa 3481-3500 SEQ ID NO: 233 P234: SKSTR SSYKL QGTSK IDDIW aa 3496-3515 SEQ ID NO: 234 P235: IDDIW NLEVK ENFAG EATLQ aa 3511-3530 SEQ ID NO: 235 P236: EATLQ RIYSL WEHST KNHLQ aa 3526-3545 SEQ ID NO: 236 P237: KNHLQ LEGLF FTNGE HTSKA aa 3541-3560 SEQ ID NO: 237 P238: HTSKA TLELS PWQMS ALVQV aa 3556-3575 SEQ ID NO: 238 P239: ALVQV HASQP SSFHD FPDLG aa 3571-3590 SEQ ID NO: 239 P240: FPDLG QEVAL NANTK NQKIR aa 3586-3605 SEQ ID NO: 240 P241: NQKIR WKNEV RIHSG SFQSQ aa 3601-3620 SEQ ID NO: 241 P242: SFQSQ VELSN DQEKA HLDIA aa 3616-3635 SEQ ID NO: 242 P243: HLDIA GSLEG HLRFL KNIIL aa 3631-3650 SEQ ID NO: 243 P244: KNIIL PVYDK SLWDF LKLDV aa 3646-3665 SEQ ID NO: 244 P245: LKLDV TTSIG RRQHL RVSTA aa 3661-3680 SEQ ID NO: 245 P246: RVSTA FVYTK NPNGY SFSIP aa 3676-3695 SEQ ID NO: 246 P247: SFSIP VKVLA DKFIT PGLKL aa 3691-3710 SEQ ID NO: 247 P248: PGLKL NDLNS VLVMP TFHVP aa 3706-3725 SEQ ID NO: 248 P249: TFHVP FTDLQ VPSCK LDFRE aa 3721-3740 SEQ ID NO: 249

P250: LDFRE IQIYK KLRTS SFALN aa 3736-3755 SEQ ID NO: 250 P251: SFALN LPTLP EVKFP EVDVL aa 3751-3770 SEQ ID NO: 251 P252: EVDVL TKYSQ PEDSL IPFFE aa 3766-3785 SEQ ID NO: 252 P253: IPFFE ITVPE SQLTV SQFTL aa 3781-3800 SEQ ID NO: 253 P254: SQFTL PKSVS DGIAA LDLNA aa 3796-3815 SEQ ID NO: 254 P255: LDLNA VANKI ADFEL PTIIV aa 3811-3830 SEQ ID NO: 255 P256: PTIIV PEQTI EIPSI KFSVP aa 3826-3845 SEQ ID NO: 256 P257: KFSVP AGIVI PSFQA LTARF aa 3841-3860 SEQ ID NO: 257 P258: LTARF EVDSP VYNAT WSASL aa 3856-3875 SEQ ID NO: 258 P259: WSASL KNKAD YVETV LDSTC aa 3871-3890 SEQ ID NO: 259 P260: LDSTC SSTVQ FLEYE LNVLG aa 3886-3905 SEQ ID NO: 260 P261: LNVLG THKIE DGTLA SKTKG aa 3901-3920 SEQ ID NO: 261 P262: SKTKG TLAHR DFSAE YEEDG aa 3916-3935 SEQ ID NO: 262 P263: YEEDG KFEGL QEWEG KAHLN aa 3931-3950 SEQ ID NO: 263 P264: KAHLN IKSPA FTDLH LRYQK aa 3946-3965 SEQ ID NO: 264 P265: LRYQK DKKGI STSAA SPAVG aa 3961-3980 SEQ ID NO: 265 P266: SPAVG TVGMD MDEDD DFSKW aa 3976-3995 SEQ ID NO: 266 P267: DFSKW NFYYS PQSSP DKKLT aa 3991-4010 SEQ ID NO: 267 P268: DKKLT IFKTE LRVRE SDEET aa 4006-4025 SEQ ID NO: 268 P269: SDEET QIKVN WEEEA ASGLL aa 4021-4040 SEQ ID NO: 269 P270: ASGLL TSLKD NVPKA TGVLY aa 4036-4055 SEQ ID NO: 270 P271: TGVLY DYVNK YHWEH TGLTL aa 4051-4070 SEQ ID NO: 271 P272: TGLTL REVSS KLRRN LQNNA aa 4066-4085 SEQ ID NO: 272 P273: LQNNA EWVYQ GAIRQ IDDID aa 4081-4100 SEQ ID NO: 273 P274: IDDID VRFQK AASGT TGTYQ aa 4096-4115 SEQ ID NO: 274 P275: TGTYQ EWKDK AQNLY QELLT aa 4111-4130 SEQ ID NO: 275 P276: QELLT QEGQA SFQGL KDNVF aa 4126-4145 SEQ ID NO: 276 P277: KDNVF DGLVR VTQKF HMKVK aa 4141-4160 SEQ ID NO: 277 P278: HMKVK HLIDS LIDFL NFPRF aa 4156-4175 SEQ ID NO: 278 P279: NFPRF QFPGK PGIYT REELC aa 4171-4190 SEQ ID NO: 279 P280: REELC TMFIR EVGTV LSQVY aa 4186-4205 SEQ ID NO: 280 P281: LSQVY SKVHN GSEIL FSYFQ aa 4201-4220 SEQ ID NO: 281 P282: FSYFQ DLVIT LPFEL RKHKL aa 4216-4235 SEQ ID NO: 282 P283: RKHKL IDVIS MYREL LKDLS aa 4231-4250 SEQ ID NO: 283 P284: LKDLS KEAQE VFKAI QSLKT aa 4246-4265 SEQ ID NO: 284 P285: QSLKT TEVLR NLQDL LQFIF aa 4261-4280 SEQ ID NO: 285 P286: LQFIF QLIED NIKQL KEMKF aa 4276-4295 SEQ ID NO: 286 P287: KEMKF TYLIN YIQDE INTIF aa 4291-4310 SEQ ID NO: 287 P288: INTIF NDYIP YVFKL LKENL aa 4306-4325 SEQ ID NO: 288 P289: LKENL CLNLH KFNEF IQNEL aa 4321-4340 SEQ ID NO: 289 P290: IQNEL QEASQ ELQQI HQYIM aa 4336-4355 SEQ ID NO: 290 P291: HQYIM ALREE YFDPS IVGWT aa 4351-4370 SEQ ID NO: 291 P292: IVGWT VKYYE LEEKI VSLIK aa 4366-4385 SEQ ID NO: 292 P293: VSLIK NLLVA LKDFH SEYIV aa 4381-4400 SEQ ID NO: 293 P294: SEYIV SASNF TSQLS SQVEQ aa 4396-4415 SEQ ID NO: 294 P295: SQVEQ FLHRN IQEYL SILTD aa 4411-4430 SEQ ID NO: 295 P296: SILTD PDGKG KEKIA ELSAT aa 4426-4445 SEQ ID NO: 296 P297: ELSAT AQEII KSQAI ATKKI aa 4441-4460 SEQ ID NO: 297 P298: TKKII SDYHQ QFRYK LQDFS aa 4457-4476 SEQ ID NO: 298 P299: LQDFS DQLSD YYEKF IAESK aa 4472-4491 SEQ ID NO: 299 P300: IAESK RLIDL SIQNY HTFLI aa 4487-4506 SEQ ID NO: 300 P301: HTFLI YITEL LKKLQ STTVM aa 4502-4521 SEQ ID NO: 301 P302: STTVM NPYMK LAPGE LTIIL aa 4517-4536 SEQ ID NO: 302

[0089] These peptide sequences were prepared and evaluated for immunogenic activity as previously described in Patent Publication WO2002080954, the contents of which is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety.

[0090] Antibodies against these peptide sequences were prepared and evaluated for immunogenic activity as previously described in WO 2007/025781 and WO 2009/083225, the contents of which are herein incorporated by reference in their entirety.

[0091] Preparation of fusion proteins comprising peptides of ApoB-100 (for example SEQ ID NO: 1-302) and Cholera toxin B (CTB) were prepared and evaluated as described in WO 2011/095628, the contents of which is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety.

[0092] In some embodiments, the ApoB-100 peptides described herein or combinations thereof, or analogs, pharmaceutical equivalents and/or peptidomimetics thereof are modified peptides. "Modified peptide" may include the incorporation of lactam-bridge, head-to-tail cyclization, non-natural amino acids into the peptides of the invention, including synthetic non-native amino acids, substituted amino acids, or one or more D-amino acids into the peptides (or other components of the composition, with exception for protease recognition sequences) is desirable in certain situations. D-amino acid-containing peptides exhibit increased stability in vitro or in vivo compared to L-amino acid-containing forms. Thus, the construction of peptides incorporating D-amino acids can be particularly useful when greater in vivo or intracellular stability is desired or required. More specifically, D-peptides are resistant to endogenous peptidases and proteases, thereby providing better oral trans-epithelial and transdermal delivery of linked drugs and conjugates, improved bioavailability of membrane-permanent complexes (see below for further discussion), and prolonged intravascular and interstitial lifetimes when such properties are desirable. The use of D-isomer peptides can also enhance transdermal and oral trans-epithelial delivery of linked drugs and other cargo molecules. Additionally, D-peptides cannot be processed efficiently for major histocompatibility complex class II-restricted presentation to T helper cells, and are therefore less likely to induce humoral immune responses in the whole organism. Peptide conjugates can therefore be constructed using, for example, D-isomer forms of cell penetrating peptide sequences, L-isomer forms of cleavage sites, and D-isomer forms of therapeutic peptides. Therefore, in some embodiments the peptides as disclosed comprise L and D amino acids, wherein no more than 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10 D-amino acids are included. In certain aspects, the peptides comprise more than 10 D-amino acids, and in certain aspects all the amino acids of the peptides are D-amino acids.

[0093] In some embodiments, the ApoB-100 peptides described herein or combinations thereof, or analogs, pharmaceutical equivalents and/or peptidomimetics thereof are retro-inverso peptides the ApoB-100 peptides described herein or combinations thereof, or analogs, pharmaceutical equivalents and/or peptidomimetics thereof. A "retro-inverso peptide" refers to a peptide with a reversal of the direction of the peptide bond on at least one position, i.e., a reversal of the amino- and carboxy-termini with respect to the side chain of the amino acid. Thus, a retro-inverso analogue has reversed termini and reversed direction of peptide bonds while approximately maintaining the topology of the side chains as in the native peptide sequence. The retro-inverso peptide can contain L-amino acids or D-amino acids, or a mixture of L-amino acids and D-amino acids, up to all of the amino acids being the D-isomer. Partial retro-inverso peptide analogues are polypeptides in which only part of the sequence is reversed and replaced with enantiomeric amino acid residues. Since the retro-inverted portion of such an analogue has reversed amino and carboxyl termini, the amino acid residues flanking the retro-inverted portion are replaced by side-chain-analogous a-substituted geminal-diaminomethanes and malonates, respectively. Retro-inverso forms of cell penetrating peptides have been found to work as efficiently in translocating across a membrane as the natural forms. Synthesis of retro-inverso peptide analogues are described in Bonelli, F. et al., Int J Pept Protein Res. 24(6):553-6 (1984); Verdini, A and Viscomi, G. C, J. Chem. Soc. Perkin Trans. 1:697-701 (1985); and U.S. Patent No. 6,261,569, which are incorporated herein in their entirety by reference. Processes for the solid-phase synthesis of partial retro-inverso peptide analogues have been described (EP 97994-B) which is also incorporated herein in its entirety by reference.

[0094] Other variants of the peptides described herein (for example, the ApoB-100 peptides described herein or combinations thereof, or analogs, pharmaceutical equivalents and/or peptidomimetics thereof) can comprise conservatively substituted sequences, meaning that one or more amino acid residues of an original peptide are replaced by different residues, and that the conservatively substituted peptide retains a desired biological activity, i.e., the ability to treat atherosclerosis that is essentially equivalent to that of the original peptide. Examples of conservative substitutions include substitution of amino acids that do not alter the secondary and/or tertiary structure of the ApoB-100 peptides described herein or combinations thereof, or analogs, pharmaceutical equivalents and/or peptidomimetics thereof, substitutions that do not change the overall or local hydrophobic character, substitutions that do not change the overall or local charge, substitutions by residues of equivalent side chain size, or substitutions by side chains with similar reactive groups.

[0095] Other examples involve substitution of amino acids that have not been evolutionarily conserved in the parent sequence across species. Advantageously, in some embodiments, these conserved amino acids and structures are not altered when generating conservatively substituted sequences.

[0096] A given amino acid can be replaced by a residue having similar physiochemical characteristics, e.g., substituting one aliphatic residue for another (such as Ile, Val, Leu, or Ala for one another), or substitution of one polar residue for another (such as between Lys and Arg; Glu and Asp; or Gln and Asn). Other such conservative substitutions, e.g., substitutions of entire regions having similar hydrophobicity characteristics or substitutions of residues with similar side chain volume are well known. Isolated peptides comprising conservative amino acid substitutions can be tested in any one of the assays described herein to confirm that a desired activity, e.g. reducing atherosclerosis is retained, as determined by the assays described elsewhere herein.

[0097] Amino acids can be grouped according to similarities in the properties of their side chains (in A. L. Lehninger, in Biochemistry, second ed., pp. 73-75, Worth Publishers, New York (1975)): (1) non-polar: Ala (A), Val (V), Leu (L), Ile (I), Pro (P), Phe (F), Trp (W), Met (M); (2) uncharged polar: Gly (G), Ser (S), Thr (T), Cys (C), Tyr (Y), Asn (N), Gln (Q); (3) acidic: Asp (D), Glu (E); (4) basic: Lys (K), Arg (R), His (H). Alternatively, naturally occurring residues can be divided into groups based on common side-chain properties: (1) hydrophobic: Norleucine, Met, Ala, Val, Leu, Ile, Phe, Trp; (2) neutral hydrophilic: Cys, Ser, Thr, Asn, Gln, Ala, Tyr, His, Pro, Gly; (3) acidic: Asp, Glu; (4) basic: His, Lys, Arg; (5) residues that influence chain orientation: Gly, Pro; (6) aromatic: Trp, Tyr, Phe, Pro, His, or hydroxyproline. Non-conservative substitutions will entail exchanging a member of one of these classes for another class.

[0098] Particularly preferred conservative substitutions for use in the variants described herein are as follows: Ala into Gly or into Ser; Arg into Lys; Asn into Gln or into His; Asp into Glu or into Asn; Cys into Ser; Gln into Asn; Glu into Asp; Gly into Ala or into Pro; His into Asn or into Gln; Ile into Leu or into Val; Leu into Ile or into Val; Lys into Arg, into Gln or into Glu; Met into Leu, into Tyr or into Ile; Phe into Met, into Leu or into Tyr; Ser into Thr; Thr into Ser; Trp into Tyr or into Phe; Tyr into Phe or into Trp; and/or Phe into Val, into Tyr, into Ile or into Leu. In general, conservative substitutions encompass residue exchanges with those of similar physicochemical properties (i.e. substitution of a hydrophobic residue for another hydrophobic amino acid).

[0099] Any cysteine residue not involved in maintaining the proper conformation of the isolated peptide as described herein can also be substituted, generally with serine, to improve the oxidative stability of the molecule and prevent aberrant crosslinking. Conversely, cysteine bond(s) can be added to the isolated peptide as described herein to improve its stability or facilitate multimerization.

[0100] As used herein, a "functional fragment" is a fragment or segment of a peptide comprising at least 3, at least 4 or at least 5 amino acids and which can treat and/or atherosclerosis according to the assays described herein. A functional fragment can comprise conservative substitutions of the sequences disclosed herein so long as they preserve the function of treating and/or reducing atherosclerosis.

[0101] To enhance stability, bioavailability, and/or delivery of the peptides into the cells, the peptides can be modified. For example, in some embodiments, an isolated peptide as described herein can comprise at least one peptide bond replacement. A single peptide bond or multiple peptide bonds, e.g. 2 bonds, 3 bonds, 4 bonds, 5 bonds, or 6 or more bonds, or all the peptide bonds can be replaced. An isolated peptide as described herein can comprise one type of peptide bond replacement or multiple types of peptide bond replacements, e.g. 2 types, 3 types, 4 types, 5 types, or more types of peptide bond replacements. Non-limiting examples of peptide bond replacements include urea, thiourea, carbamate, sulfonyl urea, trifluoroethylamine, ortho-(aminoalkyl)-phenylacetic acid, para-(aminoalkyl)-phenylacetic acid, meta-(aminoalkyl)-phenylacetic acid, thioamide, tetrazole, boronic ester, olefinic group, and derivatives thereof. In some embodiments, the ApoB-100 peptides described herein or combinations thereof, or analogs, pharmaceutical equivalents and/or peptidomimetics thereof, are conjugated with agents that increase retention in the body. Examples of agents that increase retention include but are not limited to cellulose, fatty acids, polyethylene glycol (PEG) or combinations thereof.

[0102] In some embodiments, an isolated peptide as described herein can comprise naturally occurring amino acids commonly found in polypeptides and/or proteins produced by living organisms, e.g. Ala (A), Val (V), Leu (L), Ile (I), Pro (P), Phe (F), Trp (W), Met (M), Gly (G), Ser (S), Thr (T), Cys (C), Tyr (Y), Asn (N), Gln (Q), Asp (D), Glu (E), Lys (K), Arg (R), and His (H). In some embodiments, an isolated peptide as described herein can comprise alternative amino acids. Non-limiting examples of alternative amino acids include, D-amino acids; beta-amino acids; homocysteine, phosphoserine, phosphothreonine, phosphotyrosine, hydroxyproline, gamma-carboxyglutamate; hippuric acid, octahydroindole-2-carboxylic acid, statine, 1,2,3,4,-tetrahydroisoquinoline-3-carboxylic acid, penicillamine (3-mercapto-D-valine), ornithine, citruline, alpha-methyl-alanine, para-benzoylphenylalanine, para-amino phenylalanine, p-fluorophenylalanine, phenylglycine, propargylglycine, sarcosine, and tert-butylglycine), diaminobutyric acid, 7-hydroxy-tetrahydroisoquinoline carboxylic acid, naphthylalanine, biphenylalanine, cyclohexylalanine, amino-isobutyric acid, norvaline, norleucine, tert-leucine, tetrahydroisoquinoline carboxylic acid, pipecolic acid, phenylglycine, homophenylalanine, cyclohexylglycine, dehydroleucine, 2,2-diethylglycine, 1-amino-l-cyclopentanecarboxylic acid, 1-amino-l-cyclohexanecarboxylic acid, amino-benzoic acid, amino-naphthoic acid, gamma-aminobutyric acid, difluorophenylalanine, nipecotic acid, alpha-amino butyric acid, thienyl-alanine, t-butylglycine, trifluorovaline; hexafluoroleucine; fluorinated analogs; azide-modified amino acids; alkyne-modified amino acids; cyano-modified amino acids; and derivatives thereof.

[0103] In some embodiments, an isolated peptide can be modified, e.g. a moiety can be added to one or more of the amino acids comprising the peptide. In some embodiments, an isolated peptide as described herein can comprise one or more moiety molecules, e.g. 1 or more moiety molecules per peptide, 2 or more moiety molecules per peptide, 5 or more moiety molecules per peptide, 10 or more moiety molecules per peptide or more moiety molecules per peptide. In some embodiments, an isolated peptide as described herein can comprise one more types of modifications and/or moieties, e.g. 1 type of modification, 2 types of modifications, 3 types of modifications or more types of modifications. Non-limiting examples of modifications and/or moieties include PEGylation; glycosylation; HESylation; ELPylation; lipidation; acetylation; amidation; end-capping modifications; cyano groups; phosphorylation; and cyclization. In some embodiments, an end-capping modification can comprise acetylation at the N-terminus, N-terminal acylation, and N-terminal formylation. In some embodiments, an end-capping modification can comprise amidation at the C-terminus, introduction of C-terminal alcohol, aldehyde, ester, and thioester moieties.

[0104] An isolated peptide as described herein can be coupled and or connected to a second functional molecule, peptide and/or polypeptide. In some embodiments, an isolated peptide as described herein is coupled to a targeting molecule. In some embodiments, an isolated peptide as described herein is coupled to a targeting molecule by expressing the peptide and the targeting molecule as a fusion peptide, optionally with a peptide linker sequence interposed between them. As used herein a "targeting molecule" can be any molecule, e.g. a peptide, antibody or fragment thereof, antigen, targeted liposome, or a small molecule that can bind to or be bound by a specific cell or tissue type. By way of non-limiting example, if it is desired to target an atherosclerotic region (e.g. to treat, inhibit, reduce the severity of and/or slow progression atherosclerosis in SLE subjects), an isolated peptide comprising the amino acid sequence of any of SEQ ID NO: 1-302 (for example, P210) could be coupled to an antibody or fragment thereof which is specific for the target region.

[0105] In some embodiments, an isolated peptide as described herein can be a fusion peptide or polypeptide. A fusion polypeptide can comprise a peptide linker domain interposed between the first domain of the peptide comprising an amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NOs: 1-302 or derivatives, variants, functional fragments, prodrug, or analog thereof as described herein and at least a second domain of the fusion peptide. The first peptide domain can be the N-terminal domain or the C-terminal domain or an internal sequence in the case where the partner domain forms after fragment complementation of constituent parts. Methods of synthesizing or producing a fusion protein are well known to those of ordinary skill in the art. The term "fusion protein" as used herein refers to a recombinant protein of two or more proteins. Fusion proteins can be produced, for example, by a nucleic acid sequence encoding one protein is joined to the nucleic acid encoding another protein such that they constitute a single open-reading frame that can be translated in the cells into a single polypeptide harboring all the intended proteins. The order of arrangement of the proteins can vary. Fusion proteins can include an epitope tag or a half-life extender. Epitope tags include biotin, FLAG tag, c-myc, hemaglutinin, His6, digoxigenin, FITC, Cy3, Cy5, green fluorescent protein, V5 epitope tags, GST, .beta.-galactosidase, AU1, AU5, and avidin. Half-life extenders include Fc domain and serum albumin.

[0106] In some embodiments, an isolated peptide as described herein can be a pharmaceutically acceptable prodrug. As used herein, a "prodrug" refers to compounds that can be converted via some chemical or physiological process (e.g., enzymatic processes and metabolic hydrolysis) to a therapeutic agent. Thus, the term "prodrug" also refers to a precursor of a biologically active compound that is pharmaceutically acceptable. A prodrug may be inactive when administered to a subject, i.e. an ester, but is converted in vivo to an active compound, for example, by hydrolysis to the free carboxylic acid or free hydroxyl. The prodrug compound often offers advantages of solubility, tissue compatibility or delayed release in an organism. The term "prodrug" is also meant to include any covalently bonded carriers, which release the active compound in vivo when such prodrug is administered to a subject. Prodrugs of an active compound may be prepared by modifying functional groups present in the active compound in such a way that the modifications are cleaved, either in routine manipulation or in vivo, to the parent active compound. Prodrugs include compounds wherein a hydroxy, amino or mercapto group is bonded to any group that, when the prodrug of the active compound is administered to a subject, cleaves to form a free hydroxy, free amino or free mercapto group, respectively. Examples of prodrugs include, but are not limited to, acetate, formate and benzoate derivatives of an alcohol or acetamide, formamide and benzamide derivatives of an amine functional group in the active compound and the like. See Harper, "Drug Latentiation" in Jucker, ed. Progress in Drug Research 4:221-294 (1962); Morozowich et al, "Application of Physical Organic Principles to Prodrug Design" in E. B. Roche ed. Design of Biopharmaceutical Properties through Prodrugs and Analogs, APHA Acad. Pharm. Sci. 40 (1977); Bioreversible Carriers in Drug in Drug Design, Theory and Application, E. B. Roche, ed., APHA Acad. Pharm. Sci. (1987); Design of Prodrugs, H. Bundgaard, Elsevier (1985); Wang et al. "Prodrug approaches to the improved delivery of peptide drug" in Curr. Pharm. Design. 5(4):265-287 (1999); Pauletti et al. (1997) Improvement in peptide bioavailability: Peptidomimetics and Prodrug Strategies, Adv. Drug. Delivery Rev. 27:235-256; Mizen et al. (1998) "The Use of Esters as Prodrugs for Oral Delivery of (3-Lactam antibiotics," Pharm. Biotech. ll.:345-365; Gaignault et al. (1996) "Designing Prodrugs and Bioprecursors I. Carrier Prodrugs," Pract. Med. Chem. 671-696; Asgharnejad, "Improving Oral Drug Transport", in Transport Processes in Pharmaceutical Systems, G. L. Amidon, P. I. Lee and E. M. Topp, Eds., Marcell Dekker, p. 185-218 (2000); Balant et al., "Prodrugs for the improvement of drug absorption via different routes of administration", Eur. J. Drug Metab. Pharmacokinet., 15(2): 143-53 (1990); Balimane and Sinko, "Involvement of multiple transporters in the oral absorption of nucleoside analogues", Adv. Drug Delivery Rev., 39(1-3): 183-209 (1999); Browne, "Fosphenytoin (Cerebyx)", Clin. Neuropharmacol. 20(1): 1-12 (1997); Bundgaard, "Bioreversible derivatization of drugs--principle and applicability to improve the therapeutic effects of drugs", Arch. Pharm. Chemi 86(1): 1-39 (1979); Bundgaard H. "Improved drug delivery by the prodrug approach", Controlled Drug Delivery 17: 179-96 (1987); Bundgaard H. "Prodrugs as a means to improve the delivery of peptide drugs", Arfv. Drug Delivery Rev. 8(1): 1-38 (1992); Fleisher et al. "Improved oral drug delivery: solubility limitations overcome by the use of prodrugs", Arfv. Drug Delivery Rev. 19(2): 115-130 (1996); Fleisher et al. "Design of prodrugs for improved gastrointestinal absorption by intestinal enzyme targeting", Methods Enzymol. 112 (Drug Enzyme Targeting, Pt. A): 360-81, (1985); Farquhar D, et al., "Biologically Reversible Phosphate-Protective Groups", Pharm. Sci., 72(3): 324-325 (1983); Freeman S, et al., "Bioreversible Protection for the Phospho Group: Chemical Stability and Bioactivation of Di(4-acetoxy-benzyl) Methylphosphonate with Carboxyesterase," Chem. Soc., Chem. Commun., 875-877 (1991); Friis and Bundgaard, "Prodrugs of phosphates and phosphonates: Novel lipophilic alphaacyloxyalkyl ester derivatives of phosphate- or phosphonate containing drugs masking the negative charges of these groups", Eur. J. Pharm. Sci. 4: 49-59 (1996); Gangwar et al., "Pro-drug, molecular structure and percutaneous delivery", Des. Biopharm. Prop. Prodrugs Analogs, [Symp.] Meeting Date 1976, 409-21. (1977); Nathwani and Wood, "Penicillins: a current review of their clinical pharmacology and therapeutic use", Drugs 45(6): 866-94 (1993); Sinhababu and Thakker, "Prodrugs of anticancer agents", Adv. Drug Delivery Rev. 19(2): 241-273 (1996); Stella et al., "Prodrugs. Do they have advantages in clinical practice?", Drugs 29(5): 455-73 (1985); Tan et al. "Development and optimization of anti-HIV nucleoside analogs and prodrugs: A review of their cellular pharmacology, structure-activity relationships and pharmacokinetics", Adv. Drug Delivery Rev. 39(1-3): 117-151 (1999); Taylor, "Improved passive oral drug delivery via prodrugs", Adv. Drug Delivery Rev., 19(2): 131-148 (1996); Valentino and Borchardt, "Prodrug strategies to enhance the intestinal absorption of peptides", Drug Discovery Today 2(4): 148-155 (1997); Wiebe and Knaus, "Concepts for the design of anti-HIV nucleoside prodrugs for treating cephalic HIV infection", Adv. Drug Delivery Rev.: 39(1-3):63-80 (1999); Waller et al., "Prodrugs", Br. J. Clin. Pharmac. 28: 497-507 (1989), which are incorporated by reference herein in their entireties.

[0107] In some embodiments, an isolated peptide as described herein can be a pharmaceutically acceptable solvate. The term "solvate" refers to an isolated peptide as described herein in the solid state, wherein molecules of a suitable solvent are incorporated in the crystal lattice. A suitable solvent for therapeutic administration is physiologically tolerable at the dosage administered. Examples of suitable solvents for therapeutic administration are ethanol and water. When water is the solvent, the solvate is referred to as a hydrate. In general, solvates are formed by dissolving the compound in the appropriate solvent and isolating the solvate by cooling or using an antisolvent. The solvate is typically dried or azeotroped under ambient conditions.

[0108] In some embodiments, an isolated peptide as described herein can be in a non-crystalline, i.e. amorphous solid form.

[0109] In one aspect, described herein is a vector comprising a nucleic acid encoding a peptide as described herein. The term "vector", as used herein, refers to a nucleic acid construct designed for delivery to a host cell or for transfer between different host cells. As used herein, a vector can be viral or non-viral. The term "vector" encompasses any genetic element that is capable of replication when associated with the proper control elements and that can transfer gene sequences to cells. A vector can include, but is not limited to, a cloning vector, an expression vector, a plasmid, phage, transposon, cosmid, chromosome, virus, virion, etc. Many vectors useful for transferring exogenous genes into target mammalian cells are available. The vectors can be episomal, e.g., plasmids, virus derived vectors such cytomegalovirus, adenovirus, etc., or can be integrated into the target cell genome, through homologous recombination or random integration, e.g., retrovirus derived vectors such MMLV, HIV-1, ALV, etc. Many viral vectors are known in the art and can be used as carriers of a nucleic acid modulatory compound into the cell. For example, constructs containing the nucleic acid encoding a polypeptide can be integrated and packaged into non-replicating, defective viral genomes like Adenovirus, Adeno-associated virus (AAV), or Herpes simplex virus (HSV) or others, including retroviral and lentiviral vectors, for infection or transduction into cells. Alternatively, the construct can be incorporated into vectors capable of episomal replication, e.g. EPV and EBV vectors. The nucleic acid incorporated into the vector can be operatively linked to an expression control sequence such that the expression control sequence controls and regulates the transcription and translation of that polynucleotide sequence.

[0110] As used herein, the term "expression vector" refers to a vector that directs expression of an RNA or polypeptide from sequences linked to transcriptional regulatory sequences on the vector. The sequences expressed will often, but not necessarily, be heterologous to the cell. An expression vector can comprise additional elements, for example, the expression vector can have two replication systems, thus allowing it to be maintained in two organisms, for example in human cells for expression and in a prokaryotic host for cloning and amplification.

[0111] The term "transfection" as used herein to methods, such as chemical methods, to introduce exogenous nucleic acids, such as the nucleic acid sequences encoding a peptide as described herein into a cell. As used herein, the term transfection does not encompass viral-based methods of introducing exogenous nucleic acids into a cell. Methods of transfection include physical treatments (electroporation, nanoparticles, magnetofection), and chemical-based transfection methods. Chemical-based transfection methods include, but are not limited to those that use cyclodextrin, polymers, liposomes, nanoparticles, cationic lipids or mixtures thereof (e.g., DOPA, Lipofectamine and UptiFectin), and cationic polymers, such as DEAE-dextran or polyethylenimine.

[0112] As used herein, the term "viral vector" refers to a nucleic acid vector construct that includes at least one element of viral origin and has the capacity to be packaged into a viral vector particle. The viral vector can contain the nucleic acid encoding a peptide as described herein in place of non-essential viral genes. The vector and/or particle can be utilized for the purpose of transferring any nucleic acids into cells either in vitro or in vivo. Numerous forms of viral vectors are known in the art. The term "replication incompetent" when used in reference to a viral vector means the viral vector cannot further replicate and package its genomes. For example, when the cells of a subject are infected with replication incompetent recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) virions, the heterologous (also known as transgene) gene is expressed in the patient's cells, but, the rAAV is replication defective (e.g., lacks accessory genes that encode essential proteins for packaging the virus) and viral particles cannot be formed in the patient's cells. The term "transduction" as used herein refers to the use of viral particles or viruses to introduce exogenous nucleic acids into a cell.

[0113] Retroviruses, such as lentiviruses, provide a convenient platform for delivery of nucleic acid sequences encoding an agent of interest. A selected nucleic acid sequence can be inserted into a vector and packaged in retroviral particles using techniques known in the art. The recombinant virus can then be isolated and delivered to cells, e.g. in vitro or ex vivo. Retroviral systems are well known in the art and are described in, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,219,740; Kurth and Bannert (2010) "Retroviruses: Molecular Biology, Genomics and Pathogenesis" Calster Academic Press (ISBN:978-1-90455-55-4); and Hu and Pathak Pharmacological Reviews 2000 52:493-512; which are incorporated by reference herein in their entirety.

[0114] In some embodiments, a nucleotide sequence of interest is inserted into an adenovirus-based expression vector. Unlike retroviruses, which integrate into the host genome, adenoviruses persist extrachromosomally thus minimizing the risks associated with insertional mutagenesis (Haj-Ahmad and Graham (1986) J. Virol. 57:267-74; Bett et al. (1993) J. Virol. 67:5911-21; Mittereder et al. (1994) Human Gene Therapy 5:717-29; Seth et al. (1994) J. Virol. 68:933-40; Barr et al. (1994) Gene Therapy 1:51-58; Berkner, K. L. (1988) BioTechniques 6:616-29; and Rich et al. (1993) Human Gene Therapy 4:461-76). Adenoviral vectors have several advantages in gene therapy. They infect a wide variety of cells, have a broad host-range, exhibit high efficiencies of infectivity, direct expression of heterologous sequences at high levels, and achieve long-term expression of those sequences in vivo. The virus is fully infective as a cell-free virion so injection of producer cell lines is not necessary. With regard to safety, adenovirus is not associated with severe human pathology, and the recombinant vectors derived from the virus can be rendered replication defective by deletions in the early-region 1 ("E1") of the viral genome. Adenovirus can also be produced in large quantities with relative ease. For all these reasons vectors derived from human adenoviruses, in which at least the E1 region has been deleted and replaced by a gene of interest, have been used extensively for gene therapy experiments in the pre-clinical and clinical phase. Adenoviral vectors for use with the compositions and methods described herein can be derived from any of the various adenoviral serotypes, including, without limitation, any of the over 40 serotype strains of adenovirus, such as serotypes 2, 5, 12, 40, and 41. The adenoviral vectors of used in the methods described herein are generally replication-deficient and contain the sequence of interest under the control of a suitable promoter. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,048,551, incorporated herein by reference in its entirety, describes replication-deficient adenoviral vectors that include a human gene under the control of the Rous Sarcoma Virus (RSV) promoter. Other recombinant adenoviruses of various serotypes, and comprising different promoter systems, can be created by those skilled in the art. See, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 6,306,652, incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. Other useful adenovirus-based vectors for delivery of nucleic acid sequences include, but are not limited to: "minimal" adenovirus vectors as described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,306,652, which retain at least a portion of the viral genome required for encapsidation (the encapsidation signal), as well as at least one copy of at least a functional part or a derivative of the ITR; and the "gutless" (helper-dependent) adenovirus in which the vast majority of the viral genome has been removed and which produce essentially no viral proteins, such vectors can permit gene expression to persist for over a year after a single administration (Wu et al. (2001) Anesthes. 94:1119-32; Parks (2000) Clin. Genet. 58:1-11; Tsai et al. (2000) Curr. Opin. Mol. Ther. 2:515-23).

[0115] In some embodiments, a nucleotide sequence encoding a peptide as described herein is inserted into an adeno-associated virus-based expression vector. AAV is a parvovirus which belongs to the genus Dependovirus and has several features not found in other viruses. AAV can infect a wide range of host cells, including non-dividing cells. AAV can infect cells from different species. AAV has not been associated with any human or animal disease and does not appear to alter the biological properties of the host cell upon integration. Indeed, it is estimated that 80-85% of the human population has been exposed to the virus. Finally, AAV is stable at a wide range of physical and chemical conditions, facilitating production, storage and transportation. AAV is a helper-dependent virus; that is, it requires co-infection with a helper virus (e.g., adenovirus, herpesvirus or vaccinia) in order to form AAV virions in the wild. In the absence of co-infection with a helper virus, AAV establishes a latent state in which the viral genome inserts into a host cell chromosome, but infectious virions are not produced. Subsequent infection by a helper virus rescues the integrated genome, allowing it to replicate and package its genome into infectious AAV virions. While AAV can infect cells from different species, the helper virus must be of the same species as the host cell. Thus, for example, human AAV will replicate in canine cells co-infected with a canine adenovirus. Adeno-associated virus (AAV) has been used with success in gene therapy. AAV has been engineered to deliver genes of interest by deleting the internal nonrepeating portion of the AAV genome (i.e., the rep and cap genes) and inserting a heterologous sequence (in this case, the sequence encoding the agent) between the ITRs. The heterologous sequence is typically functionally linked to a heterologous promoter (constitutive, cell-specific, or inducible) capable of driving expression in the patient's target cells under appropriate conditions. Recombinant AAV virions comprising a nucleic acid sequence encoding an agent of interest can be produced using a variety of art-recognized techniques, as described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,139,941; 5,622,856; 5,139,941; 6,001,650; and 6,004,797, the contents of each of which are incorporated by reference herein in their entireties. Vectors and cell lines necessary for preparing helper virus-free rAAV stocks are commercially available as the AAV Helper-Free System (Catalog No. 240071) (Agilent Technologies, Santa Clara, Calif.).

[0116] Additional viral vectors useful for delivering nucleic acid molecules encoding a peptide as described herein include those derived from the pox family of viruses, including vaccinia virus and avian poxvirus. Alternatively, avipoxviruses, such as the fowlpox and canarypox viruses, can be used to deliver the genes. The use of avipox vectors in cells of human and other mammalian species is advantageous with regard to safety because members of the avipox genus can only productively replicate in susceptible avian species. Methods for producing recombinant avipoxviruses are known in the art and employ genetic recombination, see, e.g., WO 91/12882; WO 89/03429; and WO 92/03545.

[0117] Molecular conjugate vectors, such as the adenovirus chimeric vectors, can also be used for delivery of sequence encoding a peptide as described herein (Michael et al. (1993) J. Biol. Chem. 268:6866-69 and Wagner et al. (1992) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 89:6099-6103). Members of the Alphavirus genus, for example the Sindbis and Semliki Forest viruses, can also be used as viral vectors for delivering a nucleic acid sequence (See, e.g., Dubensky et al. (1996) J. Virol. 70:508-19; WO 95/07995; WO 96/17072).

[0118] In some embodiments, the vector further comprises a signal peptide operably linked to the peptide. Signal peptides are terminally (usually N-terminally) located peptide sequences that provide for passage of the protein into or through a membrane. Different signal peptides can be of use in different applications. For example, as regards a cellular system for the production of isolated peptides as described herein, a secretory signal peptide can permit increased yields and ease of purification. As a further example, as regards cells which produce peptides as described herein and which are administered for therapeutic purposes to a subject, multiple signal peptides, e.g. a peptide signaling for secretion from the first cell, a peptide signaling for internalization by a second cell, and a final peptide signaling for nuclear localization can increase the amount of peptide reaching the target environment. As a further example, as regards, e.g. gene therapy applications, a peptide signaling for nuclear localization can increase the amount of peptide reaching the target environment. Signal peptides are known in the art. Non-limiting examples of nuclear localization signal (NLS) peptides for use in mammalian cells include; the SV40 large T-antigen NLS (PKKKRKV) (SEQ ID NO: 305); the nucleoplasmin NLS (KR[PAATKKAGQA]KKKK)(SEQ ID NO: 306); the K-K/R-X-K/R (SEQ ID NO: 307) consensus NLS (KKXR (SEQ ID NO: 308); KKXK (SEQ ID NO: 309); KRXK (SEQ ID NO: 310); KRXR (SEQ ID NO: 311); and PY-NLSs (see, e.g. Dingwall et al. J Cell Biol 188 107:841-9 and Makkerh et al. Curr Biol. 1996 6:1025-7; both of which are incorporated by reference herein in their entireties, for further discussion). Non-limiting examples of secretion signal peptides for use in mammalian cells include human albumin signal peptide (MKWVTFISLLFLFSSAYS) (SEQ ID NO: 312); human chymotrypsin signal peptide (MAFLWLLSCWALLGTTGF) (SEQ ID NO: 313); human interleukin-2 signal peptide (MQLLSCIALILALV) (SEQ ID NO: 314); human trypsinogen-2 signal peptide (MNLLLILTFVAAAVA) (SEQ ID NO: 315); and sequences which include a coding region for a signal for precursor cleavage by signal peptidase, furin or other prohormone convertases (e.g., PC3). For example, a signal (peptide) sequence which is cleaved by furin (also known as PACE, see U.S. Pat. No. 5,460,950), other subtilisins (including PC2, PC1/PC3, PACE4, PC4, PC5/PC6, LPC/PC7IPC8/SPC7 and SKI-I; Nakayama, Biochem. J., 327:625-635 (1997)); enterokinase (see U.S. Pat. No. 5,270,181) or chymotrypsin can be introduced into the signal (peptide) sequence as defined herein. Additional signal peptides are known in the art and the choice of signal peptide can be influenced by the cell type, growth conditions, and the desired destination of the peptide.

[0119] In one aspect, described herein is a cell expressing a vector comprising a nucleic acid encoding a peptide as described herein. In some embodiments, the cell expressing a vector as described herein is a cell suitable for the production of polypeptides. A cell suitable for the production of polypeptides can be a prokaryotic or eukaryotic cell, e.g. bacteria, virus, yeast, fungi, mammalian cells, insect cells, plant cells, and the like. By way of non-limiting example, cells for the production of proteins are commercially available, e.g. bacterial cells (BL21 derived cells--Cat. No. 60401-1, Lucigen; Middleton, Wis. and mammalian cells (293 F cells--Cat. No. 11625-019, Invitrogen; Grand Island, N.Y.).

[0120] Recombinant molecules, e.g. vectors as described herein, can be introduced into cells via transformation, particularly transduction, conjugation, lipofection, protoplast fusion, mobilization, particle bombardment, electroporation (Neumann et al., "Gene Transfer into Mouse Lyoma Cells by Electroporation in High Electric Fields," EMBO J. 1(7):841-845 (1982); Wong et al., "Electric Field Mediated Gene Transfer," Biochem Biophys Res Commun 107(2):584-587 (1982); Potter et al., "Enhancer-dependent Expression of Human Kappa Immunoglobulin Genes Introduced into Mouse pre-B Lymphocytes by Electroporation," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 81(22):7161-7165 (1984), which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety), polyethylene glycol-mediated DNA uptake (Joseph Sambrook & David W. Russell, Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual cp. 16 (2d ed. 1989), which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety), or fusion of protoplasts with other entities (e.g., minicells, cells, lysosomes, or other fusible lipid-surfaced bodies that contain the chimeric gene) (Fraley et al., "Liposome-mediated Delivery of Tobacco Mosaic Virus RNA into Tobacco Protoplasts: A Sensitive Assay for Monitoring Liposome-protoplast Interactions," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 79(6):1859-1863 (1982), which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety). The host cell is then cultured in a suitable medium, and under conditions suitable for expression of the protein or polypeptide of interest. After cultivation, the cell is disrupted by physical or chemical means, and the protein or polypeptide purified from the resultant crude extract. Alternatively, cultivation may include conditions in which the protein or polypeptide is secreted into the growth medium of the recombinant host cell, and the protein or polypeptide is isolated from the growth medium. Alternative methods may be used as suitable.

[0121] The terms "enhancer" and "enhance" as it pertains to a molecule in connection with CD8 T cell refers to the ability of a molecule to modify the immune response by promoting the activation of cells of the immune system. The choice of appropriate enhancer can allow control of activation of the immune response. Exemplary enhancers include cytokines such as 1L-2. The term "cytokine" as used herein refers cell signaling molecules that act as has immunomodulating agents, and comprise proteins such as interleukins and interferons as would be identifiable to a skilled person. Selection of a suitable cytokine can result under appropriate conditions in the preferential induction of a humoral or cellular immune response.

[0122] In an embodiment, the enhancer can be Interleukin 2 (IL2), Interleukin 15 (1L-15), TGF-beta (TGF-.beta.), IL2-antilt-2 antibody complex and/or additional enhancer identifiable by a skilled person upon reading of the present disclosure. Reference is made to the references Mitchell et al 2010 (38), Perret et al 2008 (39) and Karnimura et al 2007 (40), each incorporated by reference ifs its entirety, which describe exemplary use of enhancer in connection with T cell activation.

[0123] In particular in some embodiments, the enhancing is performed by reducing CD86 expression and/or IL 12 secretion by dendritic cells in the individual.

[0124] The peptides can also be attached to adjuvants. The term "adjuvant" refers to a compound or mixture that enhances the immune response and/or promotes the proper rate of absorption following inoculation, and, as used herein, encompasses any uptake-facilitating agent. Non-limiting examples of adjuvants include, chemokines (e.g., defensins, HCC-1, HCC4, MCP-1, MCP-3, MCP4, MIP-1.alpha., MIP-1.beta., MIP-1.delta., MIP-3.alpha., MIP-2, RANTES); other ligands of chemokine receptors (e.g., CCR1, CCR-2, CCR-5, CCR6, CXCR-1); cytokines (e.g., IL-1.beta., IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-7, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12, IL-13, IL-15, IL-17 (A-F), IL-18; IFN.alpha., IFN-.gamma.; TNF-.alpha.; GM-CSF); TGF)-.beta.; FLT-3 ligand; CD40 ligand; other ligands of receptors for those cytokines; Thl cytokines including, without limitation, IFN-.gamma., IL-2, IL-12, IL-18, and TNF; Th2 cytokines including, without limitation, IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, and IL-13; and Th17 cytokines including, without limitation, IL-17 (A through F), IL-23, TGF-.beta. and IL-6; immunostimulatory CpG motifs in bacterial DNA or oligonucleotides; derivatives of lipopolysaccharides such as monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL); muramyl dipeptide (MDP) and derivatives thereof (e.g., murabutide, threonyl-MDP, muramyl tripeptide, N-acetyl-muramyl-L-threonyl-D-isoglutamine (thr-MDP); N-acetyl-nor-muramyl-L-alanyl-D-isoglutamine (CGP 11637, referred to as nor-MDP); N-acetylmuramyl-L-alanyl-D-isoglutaminyl-L-alani-ne-2-(1'-2'-di- palmitoyl-sn-glycero-3hydroxyphosphoryloxy)-ethylamine (CGP 19835A, referred to as MTP-PE)); MF59 (see Int'l Publication No. WO 90/14837); poly[di(carboxylatophenoxy)phosphazene] (PCPP polymer; Virus Research Institute, USA); RIM (GSK), which contains three components extracted from bacteria, monophosphoryl lipid A, trehalose dimycolate and cell wall skeleton (MPL+TDM+CWS) in a 2% squalene/Tween 80 emulsion; OM-174 (a glucosamine disaccharide related to lipid A; OM Pharma SA, Meyrin, Switzerland); heat shock proteins and derivatives thereof; Leishmania homologs of elF4a and derivatives thereof; bacterial ADP-ribosylating exotoxins and derivatives thereof (e.g., genetic mutants, A and/or B subunit-containing fragments, chemically toxoided versions); chemical conjugates or genetic recombinants containing bacterial ADP-ribosylating exotoxins or derivatives thereof; C3d tandem array; lipid A and derivatives thereof (e.g., monophosphoryl or diphosphoryl lipid A, lipid A analogs, AGP, AS02, AS04, DC-Chol, Detox, OM-174); ISCOMS and saponins (e.g., Quil A, QS-21, Stimulon.RTM. (Cambridge Bioscience, Worcester, Mass.)); squalene; superantigens; or salts (e.g., aluminum hydroxide or phosphate, calcium phosphate). See also Nohria et al. Biotherapy , 7:261-269, 1994; Richards et al. , in Vaccine Design, Eds. Powell et al., Plenum Press, 1995; and Pashine et al., Nature Medicine, 11:S63-S68, 4/2005) for other useful adjuvants. Further examples of adjuvants can include the RIBI adjuvant system (Ribi Inc., Hamilton, Mont.), alum, mineral gels such as aluminum hydroxide gel, oil-in-water emulsions, water-in-oil emulsions such as, e.g., Freund's complete and incomplete adjuvants, Block co-polymer (CytRx, Atlanta Ga.), QS-21 (Cambridge Biotech Inc., Cambridge Mass.), and SAF-M (Chiron, Emeryville Calif.), AMPHIGEN.RTM. adjuvant, saponin, Quil A or other saponin fraction, monophosphoryl lipid A, and Avridine lipid-amine adjuvant, and METASTIM.RTM.. Other suitable adjuvants can include, for example, surface active substances such as lysolecithin, pluronic polyols, polyanions, peptides, oil or hydrocarbon emulsions, keyhole limpet hemocyanins, dinitrophenol, and others.

[0125] In some embodiment, cell may be genetically engineered to express the peptides described herein and the genetically engineered cells may be used for cell therapy. Examples of cells that may be used include but are not limited to, dendritic cells, T-lymphocytes (T-cells), naive T cells (T.sub.N), memory T cells (for example, central memory T cells (T.sub.CM), effector memory cells (T.sub.EM)), natural killer cells, hematopoietic stem cells and/or pluripotent embryonic/induced stem cells capable of giving rise to therapeutically relevant progeny. In an embodiment, the genetically engineered cells are autologous cells. By way of example, individual T-cells of the invention may be CD4+/CD8-, CD4-/CD8+, CD4-/CD8- or CD4+/CD8+. The T-cells may be a mixed population of CD4+/CD8- and CD4-/CD8+cells or a population of a single clone. CD4+ T-cells may produce IL-2, IFN.gamma., TNF.alpha. and other T-cell effector cytokines when co-cultured in vitro with cells expressing the peptides (for example CD20+ and/or CD19+ tumor cells). CD8.sup.+ T-cells may lyse antigen-specific target cells when co-cultured in vitro with the target cells. In some embodiments, T cells may be any one or more of CD45RA.sup.+ CD62L.sup.+ naive cells, CD45RO.sup.+ CD62L.sup.+ central memory cells, CD62L.sup.- effector memory cells or a combination thereof (Berger et al., Adoptive transfer of virus-specific and tumor-specific T cell immunity. Curr Opin Immunol 2009 21(2)224-232).

[0126] In some embodiments, tolerized antigen presenting cells may be used in cell therapy. Examples include B cells, dendritic cells, macrophages and the like. The cells may be of any origin, including from humans. The cells may be tolerized using the peptides described herein. In some embodiments, the cells are tolerized in the presence of cytokines.

[0127] In some embodiments, the cell producing the peptide as described herein can be administered to a subject, e.g. for treating, inhibiting, reducing the severity of and/or slow progression of atherosclerosis (such as accelerated atherosclerosis) in subjects with SLE.

[0128] In some embodiments, nanoparticles containing the peptide as described herein can be administrated to a subject. In some embodiments, the nanoparticles for use with the peptides described herein may be as described in Levine et al., Polymersomes: A new multi-functional tool for cancer diagnosis and therapy. Methods 2008 Vol 46 pg 25-32 or as described in S Jain, et al., Gold nanoparticles as novel agents for cancer therapy. Br J Radiol. 2012 Feb; 85(1010): 101-113.

[0129] In some embodiments, the cell expressing a vector encoding a peptide as described herein can be a cell of a subject, e.g. a subject administered gene therapy for the treatment, inhibition, reduction of severity and/or slow progression of atherosclerosis (such as accelerated atherosclerosis) in subjects with SLE. Vectors for gene therapy can comprise viral or non-viral vectors as described elsewhere herein.

[0130] Some embodiments of the present invention can be defined as any of the following numbered paragraphs: [0131] 1. A method of treating, inhibiting, preventing, reducing the severity of slow progression of and/or promoting prophylaxis of cardiovascular diseases in subjects with SLE comprising: (a) providing a composition comprising one or more peptides of ApoB or derivatives, pharmaceutical equivalents, peptidomimetics or analogs thereof; and (b) administering an effective amount of the composition to the subject, so as to treat, inhibit, prevent, reduce the severity of, slow progression of and/or promote prophylaxis of cardiovascular diseases in subjects with (SLE). [0132] 2. A method of treating, inhibiting, preventing, reducing the severity of, slowing progression of, and/or promoting prophylaxis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in subjects in need thereof comprising: (a) providing a composition comprising one or more peptides of ApoB-100 ("ApoB") or derivatives, pharmaceutical equivalents, peptidomimetics or analogs thereof; and (b) administering an effective amount of the composition to the subject, so as to treat, inhibit, prevent, reduce the severity, slow the progression, and/or promote prophylaxis of SLE in the subject. [0133] 3. The method of paragraphs 1 or 2, wherein the peptide of ApoB is any one or more of peptides 1 to 302 of ApoB-100 as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 1 to SEQ ID NO: 302. [0134] 4. The method of paragraph 3, wherein the peptide of ApoB-100 is P210 (SEQ ID NO: 210). [0135] 5. The method of paragraph 3, wherein the peptide of ApoB-100 is P45 (SEQ ID NO: 45). [0136] 6. The method of paragraph 3, wherein the petide is fused to cholera toxin B (CTB). [0137] 7. A method of treating, inhibiting, preventing, reducing the severity of, slowing progression of and/or promoting prophylaxis of SLE in a subject in need thereof comprising: (a) providing a composition comprising CD8+ T cells activated with one or more peptides of ApoB or derivatives, pharmaceutical equivalents, peptidomimetics or analogs thereof; and (b) administering an effective amount of the composition to the subject so as to treat, inhibit, prevent, reduce the severity of, slow progression of and/or promote prophylaxis of SLE in the subject. [0138] 8. A method of treating, inhibiting, preventing, reducing the severity of, slowing progression of and/or promoting prophylaxis of cardiovascular diseases in subjects with SLE comprising: (a) providing a composition comprising CD8+ T cells activated with one or more peptides of ApoB or derivatives, pharmaceutical equivalents, peptidomimetics or analogs thereof; and (b) administering an effective amount of the composition to the subject, so as to treat, inhibit, prevent, reduce the severity of, slow progression of and/or promote prophylaxis of cardiovascular diseases in subjects with (SLE). [0139] 9. The method of paragraphs 7 or 8, wherein the peptide of ApoB is any one or more of peptides 1 to 302 of ApoB as set forth in SEQ ID NO: 1 to SEQ ID NO: 302. [0140] 10. The method of paragraph 9, wherein the peptide of ApoB is P210 (SEQ ID NO: 210). [0141] 11. The method of paragraph 9, wherein the peptide of ApoB is P45 (SEQ ID NO: 45). [0142] 12. The method of paragraphs 7 or 8, wherein the petide is fused to cholera toxin B (CTB). [0143] 13. The method of paragraphs 7 or 8, wherein the method further comprises administering an effective amount of one or more enhancers. [0144] 14. The method of paragraph 13, wherein the enhancers are any one or more of IL-2, IL-10, IL-15. TGF-.beta., IL2/Anti-IL-2 antibody complex, or combinations thereof. [0145] 15. A method for treating SLE in a subject in need thereof by passive immunization, comprising providing an antibody that binds at least one oxidized fragment of ApoB and administering a therapeutically or prophylactically effective amount of the antibody, so as to treat SLE. [0146] 16. The method of paragraph 15, wherein the antibody is a human antibody. [0147] 17. The method of paragraph 16, wherein the antibody comprises a variable heavy region (V.sub.H) and a variable light region (V.sub.L), wherein the V.sub.H region consists of the sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO. 303 and the variable light region (V.sub.L) No. 304. [0148] 18. The method of paragraph 1, 2, 5 or 6, further comprising administering an effective amount of an antibody that binds at least one oxidized fragment of ApoB. [0149] 19. The method of paragraph 18, wherein the antibody is a human antibody. [0150] 20. The method of paragraph 19, wherein the antibody comprises a variable heavy region (V.sub.H) and a variable light region (V.sub.L), wherein the V.sub.H region consists of the sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO. 303 and the variable light region (V.sub.L) No. 304. [0151] 21. The method of paragraph 1 or 8, wherein the cardiovascular disease is atherosclerosis. [0152] 22. The method of paragraph 21, wherein atherosclerosis is accelerated atherosclerosis. [0153] 23. An assay for diagnosing SLE in a subject in need thereof comprising: [0154] Obtaining a Sample from the Subject; [0155] Assaying the sample to determine the level of autoantibodies against ApoB-100; and [0156] Determining that the subject has increased likelihood of having SLE if the level of the autoantibodies is decreased relative to a reference value, or determining that the subject has decreased likelihood of having SLE if the level of autoantibodies is increased relative to a reference value. [0157] 24. An assay for determining likelihood of cardiovascular disease in a subject having or suspected of having SLE comprising: [0158] Obtaining a sample from the subject; [0159] Assaying the sample to determine the level of autoantibodies against ApoB-100; and [0160] Determining that the subject has increased likelihood of cardiovascular disease if the level of the autoantibodies is decreased relative to a reference value, or determining that the subject has decreased likelihood of cardiovascular disease if the level of autoantibodies is increased relative to a reference value. [0161] 25. The assay of paragraphs 23 or 24, wherein the assay comprises using is an immunoassays. [0162] 26. The assay of paragraph 25, wherein the immunoassay is any one or more of ELISA, RIA, Western blotting, Southern blotting, or combinations thereof. [0163] 27. The assay of paragraphs 23 or 24, wherein the sample is blood, plasma, urine, tissue or combinations thereof. [0164] 28. The assay of paragraph 27, wherein the sample is obtained before, during or after treatment for SLE. [0165] 29. The assay of paragraphs 23 or 24, wherein the subject is human. [0166] 30. The assay of paragraphs 23 or 24, wherein the reference value is the mean or median level of autoantibodies against ApoB-100 in a population of subjects that do not have SLE. [0167] 31. The assay of paragraphs 23 or 24, wherein the reference value is the mean or median level of autoantibodies against ApoB-100 in a sample obtained from the subject at a different time point. [0168] 32. The assay of paragraphs 23 or 24, wherein the reference value is the mean or median level of autoantibodies against ApoB-100 in a population of subjects that have SLE and have undergone or are undergoing treatment for SLE. [0169] 33. The assay of paragraphs 23 or 24, wherein the reference value is the mean or median level of autoantibodies against ApoB-100 in a population of subjects that have SLE and have undergone or are undergoing treatment for SLE and have not undergone or are not undergoing treatment for cardiovascular diseases. [0170] 34. The assay of paragraph 24, wherein the cardiovascular disease is atherosclerosis. [0171] 35. The assay of paragraph 34, wherein atherosclerosis is accelerated atherosclerosis. [0172] 36. The assay of paragraph 23, further comprising determine the level of soluble forms of the apoptosis-signaling receptors Fas, TNF-R1, and/or TRAIL-R2; and determining that the subject has increased likelihood of having SLE if the level of the said apoptosis-signaling receptors is increased relative to a reference value, or determining that the subject has decreased likelihood of having SLE if the level of said apoptosis-signaling receptors is decreased relative to a reference value. [0173] 37. An assay for determining the efficacy of treatment for SLE in a subject in need thereof comprising: [0174] Obtaining a sample from the subject; [0175] Assaying the sample to determine the level of autoantibodies against ApoB-100; and [0176] Determining that the treatment is effective if the level of the autoantibodies is increased relative to a reference value, or determining that the treatment is ineffective if the level of autoantibodies is decreases relative to a reference value. [0177] 38. An assay for determining the efficacy of treatment for cardiovascular diseases in subject with SLE comprising: [0178] Obtaining a sample from the subject; [0179] Assaying the sample to determine the level of autoantibodies against ApoB-100; and [0180] Determining that the treatment is effective if the level of the autoantibodies is increased relative to a reference value, or determining that the treatment is ineffective if the level of autoantibodies is decreases relative to a reference value. [0181] 39. An assay for diagnosing SLE in a subject in need thereof comprising: [0182] Obtaining a sample from the subject; [0183] Assaying the sample to determine the level of soluble forms of the apoptosis-signaling receptors Fas, TNF-R1, and/or TRAIL-R2; and [0184] Determining that the subject has increased likelihood of having SLE if the level of the said apoptosis-signaling receptors is increased relative to a reference value, or determining that the subject has decreased likelihood of having SLE if the level of said apoptosis-signaling receptors is decreased relative to a reference value. [0185] 40. The assay of paragraph 39, further comprising assaying the sample to determine the level of autoantibodies against ApoB-100; and determining that the subject has increased likelihood of having SLE if the level of the autoantibodies is decreased relative to a reference value, or determining that the subject has decreased likelihood of having SLE if the level of autoantibodies is increased relative to a reference value. [0186] 41. An assay for determining likelihood of cardiovascular disease in a subject having or suspected of having SLE comprising: [0187] Obtaining a sample from the subject; [0188] Assaying the sample to determine the level of soluble forms of the apoptosis-signaling receptors Fas, TNF-R1, and/or TRAIL-R2; and [0189] Determining that the subject has increased likelihood of cardiovascular disease if the level of said apoptosis-signaling receptors is increased relative to a reference value, or determining that the subject has decreased likelihood of cardiovascular disease if the level of said apoptosis-signaling receptors is decreased relative to a reference value.

EXAMPLES

[0190] The following examples are not intended to limit the scope of the claims to the invention, but are rather intended to be exemplary of certain embodiments. Any variations in the exemplified methods which occur to the skilled artisan are intended to fall within the scope of the present invention.

Example 1

Effiacy Study of CVX-12 in Female GLD.APOE.sup.-/- Mice

[0191] The inventors tested the athero-protective effects of the prototype vaccine, CVX-210-B (CVX-12), comprised of a human apoB-100 derived peptide, p210, conjugated to a carrier protein (cBSA), and formulated with an adjuvant (Alum) in selected strains of mice.

[0192] As described herein, the ApoB peptide vaccine CVX-12 has shown atheroprotective benefits in mouse models of atherosclerosis. We hypothesized that these benefits would extend to mouse models of lupus with accelerated atherosclerosis (gld and gld.apoE-/- strains), and we investigated the impact of CVX-12 (Formulation 21 (CVX-210-B) formulated at 1.0 mg conjugate/mL: P-C-A ratio is 1 - 1 - 6.9; 0.2mL administered) immunization on atherosclerosis, splenocyte immune cell populations and cytokine production, and autoimmune disease phenotypes in these animals. CVX-12 immunization reduced the extent of atherosclerotic plaque in apoE-/- mice. Anti-nuclear antibody reactivity was reduced by CVX-12 in gld.apoE-/- mice maintained on normal chow diet.

[0193] The gld.apoE-/- mouse strain is an acceptable model of accelerated atherosclerosis in the background of systemic lupus erythematosus. The test article used in this study was to determine its potential atheroprotective effect in this model.

Experimental Methods

[0194] CVX-12 in concentration of either 2 mg/ml P210 conjugate (CVX-3-84) or 2.1 mg/ml P210-B conjugate (CVX-3-123) were used in this study. Rosiglitazone (Ro) was used as a positive control.

[0195] Vehicle and test article were stored at 4.degree. C. Test article was prepared by dispensing 0.5 mL of alum adjuvant into a 0.5 ml vial of P210-B with a sterile syringe. The combination was mixed by pipetting until uniform. Alum control was directly administered from the storage vial.

[0196] The rosiglitazone to be used as in-house positive control was prepared for administration in normal chow diet. 8 mg rosiglitazone tablets were pulverized by mortar and pestle and incorporated into normal diet chow (50 mg rosiglitazone/1 kg food). Rosiglitazone diet was stored at 4.degree. C.

Experimental Design

[0197] Three strains of female mice were evaluated in this study: ApoE.sup.-/- (n=60), gld (n=60) and gld.ApoE.sup.-/- (n=200). The total number of animals on study was 320. Gld mice are mice that have a mutation in Fas ligand (FasL), a death factor that binds to its receptor, Fas, and induces apoptosis. Gld mice experience accelerated autoimmune disease and may be used as a mouse species to study SLE.

[0198] Mice received either normal chow diet or a combination of normal and high cholesterol chow diet (0.20% cholesterol, 21% fat). In the latter group, 150 female mice, 60 ApoE.sup.-/- and 90 gld.ApoE.sup.-/-, were maintained on normal chow diet throughout the immunization period from Day 0 (7 weeks of age) until Day 41. At Day 42, the diet was switched to high cholesterol chow and continued until euthanasia. In the normal chow-only group, 170 female mice, 60 gld and 90 gld.ApoE.sup.-/-, plus an additional 20 gld.ApoE.sup.-/- as a positive control group, received a normal chow diet for the duration of the study (Day 0 until euthanasia).

[0199] Each animal dosed with a test article received subcutaneous primary immunization in the dorsal interscapular area at Day 0 (7 weeks of age), followed by a booster on Day 21 and 35 (10 and 12 weeks of age). CVX-3-84 was used to dose ApoE.sup.-/- (n=20), gld mice (n=20). CVX-3-123 was used to dose gld.ApoE.sup.-/- (n=30 on high cholesterol chow; n=30 on normal chow diet).

[0200] 20 gld.ApoE.sup.-/-mice in the positive control group received an oral dose of rosiglitazone at 10 mg/kg/day in normal chow starting on Day 0 (7 weeks of age) and continuing for the duration of the study period. Mice receiving Rosiglitazone were sacrificed at Day 126 (25 weeks of age).

[0201] Gld, ApoE.sup.-/-, and gld.ApoE.sup.-/- mice on normal diet were euthanized on Day 126 (25 weeks of age). Gld.ApoE.sup.-/-on high cholesterol chow diet were sacrificed at either Day 126 (25 weeks of age) or Day 98 (21 weeks of age). Due to severe disease observed in the gld.ApoE.sup.-/- strain of mice receiving the high cholesterol diet, the duration of the in-life period for this group was reduced from 126 days (25 weeks of age) to 98 days (21 weeks of age). As a result of the earlier endpoint for these mice, the time on the high cholesterol diet was reduced from 84 days to 56 days.

[0202] All apoE.sup.-/- and gld study mice (n=60 each) had a 1 week period of acclimation before study enrollment.

[0203] Mice were enrolled into the study based on their date of birth, and age-matched mice were divided among the test article and control cohorts (i.e., PBS, Alum, and CVX-12) to supply date-matched controls at each endpoint date. The health of all mice was monitored by veterinary staff on a daily basis.

[0204] Animals were dosed according to the schedule in Table 2:

TABLE-US-00002 TABLE 2 Test Article Administration Dose Admin. Mouse N Test Conjugate Conjugate Aluminum Volume Sequence Sacrifice Model (320) Diet Formuation # Article (mg/mL) (mg/admin) (mg/admin) (mL) (day) (day) ApoE.sup.-/- 20 Normal A PBS 0 0 0 0.2 0, 21, 35 126 Diet day Control 0-41 HC Diet day 42-126 ApoE.sup.-/- 20 Normal B Alum 0 0 1.38 0.2 0, 21, 35 126 Diet day Control 0-41 HC Diet day 42-126 ApoE.sup.-/- 20 Normal 21 CVX- 1.0 0.2 1.38 0.2 0, 21, 35 126 Diet day 210-B 0-41 HC Diet day 42-126 Gld 20 Normal A PBS 0 0 0 0.2 0, 21, 35 126 Diet day 0-126 Control Gld 20 Normal B Alum 0 0 1.38 0.2 0, 21, 35 126 Diet day 0-126 Contol Gld 20 Normal 21 CVX- 1.0 0.2 1.38 0.2 0, 21, 35 126 Diet day 0-126 210-B gld.ApoE.sup.-/- 30 Normal A PBS 0 0 0 0.2 0, 21, 35 98 or Diet day Control 126.sup.a 0-41 HC Diet day 42-126 gld.ApoE.sup.-/- 30 Normal B Alum 0 0 1.38 0.2 0, 21, 35 98 or Diet day Control 126.sup.a 0-41 HC Diet day 42-126 gld.ApoE.sup.-/- 30 Normal 21 CVX- 1.0 0.2 1.38 0.2 0, 21, 35 98 or Diet day 210-B 126.sup.a 0-41 HC Diet day 42-126 gld.ApoE.sup.-/- 30 Normal A PBS 0 0 0 0.2 0, 21, 35 126 Diet day 0-126 Control gld.ApoE.sup.-/- 30 Normal B Alum 0 0 1.38 0.2 0, 21, 35 126 Diet day 0-126 Control gld.ApoE.sup.-/- 30 Normal 21 CVX- 1.0 0.2 1.38 0.2 0, 21, 35 126 Diet day 0-126 210-B gld.ApoE.sup.-/- 20 Normal R Rosiglitazone* 0 0 0 * 0-126 126 Diet day 0-126

[0205] In Table 2 above: 1) Alum (Imject Alum) adjuvant stock solution is prepared using a 50% dilution to a concentration of 6.9 mg Al/mL in order to standardize administered dose volumes. 2) Formulation 21 (CVX-210-B) formulated at 1.0 mg conjugate/mL: P-C-A (peptide, conjugate, adjuvant) ratio is 1-1-6.9. Formulation A is PBS control. Formulation B is Alum. 3) An astrix (*) denotes: *Positive Control (Rosiglitazone) to be administered orally in normal chow at a dose of 10 mg/kg/day. 4) A superscript "a" denotes: aDue to high stress levels demonstrated in the gld.ApoE.sup.-/- strain of mice receiving the high cholesterol diet, the duration of the in-life period for this group was reduced from 126 days (25 weeks of age) to 98 day (21 weeks of age). Similarly, the time on the high cholesterol diet was reduced from 84 days to 56 days.

[0206] Cageside Observations: All animals were observed for morbidity, mortality, injury, and the availability of food and water at least twice daily. On occasion, veterinary consultations were conducted during the course of the study. All treatments and observations were recorded.

[0207] Detailed Clinical Observations: Clinical observations were recorded on the day of dosing, three days after dosing, and weekly between doses.

[0208] Body Weights: Body weights for all animals were measured and recorded prior to randomization and weekly during the study. Food intake was measured on a weekly basis per cage, and intake was calculated per mouse.

[0209] Physical Examinations: A complete physical examination was conducted on all animals by a staff veterinarian pretest.

[0210] Serum Analysis: Serum and urine was collected at day 63 of the study (16 weeks of age). Serum collected at day 63 of the study was analyzed for anti-P210 IgM and IgG antibodies. Levels of oxidized phospholipid was also measured in gld.apoE.sup.-/- mice maintained on normal diet.

[0211] Postmortem Study Evaluations: Serum and urine was collected at euthanasia. Endpoint serum was analyzed for anti-nuclear antibody (ANA) titers, total cholesterol, triglycerides, anti-P210 IgM antibodies, and anti-P210 IgG antibodies. Endpoint serum from gld.ApoE.sup.-/-animals maintained on normal diet was also analyzed for anti-cardiolipin antibodies. Anti-nuclear antibody titers were tested using the NOVA-lite Hep2 ANA assay, and serum dilutions of 1:100, 1:1000, 1:10000, 1:30000, and 1:90000 were tested for nuclear-localized antibody reactivity to human epithelial cells. Reactivity was detected using FITC-conjugated goat anti-mouse IgG antibody. ANAs were scored based on the presence or absence of antibody signal at each titer. Total cholesterol was assessed using Cholesterol E reagent according to the manufacturer's protocol. Triglyceride levels were assessed with Triglyceride Reagent and with a glycerol standard. Anti-P210 antibodies were detected by ELISA using reconstituted P210 peptide.

[0212] Lymph nodes and spleen were harvested and weighed. Splenocytes were isolated and analyzed for T-regulatory cell populations by immunofluorescence staining and flow cytometry. Splenocytes were also cultured and T-cells activated in vitro by Mouse T-Activator CD3/CD28. Production of cytokines INF-.gamma., IL-6, IL-10, IL-12, and TGF-.beta. by activated T-cells were assessed with immunoassays.

[0213] Kidneys were fixed, sectioned, and stained with hematoxylin and eosin to assess glomerular tuft size and cell count. Extent of atherosclerosis was quantified by oil red O stained en face prepared aorta, and oil red O stained aortic root sections.

[0214] Table 3 below defines the set of comparisons used in the statistical analyses on this study.

TABLE-US-00003 TABLE 3 Statistical Analysis Comparisons Group Comparison Group Formulation A (PBS controls) All Formulation A groups from different mouse models Formulation B (Alum) All Formulation B groups from different mouse models Formulation 21 (CVX-210-B All Formulation 21 groups from different or CVX-12) mouse models Within each mouse model Formulation 21 vs. Formulation B vs. Formulation A

[0215] Mortality: 2 apoE.sup.-/- mice and 1 gld mouse, on PBS or Alum treatments, were euthanized due to hunched posture and decreased mobility. 19 gld.apoE.sup.-/- mice on normal diet, 37 gld.apoE.sup.-/- mice on western diet, and 7 gld.apoE.sup.-/- mice on rosiglitazone treatment were euthanized due to health concerns or found dead prior to their scheduled sacrifice. Unscheduled deaths were distributed among the treatment groups (PBS, Alum, and CVX-12), and CVX-12 did not impact the incidence of unscheduled deaths.

[0216] Body and Organ Weights: Body weight data are illustrated in FIG. 1. Average food consumption measurements are presented in FIG. 2. There were no test article-related body weight or food intake changes. All groups had fluctuations in body weight that are within the normal range for the species.

[0217] Anti-P210 IgM and IgG levels were assessed at the midpoint of the study (Day 63) and the endpoint (at euthanasia), and their levels in gld or apoE.sup.-/- did not change as a result of Alum or CVX-12 treatment (Table 4). Anti-P210 IgG levels in gld mice are intrinsically higher than IgG levels in apoE.sup.-/- mice. Overall anti-P210 IgM levels decreased over time in the apoE.sup.-/- mice between the midpoint and endpoint regardless of the treatment group (PBS, Alum, and CVX-12). On the contrary, anti-P210 IgG levels increased over time in the gld mice between the midpoint and endpoint analyses in all three treatment groups (PBS, Alum, and CVX-12).

TABLE-US-00004 TABLE 4 Relative anti-P210 antibody levels in gld mice and apoE-/- mice. Values = anti-P210 OD at 405 nm .+-. SEM. Midpoint Endpoint IgM IgG IgM IgG apoE.sup.-/- PBS 3.37 .+-. 0.014 0.73 .+-. 0.19 2.60 .+-. 0.19 .sup.a 0.47 .+-. 0.05 apoE.sup.-/- Alum 3.34 .+-. 0.15 1.27 .+-. 0.47 2.37 .+-. 0.19 .sup.a 0.47 .+-. 0.06 apoE.sup.-/- CVX-12 3.29 .+-. 0.14 0.90 .+-. 0.24 2.38 .+-. 0.22 .sup.a 0.38 .+-. 0.04 .sup.a gld PBS 3.29 .+-. 0.14 1.28 .+-. 0.19 3.20 .+-. 0.19 2.75 .+-. 0.26 .sup.a gld Alum 3.78 .+-. 0.11 1.37 .+-. 0.53 3.34 .+-. 0.20 2.78 .+-. 0.27 .sup.a gld CVX-12 3.23 .+-. 0.15 1.46 .+-. 0.22 3.61 .+-. 0.12 3.14 .+-. 0.20 .sup.a .sup.a p < 0.05 for midpoint vs endpoint

[0218] Anti-P210 antibodies did not increase in gld.apoE.sup.-/- mice immunized with CVX-12 (Table 5). Instead, immunization with CVX-12 decreased anti-P210 IgM in gld.apoE.sup.-/- mice on western diet. Rosiglitazone treatment had a similar effect on anti-P210 IgM antibodies, decreasing their levels in gld.apoE.sup.-/- relative to PBS-treated mice on either normal or high cholesterol diet protocols.

TABLE-US-00005 TABLE 5 Relative anti-P210 antibody levels in gld.apoE-/- mice. Values = anti-P210 OD at 405 nm .+-. SEM. Midpoint Endpoint IgM IgG IgM IgG gld.apoE.sup.-/- 0.60 .+-. 0.03 0.57 .+-. 0.05 0.58 .+-. 0.04 0.66 .+-. 0.06 (ND) PBS gld.apoE.sup.-/- 0.59 .+-. 0.02 0.55 .+-. 0.04 0.50 .+-. 0.03 .sup.a 0.61 .+-. 0.04 (ND) Alum gld.apoE.sup.-/- 0.62 .+-. 0.03 0.59 .+-. 0.05 0.53 .+-. 0.04 0.65 .+-. 0.04 (ND) CVX-12 gld.apoE.sup.-/- 0.76 .+-. 0.04.sup.b 0.57 .+-. 0.06 0.66 .+-. 0.04 0.69 .+-. 0.04 (WD) PBS gld.apoE.sup.-/- 0.70 .+-. 0.02.sup.b 0.55 .+-. 0.05 0.61 .+-. 0.04 .sup.a 0.76 .+-. 0.05 .sup.a (WD) Alum gld.apoE.sup.-/- 0.64 .+-. 0.05 0.54 .+-. 0.06 0.53 .+-. 0.03 .sup.c 0.69 .+-. 0.05 (WD) CVX-12 Rosiglitazone 0.64 .+-. 0.03 0.68 .+-. 0.07 0.42 .+-. 0.06 .sup.a, c 0.68 .+-. 0.07 .sup.a p < 0.05 for midpoint vs endpoint. .sup.bp < 0.05 for ND vs WD. .sup.c p < 0.05 for treatment relative to PBS control.

[0219] Since peptides derived from ApoB100 are thought to be antigens for pathogenic T cells, it is thought that they can tolerize against these responses. As a readout, we would expect to see reduced antibodies to ApoB100-related antigens. Here measurements of apoB, oxidized phospholipid (OxPL), measure by E06 antibody, reveal a significant increase in oxPL with CVX-12 administration in gld.apoE.sup.-/- mice on normal diet (FIG. 3), which demonstrates that the immunization had an effect.

[0220] Anti-nuclear antibody titer. CVX-12 immunization reduced the anti-nuclear antibody titer in gld.apoE.sup.-/- mice on normal diet (FIG. 4). This demonstrates that CVX-12 is beneficial for lupus disease, an application of which has not previously been tested.

[0221] Anti-cardiolipin Analysis. Because anti-nuclear antibody titers were reduced in CVX-12 immunized gld.apoE.sup.-/- mice on normal diet, anti-cardiolipin antibody reactivity was also assessed (FIG. 5). While not significantly reduced, we observed a trend towards decreased anti-cardiolipin antibodies in CVX-12 immunized gld.apoE.sup.-/- mice on normal diet. These data suggest a larger sample size would likely demonstrate a statistically significant effect.

[0222] Postmortem Study Evlauations: Aortic en face and root plaque measurements are illustrated in FIG. 6 and FIG. 7. Gld mice did not develop atherosclerotic lesions, and CVX-12 did not trigger spontaneous lesion formation in these mice. In apoE.sup.-/- mice, en face coverage of atherosclerotic lesions was similar among treatment groups, but aortic root section measurements indicated that atherosclerotic plaque depth was reduced by Alum and CVX-12 immunization in apoE.sup.-/- mice. In gld.apoE.sup.-/- mice, coverage of atherosclerotic lesions quantified by en face measurements of lesion area was unaffected by CVX-12 relative to control mice. A trend towards decreased lesion area was observed in gld.apoE-/- mice maintained on normal diet when treated with both Alum and CVX-12, however these changes were not statistically significant.

[0223] Organ Weights. Spleen and lymph node weights are illustrated in FIG. 8. CVX-12 immunization increased submandibular lymph node size in gld mice but had no impact on lymph node size in apoE.sup.-/- or gld.apoE.sup.-/- mice. CVX-12 did not affect spleen size.

[0224] Kidney Analysis. Kidney glomerular tuft area was measured in the autoimmunity-elevated gld mice and gld.apoE.sup.-/- mice (FIG. 9). Average glomerular tuft area was unaffected by CVX-12 immunization in gld or gld.apoE.sup.-/- mice fed either a normal or Western diet.

[0225] Splenocyte Analysis. CVX-12 immunization is hypothesized to impact atherosclerosis via modulation of T-cell cytokine release. Thus cytokine release by cultured splenocytes activated by CD3 and CD28 was assessed for the cytokines IFN.gamma., IL-6, IL-10, IL-12 (p'70), and TNF.alpha. (Tables 6-12). CVX-12 immunization increased IL-6 and IL-10 cytokine release from spleen T-cells in apoE.sup.-/- mice. CVX-12 immunization did not impact levels of the assayed cytokines in gld mice. Rosiglitazone decreased IFN.gamma. and IL-6 production by splenocytes from gld.apoE.sup.-/- mice, whereas CVX-12 treatment increased IFNy release by splenocytes from gld.apoE.sup.-/- fed normal diet chow. IL-10 release from gld.apoE.sup.-/- splenocytes was decreased by CVX-12 immunization of gld.apoE.sup.-/- mice on western diet.

TABLE-US-00006 TABLE 6 Cytokine Production from Spleen T-cells from apoE-/- mice. All values are pg/mL. *P < 0.05 compared to PBS. IFN-.gamma. IL-6 IL-10 IL-12 (p70) TNF.alpha. CVX- CVX- CVX- CVX- CVX- PBS Alum 12 PBS Alum 12 PBS Alum 12 PBS Alum 12 PBS Alum 12 Un- Avg 33.9 581.0 845.0 269.9 549.0 893.1* 34.8 43.1 85.8* 52.2 12.0 12.3 8.0 23.3 7.5 stim- SEM .+-.19.5 .+-.385.6 .+-.23.0 .+-.121.8 .+-.124.8 .+-.182.2 .+-.12.3 .+-.9.5 .+-.10.1 .+-.40.4 .+-.0.5 .+-.0.7 .+-.4.3 .+-.14.8 .+-.0.9 ulat- ed Stim- Avg 12545 11411 12507 1689.6 3861.0* 2925.2* 1206.7 1390.2 1676.3* 12.9 12.9 13.6 75.7 540.9 80.7 ulat- SEM .+-.716.7 .+-.1027.1 .+-.683.9 .+-.295.4 .+-.828.8 .+-.350.3 .+-.144.3 .+-.314.3 .+-.171.3 .+-.0.4 .+-.0.6 .+-.0.7 .+-.4.0 .+-.265.1 .+-.4.8 ed

TABLE-US-00007 TABLE 7 Cytokine Production from Spleen T-cells from gld mice. All values are pg/mL IFN-.gamma. IL-6 IL-10 CVX- CVX- CVX- PBS Alum 12 PBS Alum 12 PBS Alum 12 Unstimulated Avg 171.0 112.6 82.9 302.4 576.5 152.4 142.9 147.5 74.1 SEM .+-.55.9 .+-.48.8 .+-.48.1 .+-.99.7 .+-.323.4 .+-.43.9 .+-.34.8 .+-.65.8 .+-.22.2 Stimulated Avg 11145 12509 13780 2115.5 2290.4 1538.3 945.5 1132.5 1255.3 SEM .+-.894.4 .+-.1119.7 .+-.1098.7 .+-.246.9 .+-.462.2 .+-.217.4 .+-.127.1 .+-.187.5 .+-.198.3 IL-12 (p70) TNF.alpha. CVX- CVX- PBS Alum 12 PBS Alum 12 Unstimulated Avg 434.0 233.4 169.7 8.4 57.9 3.7 SEM .+-.153.4 .+-.155.6 .+-.73.1 .+-.4.5 .+-.38.0 .+-.0.4 Stimulated Avg 451.4 142.7 254.2 46.7 106.9 49.9 SEM .+-.152.7 .+-.47.0 .+-.139.0 .+-.6.8 .+-.43.8 .+-.5.0

TABLE-US-00008 TABLE 8 IFN-.gamma. Production from Spleen T-cells from gld.apoE-/- mice. All values are pg/mL. *P < 0.05 compared to normal diet PBS Normal Diet Western Diet PBS Alum CVX-12 PBS Alum CVX-12 Rosi Unstimulated Avg 65.9 79.8 85.4 127.9 139.0 132.3 24.2* SEM .+-.9.4 .+-.23.7 .+-.19.3 .+-.83.3 .+-.52.8 .+-.56.3 .+-.8.4 Stimulated Avg 12053.5 11111.9 14852.3* 12957.2 13721.5 9755.3 11419.9 SEM .+-.1047.4 .+-.1202.1 .+-.421.0 .+-.1431.8 .+-.679.1 .+-.1745.3 .+-.2002.3

TABLE-US-00009 TABLE 9 IL-6 Production from Spleen T-cells from gld.apoE-/- mice. All values are pg/mL. *P < 0.05 compared to normal diet PBS Normal Diet Western Diet PBS Alum CVX-12 PBS Alum CVX-12 Rosi Unstimulated Avg 612.3 542.1 674.8 572.0 1024.0 1855.2 255.9* SEM .+-.98.8 .+-.121.1 .+-.268.3 .+-.127.2 .+-.315.5 .+-.731.9 .+-.84.6 Stimulated Avg 2642.1 2972.8 2703.0 2556.8 3208.1 3476.3 385.0* SEM .+-.309.7 .+-.701.4 .+-.539.4 .+-.450.4 .+-.511.1 .+-.771.7 .+-.79.0

TABLE-US-00010 TABLE 10 IL-10 Production from Spleen T-cells from gld.apoE-/- mice. All values are pg/mL. *P < 0.05 compared to WD alum and ND CVX-12 Normal Diet Western Diet PBS Alum CVX-12 PBS Alum CVX-12 Rosi Unstimulated Avg 147.5 177.3 158.1 302.8 230.4 215.6 196.0 SEM .+-.24.4 .+-.42.4 .+-.42.4 .+-.156.8 .+-.84.5 .+-.89.2 .+-.100.6 Stimulated Avg 1603.7 1472.1 1723.3 1696.9 1671.0 1023.5* 1528.3 SEM .+-.240.7 .+-.224.3 .+-.194.2 .+-.323.9 .+-.237.0 .+-.188.0 .+-.233.9

TABLE-US-00011 TABLE 11 IL-12 (p70) Production from Spleen T-cells from gld.apoE-/- mice. All values are pg/mL. Normal Diet Western Diet PBS Alum CVX-12 PBS Alum CVX-12 Rosi Unstimulated Avg 121.1 160.2 145.9 427.4 212.0 404.7 89.2 SEM .+-.39.7 .+-.51.0 .+-.61.8 .+-.281.2 .+-.83.2 .+-.223.7 .+-.40.3 Stimulated Avg 147.9 235.0 70.1 743.1 148.7 225.3 44.7 SEM .+-.64.7 .+-.124.0 .+-.19.1 .+-.414.1 .+-.48.5 .+-.131.4 .+-.30.0

TABLE-US-00012 TABLE 12 TNF.alpha. Production from Spleen T-cells from gld.apoE-/- mice. All values are pg/mL Normal Diet Western Diet PBS Alum CVX-12 PBS Alum CVX-12 Rosi Unstimulated Avg 9.4 29.4 11.4 7.5 25.0 4.6 8.9 SEM .+-.1.2 .+-.17.0 .+-.2.1 .+-.1.3 .+-.18.6 .+-.0.6 .+-.1.5 Stimulated Avg 50.1 42.9 58.3 59.0 68.4 53.5 39.5 SEM .+-.6.0 .+-.4.3 .+-.6.8 .+-.7.4 .+-.26.5 .+-.18.0 .+-.8.7

[0226] CVX-12 immunization reduced the anti-nuclear antibody titer levels in gld.apoE.sup.-/- mice on normal diet, demonstrating its applicability for treatment for patients with SLE, independent of cardiovascular disease involvement. Anti-p210 IgM was decreased by CVX-12 in gld.apoE.sup.-/- on western diet. Glomerular tuft area, as a first measurement of kidney dysfunction, was not affected in a positive nor negative manner by Alum or CVX-12 treatment. Taken together, CVX-12 immunization in a mouse model of lupus with lupus-associated accelerated atherosclerosis appears to be safe, and effectively diminishes anti-nuclear antibody titer.

Example 2.

Increased Levels of Soluble Death Receptors are Associated with Cardiovascular Disease in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

[0227] Since dysregulation of apoptosis has been implicated in atherosclerosis the present study investigated if plasma levels of the death receptors Fas, TRAIL receptor 2 (TRAIL-R2) and TNF-R1 are related to the presence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in patients with SLE.

Experimental Methods

[0228] Patients and controls. Patients and controls were included between January 2004 and October 2013. All patients who fulfilled four or more of the 1982 revised American College of Rheumatology (ACR) classification criteria for SLE [Tan EM et al. The 1982 revised criteria for the classification of systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Rheum 1982; 25:1271-7]. Patients were required to be older than 18 years, otherwise there were no exclusion criteria. Population controls, individually matched to the first 322 SLE patients were identified in the population registry. Matching was performed within one year of age, for sex, and region of living. Controls were contacted and asked to participate through a letter. The only exclusion criterion among controls was a diagnosis of SLE. Due to limitation of the analytical platform 69 randomly selected controls were excluded from the present study.

[0229] Data collection. All patients and controls were investigated in person by a rheumatologist. Traditional risk factors for CVD were tabulated. Hypertension was defined as a systolic BP>140 mm Hg and/or a diastolic BP>90 mm Hg or use of antihypertensive treatment. Diabetes was considered present if patients were previously diagnosed with diabetes. History of vascular events, defined as a history of objectively verified myocardial infarction, ischemic cerebrovascular disease or peripheral vascular disease was obtained though interview and review of medical files. In SLE patients, age at diagnosis, duration of disease, and lupus manifestations including autoantibodies were recorded. Lupus nephritis was defined according to the 1982 revised ACR classification criteria for nephritis [Tan EM, Cohen AS, Fries JF, et al. The 1982 revised criteria for the classification of systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Rheum 1982; 25: 1271-7]. Organ damage was assessed with Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics/ACR Damage index (SDI) [Gladman D, et al. The development and initial validation of the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics/American College of Rheumatology damage index for systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Rheum 1996; 39: 363-9]. All blood samples were taken after overnight fasting and laboratory examinations were performed blinded, either on fresh blood samples or after storage in -70.degree. C.

[0230] Analysis of circulating death receptors in plasma. Plasma levels of Fas, TNF-R1 and TRAIL-R2 were analyzed by the Proximity Extension Assay (PEA) technique using the Proseek Multiplex CVD.sup.96.times.96 reagents kit. Oligonucleotide-labeled antibody probe pairs were allowed to bind to their respective targets present in the plasma sample and addition of a DNA polymerase led to an extension and joining of the two oligonucleotides and formation of a PCR template. Universal primers were used to pre-amplify the DNA templates in parallel. Finally, the individual DNA sequences were detected and quantified using specific primers by microfluidic real-time quantitative PCR chip. The mean coefficients of variance for intra-assay variation and inter-assay variation were 8% and 12% for Fas, 7% and 11% for TNF-R1, and 7% and 15% for TRAIL-R2. All samples were analyzed in the same run. Data analysis was performed by a preprocessing normalization procedure using Olink Wizard for GenEx. All data are presented as arbitrary units (AU). General calibrator curves to calculate the approximate concentrations are available on the OLINK homepage (http://www.olink.com).

[0231] Determination of p45, p210 and .beta..sub.2GPI autoantibodies. Peptides corresponding to the amino acids from 661 to 680 (p45; IEIGLEGKGFEPTLEALFGK) and amino acids 3136-3155 (p210; KTTKQSFDLSVKAQYKKNKH) of human apoB-100 were synthesized and used in ELISA. The peptides were modified by 0.5 M MDA for 3 h at 37 .degree. C. and dialyzed against PBS containing 1 mM EDTA as described [Fredrikson GN, et al. Identification of immune responses against aldehyde-modified peptide sequences in Apo B-100 associated with cardiovascular disease. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2003; 23: 872-8]. Native and MDA-modified peptides diluted in PBS pH 7.4 (20 .mu.g/ml) were absorbed to microtiter plate wells in an overnight incubation at 4 .degree. C. After washing with PBS containing 0.05% Tween-20 (PBS-T) the coated plates were blocked with SuperBlock in TBS for 30 min at RT followed by an incubation of test plasma, diluted 1/100 in TB S-0. 1% Tween-20 and 10% Superblock (TBS-T) for 2 hr at RT and overnight at 4.degree. C. After rinsing, deposition of autoantibodies directed to the peptide was detected using biotinylated rabbit anti-human IgM or IgG antibodies appropriately diluted in TBS-T. After another incubation for 2 hr at RT the plates were washed and the bound biotinylated antibodies detected by alkaline phosphatase conjugated streptavidin, incubated for 2 hr at RT. The colour reaction was developed by using phosphatase substrate kit and the absorbance at 405 nm was measured after 90 and 120 min of incubation at RT for IgM and IgG, respectively. Data regarding the specificity and variability of the antibody ELISA have been published previously [Fredrikson GN, et al. Identification of immune responses against aldehyde-modified peptide sequences in apo B-100 associated with cardiovascular disease. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2003; 23: 872-8; Fredrikson GN, et al.. Autoantibody against the amino acid sequence 661-680 in apo B-100 is associated with decreased carotid stenosis and cardiovascular events. Atherosclerosis 2007; 194: e188-92].

[0232] Anti-.beta..sub.2GPI antibodies IgM/IgG were determined with the multiplex immunoassays, BioPlex 2200 APLS (Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc., Hercules, Calif., USA). Results were reported in the ranges between 1.9-160 U/mL for IgM and 1.9-160 U/mL for IgG. Results were handled as continuous variables. The multiplex assays are regarded as positive if .gtoreq.20 U/mL. This cut-off level corresponded to at least the 99th percentile of healthy blood donors.

[0233] Human peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMCs) isolation. PBMCs from SLE patients (n=6, x female and x male, age x+/-x years) and matched healthy controls (n=6, x female and x male, age x+/-x years) as well as from a healthy donor were isolated using FicollPaque Plus (GE healthcare, Waukesha, Wis., USA) density gradient centrifugation according to manufacturer's instructions. The cells from SLE patients and controls were resuspended in 40% autologous serum, 40% RPMI 1640 medium (Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, Mass., USA) and 20% dimethyl sulfoxide (Sigma Aldrich, St. Louis, Mich., USA) and frozen in liquid nitrogen.

[0234] Death receptor activation of human donor PBMC. Cells from healthy donors were seeded freshly at a density of 0.5.times.10.sup.6 cells per well in complete RPMI (10 U/ml Penicillin/streptomycin, 1% L-glutamine, 1% sodium pyruvate, 1% Hepes and 0,1% mercaptoethanol) with 2% FBS (HyClone South Logan, UT, USA). For death receptor activation, IL-1.beta., soluble Fas ligand, TNF (Peprotech, Rocky Hill, N.J., USA) and LPS (Sigma Aldrich) were used at a concentration of 10 ng/ml, 0.5 .mu.g/ml, 10 ng/ml and 10 .mu.g/ml respectively.

[0235] Flow cytometry. Cells from a healthy donor were seeded freshly at a density of 0.5.times.10.sup.6 cells per well in complete RPMI (10 U/ml Penicillin/streptomycin, 1% L-glutamine, 1% sodium pyruvate, 1% Hepes and 0,1% mercaptoethanol) with 2% FBS (HyClone South Logan, Utah, USA). For death receptor activation, IL-1.beta., soluble Fas ligand, TNF.alpha. (Peprotech, Rocky Hill, N.J., USA) and LPS (Sigma Aldrich) were used at a concentration of 10 ng/ml, 0.5 .mu.g/ml, 10 ng/ml and 10 .mu.g/ml respectively.

[0236] Cell supernatant soluble death receptor analysis. Cell supernatants from death receptor activated PBMCs from a healthy donor and SLE patients/controls were used for measurement of soluble Fas, TNF-R1 and TRAIL-R2 with a magnetic bead system multiplex assay (R&D Systems, Minneapolis, Minn., USA) obtained by Luminex machine (Bio-Rad). For SLE patients and controls, TNF-R1 concentration was measured with ELISA (Abcam) according to manufacturer's recommendations.

[0237] Statistics. Clinical characteristics are presented as median (interquartile range, IQR) for continuous variables and as percentages for categorical variables. Continuous variables that were not normally distributed were log transformed. If not become normally distributed after log transformation, non-parametric tests were used. Depending on data type, Students' t-test, Mann Whitney or Chi square test were used to compare differences between groups. Correlations were investigated through calculating the Spearman rank correlation coefficients. Multivariable-adjusted logistic regression models were performed to evaluate the associations between autoantibodies and cardiovascular/organ damage outcomes.

Plasma Levels of Soluble Death Receptors are Elevated in SLE Patients and Associated with the Severity of Organ Damage.

[0238] We analyzed the plasma levels of soluble death receptors in a cohort of 484 patients with SLE and 253 healthy controls. There was no significant age-difference between SLE patients and controls but the percent of females was higher in the control group (Table 13). Circulating levels of Fas, TRAIL-R2 and TNF-R1 were increased by 34.1%, 13.6% and 47.4%, respectively (p<0.001 for all) in patients with SLE as compared to the controls (Table 13).

TABLE-US-00013 TABLE 13 Circulating death receptor levels in SLE patients and controls. Distributions are given as median (interquartile range) or percentages. Differences between groups were analyzed by Mann-Whitney U test. Fas, TRAIL receptor 2 and TNF receptor 1 values are given as arbitrary units. SLE patients (n = 484) Controls (n = 253) P Age (years) 46.4 (33.7-57.6) 49.3 (36.0-58.8) ns Female sex (%) 86.7 93.3 0.006 Death receptors Fas 181 (143-234) 135 (114-166) <0.001 TRAIL receptor 2 2.5 (1.9-3.5) 2.2 (1.9-2.7) <0.001 TNF receptor 1 5873 (4576-7750) 3984 (3362-4689) <0.001

[0239] There were 69 CVD cases in the SLE group and 8 in the control group (Table 14).

TABLE-US-00014 TABLE 14 Clinical characteristic of SLE patients and controls. Distributions are given as median (interquartile range) or percentages. CVD data missing for 14 SLE patients. SLE patients Controls No CVD No CVD (n = 401) CVD (n = 69) P (n = 245) CVD (n = 8) P Age (yrs) 43.9 (31.9-56.1) 56.8 (49.5-66.1) <0.001 50.0 (35.9-58.8) 54.3 (50.1-61.6) ns Female sex % 85 91 ns 93 88 ns SLE characteristics Disease duration year 6.5 (1.7-13.6) 17.2 (7.8-32.2) <0.001 NA NA SLICC damage index 1 (1-2) 3 (2-5) <0.001 NA NA (SDI) Risk factors Smoking (%) 49 71 0.002 48 50 ns Systolic BP (mmHg) 120 (110-135) 130 (120-150) <0.001 120 (110-137) 140 (125-168) 0.02 Diastolic BP (mmHg) 78 (70-80) 80 (70-85) ns 75 (70-80) 85 (85-90) 0.003 Hypertension treatment 28.9 59.4 <0.001 15.1 50 0.008 (%) Body mass index 23.8 (21.4-27.1) 25.3 (21.9-29.8) 0.04 24.2 (22.0-27.5) 31.3 (27.0-35.1) 0.001 (kg/m.sup.2) Diabetes (%) 1.4 0 ns HDL (mmol/L) 1.3 (1.1-1.6) 1.2 (1.0-1.6) ns 1.5 (1.2-1.8) 1.4 (1.1-1.5) ns LDL (mmol/L) 3.0 (2.5-3.6) 2.9 (2.3-3.6) ns 3.3 (2.6-4.0) 3.7 (3.0-4.4) ns Triglycerides (mmol/L) 1.0 (0.6-1.4) 1.4 (1.0-1.7) <0.001 0.8 (0.6-1.1) 0.8 (0.7-1.7) ns Glucose 4.8 (4.4-5.2) 5.1 (4.6-5.6) 0.001 4.9 (4.6-5.2) 5.3 (5.0-6.3) 0.02 High-sensitivity CRP 1.5 (0.6-5.0) 2.4 (1.0-7.0) 0.04 0.9 (0.5-2.2) 3.2 (2.5-7.6) 0.006 Creatinine 67 (57-80) 76 (64-94) 0.001 65 (60-72) 70 (56-89) ns

[0240] SLE patients with a prevalent CVD event were older, had a longer duration of SLE, a higher SLICC damage index and more cardiovascular risk factors. In the SLE group those with prevalent CVD had significantly higher levels of Fas, TRAIL-R2 and TNF-R1 than those without CVD (Table 15). This difference remained significant for TRAIL-R2 and TNF-R1, but not for Fas, when controlling for the influence of age and sex in logistic regression models. There were no significant differences between those with and without prevalent CVD in the control group for Fas (144 (IQR 137-201) versus 134 AU (IQR 114-166)), TRAIL-R2 (2.3 (IQR 2.1-2.9) versus 2.2 AU (IQR 1.9-2.7)) or TNF-R1 (4211 (IQR 3956-4898) versus 3984 AU (IQR 3350-4689)). To determine if increased levels of soluble death receptors represent a general marker of organ damage we finally analyzed their relation with permanent organ damage measures as a SLICC score >1. A SLICC>1 was found to be associated with increased plasma levels of Fas, TRAIL-R2 and TNF-R1 and these differences remained statistically significant when controlling for age and sex (Table 15).

TABLE-US-00015 TABLE 15 Circulating death receptor levels on SLE patients with and without nephritis and SLICC > 1. Distributions are given as median (interquartile range). Fas TRAIL receptor 2 TNF receptor 1 No CVD 177 (141-229) 2.4 (1.8-3.4) 5557 (4513-7564) (n = 401) CVD (n = 69) 209 (162-272) 3.3 (2.2-4.5) 6562 (5480-9090) P 0.004 <0.001 0.001 OR (95% C.I.) 1.44 (0.87-2.38) 1.63 (1.16-2.29) 1.84 (1.12-3.01) age and sex adjusted SLICC .ltoreq. 1 170 (134-215) 2.3 (1.8-3.2) 5367 (4292-6985) SLICC > 1 209 (165-280) 3.0 (2.0-4.4) 6608 (5203-9027) P <0.001 ns <0.001 OR (95% C.I.) 2.34 (1.60-3.43) 1.56 (1.20-2.03) 2.53 (1.72-3.72) age and sex adjusted

Association between Soluble Death Receptors and Cardiovascular Risk Factors.

[0241] The plasma levels of soluble death receptors increased with age in both SLE patients and controls (Table 16). In spite of this, there was only a modest or no association with SLE disease duration. Associations with blood pressure, BMI, LDL (only Fas), triglycerides, glucose, hsCRP and creatinine were observed both in SLE and controls. There was an inverse association with HDL for TRAIL-R2 and TNF-R1 in the SLE group and for TNF receptor 1 in the control group. Smokers (current or former) had higher levels than those that had never smoked (Fas: 187 (IQR 152-247) versus 170 AU (IQR 134-219); p=0.001, TRAIL-R2: 2.5 (IQR 1.9-3.5) versus 2.2 AU (IQR 1.8-3.0); p=0.004 or TNF-R1: 6252 (IQR 4738-8720) versus 5386 AU (IQR 4375-6712); p=0.003).

TABLE-US-00016 TABLE 16 Association between risk factors and circulating death receptor levels. Spearman rank correlation coefficients. *P < 0.05, **P < 0.01, ***P < 0.001. SLE patients Controls TRAIL TNF TRAIL TNF Fas receptor 2 receptor 1 Fas receptor 2 receptor 1 Age (years) 0.26*** 0.21*** 0.19*** 0.31*** 0.23*** 0.16* Disease duration 0.10* ns ns NA NA NA year Systolic BP (mmHg) 0.26*** 0.21*** 0.23*** 0.36*** 0.22*** 0.16* Diastolic BP (mmHg) 0.17*** ns 0.13** 0.29*** ns ns BMI (kg/m.sup.2) 0.20*** 0.13* 0.14** 0.21** 0.16** 0.22** HDL (mmol/L) ns -0.14** -0.19*** ns ns -0.14* LDL (mmol/L) 0.14** ns ns 0.19** ns ns Triglycerides 0.37*** 0.37*** 0.45*** 0.16* 0.19** ns (mmol/L) Glucose 0.18*** ns 0.12*** 0.22*** 0.19** 0.22*** High-sensitivity 0.18*** 0.29*** 0.43*** 0.22** 0.14* 0.14* CRP Creatinine 0.35*** 0.27*** 0.43*** 0.15* 0.15* 0.20**

Association between Soluble Death Receptors and Immune Biomarkers.

[0242] High levels of soluble Fas, TRAIL-R2 and TNF-R1 correlated with higher neutrophil and lower lymphocyte counts (Table 17). There were also significant associations between some of the soluble death receptors and the plasma levels of immune biomarkers of SLE such as C3dg, cardiolipin IgG and .beta.2GP1 IgG. We have shown that antibodies against apolipoprotein (apo) B have a protective role in atherosclerosis and that SLE patients have reduced levels of the apo B p210 IgG. Interestingly, we observed an inverse association between soluble death receptors and p210 IgG in the present study (Table 17).

TABLE-US-00017 TABLE 17 Association of circulating death receptor levels with blood cells, complement and autoantibodies in SLE patients. Spearman rank correlation coefficients. Fas TRAIL receptor 2 TNF receptor 1 White blood cells Lymphocytes -0.15** -0.11* -0.15** Neutrophils 0.19** 0.24*** 0.26*** Complement C1q -0.02 -0.09 -0.08 C3 -0.11* -0.06 -0.10* C3dg 0.34*** 0.09 0.33*** Autoantibodies Cardiolipin IgG ns 0.09* 0.15** Cardiolipin IgM ns ns ns .beta.2GP1 IgG ns 0.09* 0.15** .beta.2GP1 IgM ns ns ns Apo B p210 IgG -0.21*** -0.15** -0.13** Apo B p210 IgM ns -0.11* ns *P < 0.05, **P < 0.01, ***P < 0.001.

Fas Ligand Activates Release of Soluble Death Receptors from Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMC)

[0243] The role of cell surface death receptors in apoptosis signaling is well characterized but the factors that regulate the release of the soluble forms of these receptors have not been extensively studied. Hence, we cultured human PBMC in presence of different death receptor ligands and pro-inflammatory factors. Exposure of cells to Fas ligand stimulated the release of Fas, and TRAIL-R2 into the culture medium, while exposure to IL-1.beta. no effect and LPS only induced a small increase in the release if TRAIL-R2 (FIG. 10A and 10B). Incubation with TNF-.alpha. resulted in a modest inhibition of the release of TRAIL-R2, but had no effect on the release of Fas from PBMC. Fas ligand, IL-1.beta. and LPS all stimulated the release of TNF-R1, whereas no effect was seen in response to TNF-.alpha. (FIG. 10C). These observations demonstrate that the release of Fas and TRAIL-R2 is induced by activation of the Fas ligand/Fas pathway but not in response to pro-inflammatory factors. In contrast, the release of TNF-R1 is stimulated both by Fas ligand and pro-inflammatory factors.

PBMC from SLE Patients and Healthy Controls Differ in Response to Fas Ligand Stimulation.

[0244] Stimulation of PBMCs from SLE patients with Fas ligand resulted in a 73% increase in the release of FAS and a seven-fold increase in TRAIL-R2 release (FIG. 11A and FIG. 11B). A similar increase in the release of TRAIL-R2 was seen in healthy controls exposed to Fas ligand, whereas the effect on Fas was less pronounced and did not reach statistical significance in paired t-test. Stimulation with Fas ligand did not activate secretion of TNF-R1 (FIG. 11C) Incubation with Fas ligand increased the frequency of apoptotic lymphocytes in PBMCs obtained from healthy controls but not in PBMCs from SLE patients (FIG. 11C).

[0245] The present study demonstrates that patients with SLE have increased plasma levels of soluble Fas, TNF-R1 and TRAIL-R2 as compared to age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Moreover, patients with previous nephritis and higher organ damage scores had higher plasma levels of Fas, TNF-R1 and TRAIL-R2 than those with milder disease manifestations.

[0246] Activation of death receptors by their respective ligands (primarily FasL, TNF-.alpha. and TRAIL) are of importance for several types of physiological apoptosis including deletion of activated T cells at the end of an immune response and killing of virus infected cells as well as cancer cells. However, dysfunctional activation of death receptor signaling has also been associated with autoimmunity. Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome is a rare disease caused by mutations in the Fas gene leading to high expression of autoantibodies, recurrent autoimmune cytopenia as well as other autoimmune organ complications. Several lines of evidence have also implicated FasL/Fas signaling in the pathogenesis of SLE. In particular, altered FasL/Fas signaling is considered to play an important role in the disease process by contributing to an impaired clearance of autoreactive lymphocytes and increased exposure of hidden self-antigens. Mice with functional mutations in the Fas (lpr mice) and FasL (gld mice) genes develop SLE-like phenotypes. Moreover, T and B cells from SLE patients are characterized by increased cell surface expression of Fas and this expression has been shown to correlate with disease activity.

[0247] Death receptors can also be released by the cells in a soluble form. The factors that induce the release of soluble Fas and TRAIL-R2 have to our knowledge previously not been studied in detail. In the present study we demonstrate that the release of soluble Fas and TRAIL-R2 from human PBMCs is enhanced by FasL, but not by IL-1.beta. or TNF-.alpha.. This implies that the observed significant associations between soluble Fas and TRAIL-R2 and CRP in SLE patients reflect inflammation caused by impaired regulation of apoptosis rather than a release of these death receptors in response to inflammation. The cause of the increased levels of soluble TNF-R1 in SLE is more complex since the release of this receptor from PBMCs is stimulated by both FasL and pro-inflammatory factors, such as IL-.beta. and LPS. This suggests that increased levels of TNF-R1 may be a marker of both extrinsic apoptosis signaling and inflammation. We have previously studied sTNF-R1 in SLE from a systemic inflammatory perspective and demonstrated that together with sTNF-R2 and TNF-.alpha., it is a good marker of SLE disease activity and it was also associated with CVD. Interestingly, we did not observe an increased release of TNF-R1 in response to stimulation with TNF-.alpha., which is in contrast to previous studies on polymorphonuclear leukocytes and microvessel endothelial cells.

[0248] The soluble form of Fas has been shown to inhibit apoptosis by blocking the binding of FasL to the membrane-bound form of Fas. Thus, it is likely that the increased levels of soluble Fas found in subjects with SLE may contribute to development of SLE disease characteristics in the same way as inhibition of FasL/Fas signaling contributes to development of an SLE-like phenotype in experimental animals. In this context it is interesting to note that FasL-induced apoptosis in PBMCs from control subjects was not associated with a significant increase in the amount of secreted Fas, while in PBMCs from SLE subjects stimulation with FasL stimulated the release of Fas without affecting apoptosis. One possible explanation to this observation could be that SLE PBMCs can block FasL-induced apoptosis by releasing soluble Fas, which competes with membrane-bound Fas for the binding of FasL. The lack of significant effect of FasL on the release of Fas in the experiment comparing SLE and control PBMCs in FIG. 11 could be seen as contradictory to the findings presented in FIG. 10 that stimulation with FasL induced a significant increase of Fas secretion in control PBMCs. However, it should be kept in mind that all cells in the latter experiment came from the same individual and that the increase was only about 10%.

[0249] SLE patients with clinical manifestations of CVD had higher levels of soluble death receptors than those without. Notably, an impaired regulation and handling of apoptosis represents an interesting common feature of SLE and atherosclerosis, the main cause of acute cardiovascular events. Enhanced apoptosis of smooth muscle cells in atherosclerotic plaques increases the risk for plaque rupture, which is considered as the main cause of acute myocardial infarction. However, there is experimental evidence that also inhibition of apoptotic signaling as well as impaired clearance of apoptotic material contribute to atherosclerosis development. In line with this notion ApoE.sup.-/- mice lacking FasL or Fas both demonstrate enhanced atherosclerosis development. Also TNF-R1 deficient mice are more susceptible to atherosclerosis. TNF-.alpha..sup.-/-//ApoE.sup.-/- mice are characterized by reduced formation of atherosclerotic plaques suggesting that while TNF-.alpha. signaling through TNF-R1 is athero-protective the net effect of other TNF receptors is pro-atherogenic.

[0250] The role of TRAIL-R2 in atherosclerosis remains relatively unknown but observations that both TRAIL and TRAIL receptors are present in atherosclerotic plaques suggests that it may play a role in the disease process. The positive association between increased levels of soluble death receptors and a SLICC score above one suggest that these mechanisms also contribute to organ damage outside the cardiovascular system. These observations are thus in line with previous reports of elevated soluble Fas levels in SLE patients with organ manifestations.

[0251] A striking observation in the present study was the clear association between increased levels of soluble death receptors and factors associated with the metabolic syndrome including high BMI, glucose, triglycerides, systolic blood pressure and low HDL. The mechanisms responsible these associations remain to be fully elucidated. In the present study we also identified an inverse association between soluble death receptors and autoantibodies against the LDL antigen ApoB p210. High levels of this type of autoantibodies have been associated with a lower risk of CVD and we recently reported that patients with SLE have reduced levels of ApoB autoantibodies. Moreover, recombinant IgG against Apo B have been shown to reduce atherosclerosis in experimental animal models. It is an interesting possibility that these autoantibodies in some way may reduce death receptor signaling and through this mechanism affect atherosclerosis development.

[0252] The present findings demonstrate an increased release of the soluble forms of the apoptosis-signaling receptors Fas, TNF-R1 and TRAIL-R2 in SLE and that the plasma levels of these receptors are associated with the presence of CVD as well as other types of SLE-related organ complications. Our findings also suggest that the plasma levels of soluble Fas and TRAIL-R2 reflect signaling through membrane-bound death receptors and that increased levels of soluble Fas may inhibit apoptosis induction in SLE through binding to FasL. Since impaired regulation of apoptosis also has been shown to promote atherosclerosis development in general we propose that increased expression of soluble death receptors may contribute to cardiovascular complications in SLE.

Example 3

Low Levels of Apolipoprotein B-100 Autoantibodies are Associated with Increased Risk of Coronary Events

[0253] Previous smaller studies have indicated inverse associations between autoantibodies to oxidized low-density lipoprotein epitopes, and cardiovascular disease. The present study investigated associations between autoantibodies against the apolipoprotein B-100 peptides p45 and p210, respectively, and risk of incident cardiovascular disease in a large population-based cohort.

[0254] Apolipoprotein B-100 autoantibodies were analyzed by ELISA in a prospective study, including 5393 individuals (aged 46-68 years) belonging to the cardiovascular arm of the Malmo Diet and Cancer study with a follow-up time of >15 years. Subjects that suffered an acute coronary event during follow-up (n=382) had lower levels at baseline of IgM autoantibodies recognizing the native and malondialdehyde-modified apolipoprotein B-100 peptides p45 and p210 and also lower IgG levels recognizing native p210, whereas no association was found with risk for stroke (n=317). Subjects in the highest compared with lowest tertile of IgM-p45.sub.MDA (hazard ratio [95% confidence interval]: 0.72 [0.55, 0.94]; P=0.017) and IgG-p210.sub.native (hazard ratio [95% confidence interval]: 0.73 [0.56, 0.97]; P=0.029) had lower risk for incident coronary events after adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors in Cox proportional hazard regression models. Moreover, subjects with high levels of IgG-p210.sub.native were less likely to have carotid plaques as assessed by ultrasonography at baseline (odds ratio=0.81, 95% confidence interval 0.70-0.95, P=0.008 after adjustment for risk factors).

[0255] This large prospective study demonstrates that subjects with high levels of apolipoprotein B-100 autoantibodies have a lower risk of coronary events supporting a protective role of these autoantibodies in cardiovascular disease.

[0256] We investigated the relationships of plasma levels of IgM and IgG autoantibodies against native p45 (IgMp45 native and IgG-p45native), native p210 (IgM-p210native and IgG-p210native), MDA-modified p45 (IgM-p45MDA and IgGp45 MDA), and MDA-modified p210 (IgM-p210MDA and IgGp210MDA) and incidence of cardiovascular events. The findings establish that high levels of apoB-100 autoantibodies are associated with a lower incidence of coronary events.

Experimental Methods

[0257] The Malmo Diet and Cancer Study (MDCS) is a prospective population-based cohort (n=28,449) study examining the association between diet and cancer [Berglund G, et al. The Malmo Diet and Cancer Study. Design and feasibility. J Intern Med. 1993;233:45-51]. Subjects born between 1926 and 1945 and living in Malmo were eligible for inclusion in the study. Between October 1991 and February 1994, every other participant was also invited to take part in a sub-study focusing on the epidemiology of carotid artery disease (MDCS cardiovascular cohort, n=6,103) [Hedblad B, et al. Relation between insulin resistance and carotid intima-media thickness and stenosis in non-diabetic subjects. Results from a cross-sectional study in Malmo, Sweden. Diabet Med. 2000;17:299-307]. In the present study, plasma samples for assessments of apoB-100 autoantibodies were available in a random subsample of 5,393 subjects participating in the cardiovascular cohort of MDCS (FIG. 12), aged 46 to 68 years old (mean age 57.6). Participants were followed from baseline examination until first event of cardiovascular disease (CVD), emigration from Sweden or death, up until December 31st, 2009. Ascertainment of cases and validity of the registries used (the Swedish Discharge Registry, the Stroke Register of Malmo and the Cause of Death Registry of Sweden) have been proven to be high. A coronary event was defined as a fatal or non-fatal myocardial infarction, on the basis of the International Classification of Diseases 9th and 10th revisions (ICD-9 and ICD-10) codes 410 and I21, respectively. Death due to ischemic heart disease was defined on the basis of codes 412 and 414 (ICD-9) or I22, I23 and I25 (ICD-10). A stroke event was defined as a fatal- or non-fatal stroke (ICD-9: 430, 431, 434 and 436), hemorrhagic stroke as ICD-9: 430, 431 or ICD-10: I60, I61 and ischemic stroke as ICD-9:434, 436 or ICD-10: I63. Throughout the follow-up period 668 incident first event CVD cases (398 coronary events and 329 strokes, whichever came first) were identified. Within the 398 incident coronary events, 66 fatal myocardial infarctions, 293 non-fatal myocardial infarctions and 39 ischemic heart diseases were identified. Moreover, within the 329 incident stroke events, 25 fatal and 304 non-fatal strokes, whereof 269 ischemic strokes, 52 hemorrhagic strokes and 8 unspecified were recognized. Hypertension was defined as blood pressure >140/90 mmHg or blood pressure lowering medication, high cholesterol as >5 mmol/L, smoking as current smoking. Blood pressure, smoking habits and lipid levels were determined as previously described [Hedblad B, et al. Relation between insulin resistance and carotid intima-media thickness and stenosis in non-diabetic subjects. Results from a cross-sectional study in Malmo, Sweden. Diabet Med. 2000;17:299-307]. The study was approved by the Regional Ethical Review Board in Lund (LU 51-90) and was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration. All subjects gave written consent. The reporting of this cohort study is in accordance with the STROBE guidelines.

[0258] B-mode ultrasound. Analysis of the common and bifurcation carotid arteries was performed using an Acuson 128 CT system with a 7-MHz transducer as described previously [Hedblad B, Nilsson P, Janzon L and Berglund G. Relation between insulin resistance and carotid intima-media thickness and stenosis in non-diabetic subjects. Results from a cross-sectional study in Malmo, Sweden. Diabet Med. 2000;17:299-307]. Briefly, the right carotid bifurcation was scanned within a predefined window comprising 3 cm of the distal common carotid artery, the bifurcation, and 1 cm of the internal and external carotid arteries. All images for measurement of plaque thickness were obtained in the longitudinal projection showing the thickest intima-media complex. Plaque was defined as a focal thickening of the intima-media exceeding 1.2 mm.

[0259] Determination of p45 and p210 autoantibodies. Peptides corresponding to the amino acids from 661 to 680 (p45; IEIGLEGKGFEPTLEALFGK) and amino acids 3136-3155 (p210; KTTKQSFDLSVKAQYKKNKH) of human apoB-100 were synthesized (K J Ross Petersen AS, Horsholm, Denmark) and used in ELISA. The peptides were modified by 0.5 M MDA for 3h at 37.degree. C. and dialyzed against PBS containing 1 mM EDTA as described [Palinski W, Witztum JL. Immune responses to oxidative neoepitopes on LDL and phospholipids modulate the development of atherosclerosis. J Intern Med. 2000;247:371-380]. Native and MDA-modified peptides diluted in PBS pH 7.4 (20 .mu.g/ml) were absorbed to microtiter plate wells (Nunc MaxiSorp, Nunc, Roskilde, Denmark) in an overnight incubation at 4.degree. C. After washing with PBS containing 0.05% Tween-20 (PBS-T) the coated plates were blocked with SuperBlock in TBS (Thermo Scientific, #37535) for 30 min at room temperature (RT) followed by an incubation of test plasma, diluted 1/100 in TBS containing 0.1% Tween-20 (Thermo Scientific, #28320) and 10% Superblock (TBS-T) for 2h at RT and overnight at 4 .degree. C. After rinsing, deposition of autoantibodies directed to the peptide was detected using biotinylated rabbit polyclonal secondary antibody to human IgG (Abcam ab7159) or IgM antibodies (ICN 67-321, Biomedicals, Inc., Aurora, Ohio) appropriately diluted in TBST. After another incubation for 2h at RT the plates were washed and the bound biotinylated antibodies detected by alkaline phosphatase conjugated streptavidin (BioLegend 405211), incubated for 2h at RT. The colour reaction was developed by using phosphatase substrate kit (Thermo Scientific, #37620) and the absorbance at 405 nm was measured after 90 and 120 min for IgM and IgG, respectively, of incubation at RT. A ratio between the absorbance unit of the individual plasma sample and the absorbance unit of the control plasma (a plasma pool from voluntary healthy blood donors run on each ELISA-plate) was calculated and used for the analysis. Data regarding the specificity and variability of the antibody ELISA have been published previously [Fredrikson GN, et al. Identification of immune responses against aldehydemodified peptide sequences in apoB associated with cardiovascular disease. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2003;23:872-878; Fredrikson GN, et al. Autoantibody against the amino acid sequence 661-680 in apoB-100 is associated with decreased carotid stenosis and cardiovascular events. Atherosclerosis. 2007;194:e188-e192]. In the present study, the intra-assay coefficient of variation was 9-10% for all eight apo-B100 autoantibodies and the inter-assay coefficient 25% for IgM-p45.sub.native and IgM-p45.sub.MDA, 23% for IgGp-45.sub.native and IgGp45.sub.MDA, 13% for IgM-p210.sub.native and IgM-p210.sub.MDA, 22% for IgGp-210.sub.native and IgGp210.sub.MDA, respectively. The intra-assay coefficient of variation was calculated by using the absorbance values of the control plasma pool run on each plate of the same day and the inter-assay by using all the absorbance values of the control plasma pool run during the whole period of analysis.

[0260] Statistics. Clinical characteristics are presented as median (interquartile range, IQR) for continuous variables and as percentages for categorical variables. The 182 missing data due to technical reasons in the measurements of apoB-100 autoantibody levels were excluded from analysis (FIG. 12). Skewed continuous variables were logarithmically transformed. An independent sample t test was used to assess normally distributed continuous variables and a Chi-square test for proportions between subjects with and without an incident cardiovascular event. Non-parametric test (Mann-Whitney) was used to assess non-normally distributed continuous variables. Spearman's correlation coefficient was used to examine the relationship among continuous variables as appropriate. No correction for multiple testing of the eight apo-B100 autoantibodies has been performed. Several of the baseline clinical characteristics that significantly differed between cases and controls (Table 18) were selected as potential confounders: age, sex, triglycerides, LDL, HDL (but not cholesterol, LDL/HDL ratio or apoB), hs-CRP, current smoking, prevalent diabetes mellitus (but not glucose or HbAl c), systolic blood pressure (but not diastolic blood pressure) and blood pressure lowering medication. The confounders not included are represented by related risk factors included in the model. A linear regression model was used to calculate independent associations and logistic regression analyses (with the selected potential confounders included as correction variables) were used to determine associations between apoB-100 autoantibodies and presence of carotid plaques. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to evaluate rates of coronary or stroke event-free survival of apoB-100 autoantibody tertiles, and differences were analyzed by log rank test. Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to compare incidence of coronary or stroke events between autoantibody tertiles and to calculate risk factor adjusted hazard ratios (95% confidence interval, CI). Plots of the hazard function in different groups over time did not indicate that the proportional-hazards assumption was violated.

[0261] Characteristics of the Study Cohort. In this cohort of 5393 individuals (aged 46-68 years) from the cardiovascular arm of MDCS (FIG. 12), 398 incident coronary events (66 fatal and 293 nonfatal myocardial infarctions and 39 ischemic heart disease) and 329 incident stroke events (25 fatal and 304 nonfatal strokes, whereof 269 ischemic strokes, 52 hemorrhagic strokes, and 8 unspecified) were registered during follow-up until Dec. 31, 2009. Baseline characteristics of noncases and CVD cases are shown in Table 18. In comparison with noncases, those with incident CVD (coronary or stroke events) were older; included more males, more smokers, and hypertensive individuals; and had a higher prevalence of diabetes mellitus. Also blood lipids, hemoglobin Al c, and high sensitive C-reactive protein were increased among CVD cases (Table 18).

TABLE-US-00018 TABLE 18 Baseline Clinical Characteristics of the Study Cohort: Noncases (n = 4666) Cases (n = 398), * Coronary Cases (n = 329), * Stroke Age at screening, y 57.6 (52.2-62.5) 61.6 (57.2-64.7).dagger. 62.1 (58.0-64.4).dagger. Sex, % men 39.8 61.6.dagger. 50.8.dagger. Current smoker, % 26.1 33.8.dagger. 32.8.dagger-dbl. Diabetes mellitus %.sctn. 7.4 19.8.dagger. 18.2.dagger. Hypertension, %.parallel. 62.5 81.2.dagger. 85.1.dagger. Glucose, mmol/L 4.9 (4.6-5.3) 5.1 (4.7-5.6).dagger. 5.1 (4.7-5.5).dagger. Triglycerides, mmol/L 1.2 (0.9-1.6) 1.4 (1.0-1.9).dagger. 1.3 (1.0-1.9).dagger. Cholesterol, mmol/L 6.1 (5.4-6.8) 6.3 (5.6-7.0).dagger. 6.1 (5.5-6.9) HDL, mmol/L 1.4 (1.1-1.6) 1.2 (1.0-1.4).dagger. 1.2 (1.0-1.4).dagger. LDL, mmol/L 4.1 (3.5-4.8) 4.4 (3.7-5.0).dagger. 4.2 (3.6-4.9) LDL/HDL, ratio 3.1 (2.3-3.9) 3.8 (2.9-4.7).dagger. 3.6 (2.6-4.4).dagger. apoB, mg/L 1042 (883-1205) 1136 (997-1266).dagger. 1074 (923-1232) Systolic BP, mm Hg 140 (126-152) 150 (138-160).dagger. 150 (140-160).dagger. Diastolic BP, mm Hg 86 (80-92) 90 (82-95).dagger. 90 (85-98).dagger. HbA1c, % 4.8 (4.5-5.1) 5.0 (4.6-5.4).dagger. 5.0 (4.6-5.3).dagger. hs-CRP, mg/L 1.3 (0.7-2.7) 2.0 (1.0-4.1).dagger. (1.0-3.8).dagger. For Table 18 Above: Values presented as median and interquartile range or percentages. ApoB indicates apolipoprotein B; BP, blood pressure; HbA1c, Hemoglobin A1c; HDL, high-density lipoprotein; hs-CRP, high-sensitive C-reactive protein; and LDL, low-density lipoprotein. * Mann-Whitney test or .chi.2 test for categorical data. .dagger.P < 0.001. .dagger-dbl.P < 0.05. .sctn.History of diabetes mellitus, medication, or fasting glucose .gtoreq. 6.1 mmol/L. Blood pressure .gtoreq. 140/90 mm Hg or blood pressure-lowering treatment. noncases, 167 coronary, and 137 stroke events.

[0262] ApoB-100 Autoantibodies and Incident CVD. CVD cases were found to have lower levels of IgM against both native and MDA-modified apoB-100 p45 and p210, respectively, as well as lower levels of IgG against native apoB-100 p210, whereas the other IgG autoantibody levels did not differ between groups. When subjects with incident coronary events and incident stroke were analyzed separately, the same pattern of differences was observed between noncases and those with coronary events. However, no association was seen between apoB-100 peptide autoantibodies and risk for total stroke (Table 19).

TABLE-US-00019 TABLE 19 Ratio of ApoB-100 Autoantibody Levels in Noncases and CVD Cases: ApoB-100 Abs, Noncases (n = 4512) Cases (n = 382), Coronary Cases (n = 317), Stroke IgM-p45.sub.native 0.307 (0.135-0.579) 0.237 (0.089-0.497).dagger. 0.292 (0.119-0.512) IgM-p45.sub.MDA 0.434 (0.260-0.685) 0.360 (0.211-0.588).dagger. 0.406 (0.243-0.605) IgM-p210.sub.native 0.668 (0.518-0.818) 0.649 (0.493-0.781).dagger-dbl. 0.659 (0.488-0.811) IgM-p210.sub.MDA 0.750 (0.606-0.881) 0.721 (0.571-0.852).dagger. 0.723 (0.593-0.853) IgG-p45.sub.native 0.231 (0.105-0.468) 0.217 (0.092-0.452) 0.224 (0.090-0.455) IgG-p45.sub.MDA 0.368 (0.241-0.564) 0.341 (0.226-0.530) 0.351 (0.228-0.575) IgG-p210.sub.native 0.395 (0.290-0.530) 0.372 (0.266-0.478).dagger. 0.392 (0.275-0.520) IgG-p210.sub.MDA 0.649 (0.489-0.830) 0.619 (0.465-0.840) 0.651 (0.462-0.873) For Table 19 Above: Abs indicates antibodies; ApoB-100, apolipoprotein B-100; CVD, cardiovascular disease; IgG, immonoglobulin; IgM, immonoglobulin M; and MDA, malondialdehyde. *Ratio of the individual plasma sample and the control plasma pool. Values presented as median and interquartile range of the ratio of the apoB-100 autoantibody levels. Skewed variables were log-transformed before analysis. .dagger.P < 0.01, Student t test. .dagger-dbl.P < 0.05.

[0263] Also, no association was detected when only individuals with incident ischemic stroke were analyzed.

[0264] To determine if there were time-dependent associations between autoantibodies and incident coronary events, the autoantibody levels were divided into tertiles that were plotted into Kaplan-Meier survival curves. The survival curves revealed a significant positive linear trend over tertiles of the IgM-p45 .sub.native, IgM-p45.sub.MDA, IgM-p210.sub.native, IgM-p210.sub.MDA, and IgG-p210.sub.native autoantibodies (Log rank [Mantel Cox] tests, P for linear trend <0.05; FIG. 13). No significant linear trend was found for IgG-p45.sub.native, IgG-p45.sub.MDA, or IgG-p210.sub.MDA. In a Cox proportional hazard regression model, a significant association was identified between high levels of IgM-p45.sub.MDA and lower risk of incident coronary events after adjustment for several potential confounders, for example, age, sex, LDL, HDL, triglycerides, high-sensitive C-reactive protein, current smoking, prevalent diabetes mellitus, blood pressure-lowering medication, and systolic blood pressure (hazard ratio [95% confidence interval (CI)]: 0.72 [0.55, 0.94], P=0.02 for the third tertile versus first; Table 20). Furthermore, a significant association between high levels of IgG-p210.sub.native and decreased risk of coronary events was found after adjustment of the model with the same risk factors (hazard ratio [95% CI]: 0.73 [0.56, 0.97], P=0.03; for the third tertile versus first; Table 20).

TABLE-US-00020 TABLE 20 Hazard Ratios (HR) and 95% Confidence Intervals (CI) for Incident Coronary Event by Tertiles of IgM-p45.sub.MDA and IgG-p210.sub.native Autoantibodies: Model First Tertile Second Tertile Third Tertile P for Trend IgM-p45MDA, ratio* <0.313 0.313-0.578 >0.579 Coronary events, numbers 159 126 97 <0.0001 1 Cornony events, HR (95% 1.00 0.79 (0.62-0.99).dagger. 0.59 (0.46-0.76).dagger-dbl. 0.001 CI) 2 Cornony events, HR (95% 1.00 0.94 (0.73-1.20) 0.72 (0.55-0.94).dagger. 0.112 CI) IgM-p210native, ratio* <0.324 0.324-0.475 >0.476 Coronary events, 148 137 97 0.001 numbers 1 Cornony events, HR (95% 1.00 0.91 (0.72-1.15) 0.66 (0.51-0.85).dagger-dbl. 0.005 CI) 2 Cornony events, HR (95% 1.00 1.10 (0.86-1.40) 0.73 (0.56-0.97).dagger. 0.051 CI) Table 20 above: Associations between tertiles of IgM-p45.sub.MDA and IgG-p210.sub.native autoantibodies and incident coronary event was calculated using Cox proportional hazard regression unadjusted (Model 1) and adjusted for age, sex, LDL, HDL, systolic blood pressure, triglycerides, hs-CRP, current smoking, blood pressure-lowering medication, and prevalent diabetes mellitus (Model 2). Significant associations between number of events and tertiles of autoantibodies were determined with a .chi.2 test for linear trend. CI indicates confidence interval; HbA1c, Hemoglobin A1c; HDL, high-density lipoprotein; HR, hazard ration; hs-CRP, high-sensitive C-reactive protein; IgG, immonoglobulin; IgM, immonoglobulin M; LDL, low-density lipoprotein; and MDA, malondialdehyde. *Ratio of the individual plasma sample and the control plasma pool. .dagger.P < 0.05. .dagger-dbl.P < 0.001 vs first tertile, highlighted in bold.

[0265] No significant differences between tertiles for the other apoB-100 autoantibodies were detected (Table 21).

TABLE-US-00021 TABLE 21 Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for incident coronary event by tertiles of apo-B100 autoantibodies: 1st tertile 2nd tertile 3rd tertile P for trend IgM-p45.sub.native, ratio.dagger. Coronary events, numbers 137 109 95 0.004 Coronary events HR (95% CI) 1.00 0.84 (0.64-1.09) 0.76 (0.58-1.03) 0.010 IgG-p45.sub.native, ratio.dagger. Coronary events, numbers 140 119 123 0.269 Coronary events HR (95% CI) 1.00 0.87 (0.67-1.14) 1.02 (0.79-1.32) 0.167 IgG-p45.sub.MDA, ratio.dagger. Coronary events, numbers 138 118 113 0.098 Coronary events HR (95% CI) 1.00 0.85 (0.66-1.11) 0.89 (0.68-1.16) 0.892 IgM-p210.sub.native ratio.dagger. Coronary events, numbers 144 129 109 0.023 Coronary events HR (95% CI) 1.00 1.07 (0.83-1.38) 0.90 (0.67-1.18) 0.298 IgM-p210.sub.MDA ratio.dagger. Coronary events, numbers 147 121 114 0.032 Coronary events HR (95% CI) 1.00 0.95 (0.73-1.23) 1.04 (0.80-1.35) 0.368 IgG-p210.sub.MDA ratio.dagger. Coronary events, numbers 144 113 125 0.216 Coronary events HR (95% CI) 1.00 0.81 (0.63-1.06) 0.96 (0.74-1.23) 0.289 Table 21 above: Associations between tertiles of apoB-100 autoantibodies and incident coronary event was calculated using Cox proportional hazard regression adjusted for age, sex, LDL, HDL, systolic blood pressure, triglycerides, hs-CRP, current smoking, blood pressure lowering medication and prevalent diabetes. Significant associations between number of events and tertiles of autoantibodies were determined with a .chi.2 test for linear trend. .dagger.Tertiles of the ratio of the individual plasma sample and the control plasma pool. Significant P-values for trend across tertiles are highlighted in bold text.

[0266] The association between high levels of IgM-p45.sub.MDA and lower risk of incident coronary events was independent of the levels of the IgG-antibody recognizing the same antigen (IgG-p45.sub.MDA; hazard ratio [95% CI]: 0.59 [0.46, 0.76]; P<0.001). In line, high levels of IgG-p210.sub.native were independent of the levels of IgM-p210.sub.native (hazard ratio [95% CI]: 0.71 [0.54, 0.93]; P=0.01). All together, the results suggest that some of the apoB-100 autoantibodies are associated with a lower incidence of coronary events.

[0267] Individuals with presence of carotid plaques had lower levels of 3 of the apo-B100 autoantibodies; IgM-p210.sub.native (0.66.+-.0.21 absorbance ratio versus 0.68.+-.0.22; P<0.01), IgM-p210.sub.MDA (0.73.+-.0.20 absorbance ratio versus 0.75.+-.0.20; P<0.001), and IgG-p210.sub.native (0.41.+-.0.22 absorbance ratio versus 0.44.+-.0.22; P<0.001), in comparison to subjects with no carotid plaques. Moreover, chi-squared tests identified significant linear trends for presence of carotid plaques across the tertiles of these 3 apoB-100 autoantibodies and also in IgG-p45.sub.MDA (Table 22).

TABLE-US-00022 TABLE 22 Associations between presence of carotid plaques and tertiles of apoB-100 autoantibodies. 1st tertile 2nd tertile 3rd tertile P for trend IgM-p45.sub.native, ratio.dagger. Carotid plaques n (%) 689 (45.4) 659 (43.3) 654 (43.0) 0.169 IgM-p45.sub.MDA, ratio.dagger. Carotid plaques n (%) 768 (46.3) 702 (42.2) 731 (43.5) 0.114 IgG-p45.sub.native, ratio.dagger. Carotid plaques n (%) 749 (44.7) 736 (44.4) 716 (43.0) 0.319 IgG-p45.sub.MDA, ratio.dagger. Carotid plaques n (%) 760 (46.1) 713 (43.5) 695 (42.5) 0.039 IgM-p210.sub.nativeratio.dagger. Carotid plaques n (%) 770 (46.0) 732 (44.3) 699 (41.7) 0.011 IgM-p210.sub.MDA ratio.dagger. Carotid plaques n (%) 778 (46.7) 742 (44.4) 681 (40.9) 0.001 IgG-p210.sub.native ratio.dagger. Carotid plaques n (%) 801 (48.1) 729 (43.7) 671 (40.2) <0.001 IgG-p210.sub.MDA ratio.dagger. Carotid plaques n (%) 748 (45.0) 721 (43.1) 732 (43.9) 0.525 Table 22 above: Numbers represent individuals with presence of carotid plaques (n) and the percentage (%) the percent of individuals with presence of carotid plaques within the tertile, respectively. Significant associations between presence of carotid plaques and tertiles of autoantibodies were determined with a .chi.2 test for linear trend. .dagger.Tertiles of the ratio of the individual plasma sample and the control plasma pool. Significant P-values for trend across tertiles are highlighted in bold text.

[0268] In a logistic regression model (adjusted for the same risk factors as mentioned above), there were fewer individuals with presence of carotid plaques in the upper compared with the lowest tertile of IgG-p210.sub.native (OR=0.813, 95% CI 0.70-0.95; P=0.008), whereas no associations were found for the other autoantibodies. All autoantibodies except for IgM-p45.sub.native correlated inversely with LDL levels, whereas only antibodies recognizing p210 showed a significant inverse correlation with apoB (Table 23).

TABLE-US-00023 TABLE 23 Spearman Bivariate Correlations (r) Between ApoB-100 Autoantibody Levels and LDL or ApoB. Apo B-100 Abs, Ratio* LDL, .dagger. mmol/L apoB, .dagger-dbl. mg/L IgM-p45.sub.native NS NS IgM-p45.sub.MDA r = -0.032.sctn. NS IgM-p210.sub.native R = -0.064.parallel. R = -0.080.parallel. IgM-p210.sub.MDA R = -0.046 R = -0.083.parallel. IgG-p45.sub.native R = -0.032.sctn. NS IgG-p45.sub.MDA R = -0.04 NS IgG-p210.sub.native R = -0.069.parallel. R = -0.083.parallel. IgG-p210.sub.native R = -0.042 R = -0.047.sctn. For Table 23 above: Abs indicates antibodies; ApoB-100, apolipoprotein B-100; IgG, immonoglobulin; IgM, immonoglobulin M; LDL, low-density lipoprotein; MDA, malondialdehyde; and NS, not significant. *Ratio of the individual plasma sample and the control plasma pool. .dagger. Includes 4512 noncases, 382 coronary, and 317 stroke events. .dagger-dbl. Includes 1842 noncases, 167 coronary, and 137 stroke events. .sctn.P < 0.05. P < 0.01. .parallel.P < 0.001.

[0269] This Swedish prospective population-based study including 5393 white individuals represents the hitherto largest study investigating the role of autoantibodies recognizing apoB-100 peptides in CVD. Several of the previous studies have had retrospective case-control design and included small selected patient populations, such as individuals demonstrating different established cardiovascular risk factors. The present study design, however, made it possible to determine whether the autoantibody levels can predict risk of future cardiovascular events in subjects of the general community. The findings verified that IgG autoantibodies recognizing the native form of p210 are cross-sectionally associated with a lower presence of carotid plaques. Moreover, the IgM-p45.sub.MDA and the IgG-p210.sub.native autoantibodies, respectively, demonstrated independent association with lower risk for a future coronary event.

[0270] Previous studies analyzing autoantibodies against the whole oxidized LDL particle and their associations with CVD have demonstrated contradictory findings. The inconclusive results may depend on difficulties in the standardization of the antigen. During the oxidation process of the LDL particle, neoepitopes are formed and others degraded. This process may deviate depending on the differences in the composition of the LDL particle isolated from diverse individuals, resulting in a poorly defined antigen. Studies using single LDL-derived antigens as phosphorylcholine or apoB-100 peptides have revealed a clearer picture. Previous studies analyzing apoB-100 peptide autoantibodies have demonstrated an inverse association between the autoantibodies and CVD, also in diabetic and systemic lupus erythematosus patients. Thus, the clinical studies suggest a protective role of antibodies recognizing specific antigens in oxidized LDL. This is supported by experimental studies, where treatment of atherosclerosis-prone mice with human recombinant IgG recognizing the MDA-p45 epitope was found to reduce aortic plaque area and plaque inflammation.

[0271] High plasma levels of IgG-p210.sub.native have previously been associated with less severe coronary lesions, both in nondiabetic and diabetic patients, lower risk of developing myocardial infarction, less severe subclinical atherosclerosis, decreased risk of postoperative cardiovascular death in carotid endarterectomy patients as well as a lower prevalence of CVD in systemic lupus erythematosus patients. We now extend these findings by demonstrating that low levels of IgG-p210native autoantibodies predict risk of coronary events in a large population-based, prospective study. Interestingly, only antibodies recognizing the p210 epitope, and not the p45 epitope, showed an inverse correlation with apoB. It could be speculated that p210 may be visible for the immune system in the intact LDL particle, whereas the p45 epitope may be hidden in the phospholipid layer and only visible after the oxidation process. Furthermore, it might be that the IgG-p210.sub.native autoantibody recognizes a native or mildly modified p210 peptide and that this epitope plays a more important role in atherogenesis than the more extensively MDA-modified one.

[0272] In previous studies, we have detected an inverse association between high levels of autoantibodies recognizing p210.sub.MDA and subclinical atherosclerosis as well as less severe carotid disease in women. In both cases, the epitope was recognized by IgM autoantibodies. An open question is if these represent natural IgM antibodies that have previously been shown to recognize other endogenously generated structures, such as oxidation-specific epitopes, or if they are classical IgM antibodies. T cell-activated B2 cells are known to secrete adaptive IgMs, whereas B1 cells spontaneously secrete natural IgM antibodies. Experimental studies have suggested that B2 cells have a proatherogenic role, whereas B1 cells are atheroprotective depending on their secretion of natural IgM antibodies. Altogether, this may indicate that the IgM antibodies recognizing a modified apoB-100 epitope represent atheroprotective natural IgM antibodies. Interestingly, we have previously demonstrated that subjects with low levels of IgM recognizing methylglyoxal-modified peptide p220 in apoB-100 have an increased risk to develop cardiovascular events and that anti-methylglyoxal-p220 IgM is produced by B1 cells. Another important oxidation-specific epitope on oxidized LDL, the phosphorylcholine epitope, has been found to be recognized by anti-phosphorylcholine IgM that represents an extensively characterized natural IgM antibody. This natural IgM antibody against the phosphorylcholine epitope has been shown to confer protection in experimental atherosclerosis in mice and also to be associated with reduced cardiovascular risk in humans. In support, the present study demonstrated an inverse association between high levels of IgM-p45mDA and reduced risk of future coronary events. High levels of this IgM antibody have also in a previous study showed an association with a lower prevalence of CVD in systemic lupus erythematosus patients. Furthermore, in patients with type-2 diabetes mellitus, high levels of IgM autoantibodies recognizing AGE-modified apoB-100 were found to be associated with less severe coronary disease. Taken together, both IgM and T cell-dependent IgG antibodies recognizing oxidized LDL epitopes seem to have a protective role in atherogenesis, suggesting important contributions of both innate and adaptive immune responses. The reason why only 2 of the autoantibodies recognizing apoB-100 epitopes measured in the present study were associated with lower risk of incident coronary events may be that these 2 epitopes appear at different stages of the modification of the LDL particle and become presented in a way that is important for activation of immune responses, reflecting that the extent of LDL oxidation influences the plasma autoantibody levels.

[0273] Both inflammation and immune responses have been found to influence the pathogenesis of coronary artery disease, as well as the risk and causation of stroke. Induced oxidative stress in the myocardium with a subsequent LDL oxidation may rapidly activate an antibody response in already primed individuals and that these antibodies are consumed directly resulting in baseline levels the day after the event.

[0274] Levels of natural IgM antibodies to oxidation-specific epitopes have shown inverse correlation with CVD in several human studies. Their atheroprotective properties may be dependent on the ability to recognize the oxidation-specific epitopes on oxidized LDL. Thus, the IgM-p45MDA autoantibody may represent a natural IgM antibody explaining its association with lower risk of future coronary events.

[0275] The strengths of the present study were the large size of the population and the prospective design together with a 15-year follow-up time, including >600 events, making it unique by allowing for an evaluation if these apoB-100 epitope autoantibodies predict risk for future cardiovascular events. The findings demonstrated an association between high levels of IgM-p45MDA or IgG-p210.sub.native autoantibodies and a lower risk of coronary events. Taken together, and in the light of previous smaller studies, the present findings establish that high levels of apoB-100 autoantibodies have a protective role in CVD.

Example 4

Decreased Levels of Autoantibodies against Apolipoprotein 13-100 Antigens are Associated with Cardiovascular Disease in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

[0276] Increased production of autoantibodies is a characteristicfeature of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and there is evidence that several of these autoantibodies may contribute to increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) in SLE. Autoantibodies against the apolipoprotein (apo) B-100 peptides p45 and p210 have been associated with a lower CVD risk in non-SLE cohorts. The aim of the present study was to investigate how SLE affects the occurrence of these potentially protective autoantibodies. The study cohort consisted of 434 SLE patients and 322 age- and sex-matched population controls. Antibodies against native and malondialdehyde (MDA)-modified p45 and p210 were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELIS.A). SLE patients had. significantly lower levels of p210 immunoglobulin (Ig)G and p45 IgM (both the native and malondialdehyde (MDA)-modified forms). SLE patients with manifest CVD (myocardial infarction, ischaemic cerebrovascular disease or peripheral vascular disease) had lower levels p210 IgG and p45 IgM than SLE patients without CVD. Decreased levels of these autoantibodies were also observed in SLE patients with permanent organ damage,as assessed by the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics/American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Damage Index (SDI). The present findings show that patients with SLE, a condition generally characterized by abundance of autoantibodies of multiple specificities, have reduced. levels of antibodies against the apo B-100 antigens p45 and p210 and that the levels of these antibodies are reduced further in SLE patients with CVD. These observations suggest the possibility that an impaired antibody-mediated removal of damaged LDL particles may contribute to the development of vascular complications and organ damage in SLE.

[0277] In the present study we analyzed plasma levels of IgG and IgM against native and `VIDA-modified p45 and p210 in a cohort of SLE patients and matched controls. The result demonstrates that patients with SLE have decreased levels of p45 IgM and p210 IPG autoantibodies and that this is associated with an increased risk of CVD and other organ compli cati ons.

Experimental Methods

[0278] Patients and controls, Patients and controls were included between January 2004 and October 2013. All patients who fulfilled four or more of the 1982 revised. American College of Rheumatology (ACR) classification criteria for SLE [Tan EM, Cohen AS, Fries IF et al. The 1982 revised criteria for the classification of systemic lupus erythernatosus. Arthritis Rheum 1982; 25:1271-7] and who received care for SLE at the Department of Rheumatology, Karolinska University Hospital Solna during this period were asked to participate. Patients were required to be older than 18 years, otherwise there were no exclusion criteria. Population controls, individually matched to the first 322 SLE patients were identified in the population registry. Matching was performed within one year of age, for sex, and region of living. Controls were contacted and asked to participate through a letter. The only exclusion criterion among controls was a diagnosis of SLE. The Local Ethics Committee of the Karolinska University Hospital approved the study protocol. All participants gave informed written consent to participate.

[0279] Data collection. All patients and controls were investigated in person by a rheumatologist. Traditional risk factors for CVD were tabulated. Hypertension was defined as a systolic BP>140 mm Hg and/or a diastolic BP>90 mm Hg or use of antihypertensive treatment. Diabetes was considered present if patients were previously diagnosed with diabetes. History of vascular events, defined as a history of objectively verified myocardial infarction, ischemic cerebrovascular disease or peripheral vascular disease was obtained though interview and review of medical files. In SUE patients, age at diagnosis, duration of disease, and lupus manifestations including autoantibodies were recorded. Lupus nephritis was defined according to the 1982 revised ACR classification criteria for nephritis [Tan EM, et al. The 1982 revised criteria for the classification of systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Rheum 1982; 25:1271-7]. Organ damage was assessed with Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics/ACR Damage index (SDI) [Gladman I), et al. The development and initial validation of the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics/America.n College of Rheumatology damage index for systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Rheum 1996; 39:363-9]. All blood samples were taken after overnight fasting and laboratory examinations were performed blinded, either on fresh blood samples or after storage in -70.degree. C.

[0280] Intima-media wall thickness measurements. Three hundred and two patients were investigated with carotid ultrasound using a duplex scanner (Acuson 128XP, Mountain View, Calif., USA) with a 7.0 MHz ART linear array transducer. Left and right carotids were examined. The IM thickness was defined as the distance between the leading edge of the luminal echo to the leading edge of the mediaiadventitia echo [Wikstrand J, Wendelhag I. Methodological considerations of ultrasound investigation of intima-media thickness and lumen diameter. J Intern Med 1994; 236:555-9]. IM thickness was measured over one cm length just proximal to the bulb. The mean intima-media thickness (IMT) values for both sides were calculated for each subject. One technician recorded all measurements.

[0281] Determination of p45, p210 and .beta..sub.2GPI autoantihodies. Peptides corresponding to the amino acids from 661 to 680 (p45; EIGLEGKGFEPTI,EALFGK) and amino acids 3136- 3155 (p210; KITKOSFDLSVKAQYKKNKEI) of human apoB-100 were synthesized (K J Ross Petersen AS, Horsholm, Denmark) and used in ELISA. The peptides were modified by 0.5 M MDA for 3h at 37.degree. C. and dialyzed against PBS containing 1 mM EDTA as described [Fredrikson GN, et al. Identification of immune responses against aldehyde-modified peptide sequences in apo B-100 associated with cardiovascular disease. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2003; 23:872-78]. Native and MDA-modified peptides diluted in PBS pH 74 (20 .mu.g/ml) were absorbed to microtiter plate wells (Nunc MaxiSorp, Nunc, Roskilde, Denmark) in an overnight incubation at 4.degree. C. After washing with PBS containing 0.01% Tween-20 (PBS-T) the coated plates were blocked with SuperBiock in TBS (Pierce, Rockford, Ill.) for 30 min. at RT followed by an incubation of test plasma, diluted 1/100 in TBS-0.01% Tween-20 (TBS-T) for 2h at RT and overnight at 4.degree. C. After rinsing, deposition of autoantibodies directed to the peptide was detected using biotinylated rabbit anti-human :LOA (ICN, E3iomedicals, Inc., Aurora, Ohio) or IgG antibodies (Abeam, ab 7159) appropriately diluted in TBS-T. After another incubation for 2h at RT the plates were washed and the bound biotinylated antibodies detected by alkaline phosphatase conjugated streptavidin (BioLegend, 405211), incubated for 2h at RT. The colour reaction was developed by using phosphatase substrate kit (Pierce) and the absorbance at 405 nm was measured after 1 h of incubation at RT. Values are presented as the ratio against a standard reference plasma. Data regarding the specificity and variability of the antibody ELISA have been published previously [Fredrikson GN, et al. Identification of immune responses against aldehyde-modified peptide sequences in apo B-100 associated with cardiovascular disease. Asterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2003; 23:872-78; Fredrikson GN, et al. Autoantibody against the amino acid sequence 661-680 in apo B-100 is associated with decreased carotid stenosis and cardiovascular events. Atherosclerosis 2007; 194:e188-92].

[0282] Anti-.beta..sub.2GPI antibodies IgM/IgG were determined with the multiplex immunoassays, BioPlex 2200 APLS (Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc., Hercules, Calif., USA). Results were reported in the ranges between 1.9-160 U/ml for IgM and 1.9-160 U/ml for IgG. Results were handled as continuous variables. The multiplex assays are regarded as positive if .gtoreq.20 U/ml. This cut-off level corresponded to at least the 99th percentile of healthy blood donors.

[0283] Statistics. Clinical characteristics are presented as median (interquartile range, IQR) for continuous variables and as percentages for categorical variables. Continuous variables that were not normally distributed were log transformed. If not normally distributed after log transformation, non-parametric tests were used. Depending on data type, Students' t-test, Mann Whitney or Chi square test were used to compare differences between groups. Correlations were investigated through calculating the Spearman rank correlation coefficients. :Multivariable-adiusted logistic regression models were performed to evaluate the associations between autoantibodies and cardiovascular/organ damage outcomes. Partial correlations were calculated to determine the associations between autoantibodies and IMT controlling for age and sex.

[0284] The clinical characteristics of the SLE patient and control groups are shown in Table 24. Around 90% of the study subjects were females and the median age was just below 50 years. The prevalence of clinically manifest CVD (myocardial infarction, stroke or peripheral artery disease) was 13-fold higher in the SLE group.

TABLE-US-00024 TABLE 24 Clinical characteristic of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients and controls SLE patients (n = 434) Controls (n = 322) median (IQR)* median (IQR)* P-value Age (years) 47.2 (34.2-57.8) 48.2 (35.4-58.6) n.s. Female sex % 86 92 0.01 SLE characteristics Number of SLE criteria 6 (5-7) 17 missing n.a. Disease duration year 10.6 (2.8-20.9) n.a. SLICC damage index (SDI) 1 (IQR: 0-2, range 0-10) n.a. Traditional risk factors and laboratory tests Current smoking (%) 18.8 14.6 n.s. Systolic blood pressure (mm Hg) 120 (110-140) 120 (110-135) n.s. Diastolic blood pressure (mm Hg) 78 (70-80) 75 (70-82) n.s. Hypertension treatment (%) 37.2 13.7 <0.0001 Body mass index (kg/m2) 24.0 (21.4-27.2) 24.3 (22.0-27.6) n.s. Diabetes (%) 1.4 0.9 n.s. Total cholesterol (mmol/l) 4.9 (4.2-5.7) 5.1 (4.4-5.9) 0.009 High-density lipoprotein (mmol/l) 1.1 (1.1-1.6) 1.5 (1.2-1.8) 0.006 Low-density lipoprotein (mmol/1) 3.0 (2.5-3.6) 3.2 (2.6-3.9) 0.0002 Triglycerides (mmol/l) 1.0 (0.7-1.5) 0.78 (0.55-1.10) <0.0001 Apolipoprotein A1 (mg/ml) 1.5 (1.3-1.7) 1.7 (1.4-1.9) <0.0001 Apolipoprotein B (mg/ml) 0.81 (0.69-0.96) 0.81 (0.66-0.97) n.s. Glucose 4.8 (4.5-5.2) 4.9 (4.6-5.2) n.s. High-sensitivity CRP 1.7 (0.7-5.3) 0.9 (0.4-0.9) <0.0001 Creatinine 69 (58-84) 66 (59-73) 0.0005 Cardiovascular disease Cardiovascular event.dagger. (%) 16.1 1.2 <0.0001 Ischaemic heart disease (%) 6.5 0.3 <0.0001 Ischaemic cerebrovascular disease 8.7 1.6 <0.0001 (%) Ischaemic peripheral vascular 2.8 0.6 <0.0001 disease (%) IMT mm (mean of both sides) 0.053 (0.048-0.063) n.a. Treatment (ongoing) Prednisolone % 61.4 Anti-malarials % 37.1 Azathioprine % 17.4 Mycophenolate mofetil % 11.4 For Table 24 above: *Distributions are given as median [interquartile range (IQR)] unless indicated otherwise. .dagger.Includes myocardial infarction, ischaemic cerebro-vascular and peripheral artery disease. IMT = intima-media thickness; CRP = C-reactive protein; SLIC = Systemic Lupus International Collaborat- ing Clinics; n.a. = not applicable; n.s. = not significant.

[0285] SLE patients have lower levels of apo B p45 IgM and p210 IgG. We first studied if there were differences in the expression of autoantibodies against apo B between SLE patients and controls. This was determined by analyzing IgM and IgG antibodies against the native and malondialdehyde (MDA)-modified apo B sequences p45 and p210. Autoantibodies against .beta..sub.2GPI (also called apo H) were used to compare the pattern of apo B peptide autoantibodies with those against another antigen which binds to lipoproteins and to membrane phospholipids. SLE patients had significantly lower levels of p210 IgG and p45 IgM (both the native and. MDA-modified forms), while IgM against native and MDA-p210 were increased (Table 25).

TABLE-US-00025 TABLE 25 Apolipoprotein B and .beta..sub.2-glycoprotein-I (GPI) autoantibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients and controls. SLE patients (n = 434) Controls (n = 322) median (IQR)* median (IQR)* P Apolipoprotein B antibodies p45 IgM 0.64 (0.30-1.29) 0.86 (0.47-1.72) 0.001 MDA-p45 IgM 0.72 (0.37-1.43) 0.92 (0.56-0.92) 0.001 p45 IgG 0.49 (0.23-1.03) 0.42 (0.20-0.90) n.s. MDA-p45 IgG 0.52 (0.28-1.02) 0.43 (0.23-0.95) n.s. p210 IgM 0.77 (0.52-1.06) 0.70 (0.53-0.89) 0.007 MDA-p210 IgM 0.87 (0.63-1.03) 0.79 (0.62-0.93) 0.002 p210 IgG 0.48 (0.24-0.84) 0.54 (0.35-0.89) 0.02 MDA-p210 IgG 0.70 (0.51-0.98) 0.82 (0.61-1.05) 0.005 b2GPI antibodies b2GPI IgM 1.9 (1.9-3.9) 1.9 (1.9-2.5) 0.002 b2GPI IgG 1.9 (1.9-10.2) 1.9 (1.9-1.9) 0.001 For Table 25 above: *Distributions are given as median [interquartile range (IQR)]. Ig = immunoglobulin; MDA = malondialdehyde; n.s. = not significant.

[0286] Antibody levels against native peptides generally correlated strongly with the level of antibodies against the MDA-modified form of the same peptide but much more weakly with antibodies against the other apo B peptide. As an example, the Spearman correlation coefficient for p210 IgG against MDA-p210 IgG was 0.85, while it was only 0.13 and 0.14 for p210 IgG against p45 IgG and MDA-p45 IgG, respectively, Similar trends were also observed for p45 and p210 IgM. As expected, SLE patients also had significantly elevated levels of anti-.beta..sub.2GPI IgG and IgM. The levels of both p210 and MDA-p210 IgM correlated with .beta..sub.2-GP-I IgG (r=0.19, P<0.001 and r=0.18, P<0.001; respectively) and b.sub.2-GP-I IgM levels (r=0.23, P=0.001 and r=0.21,P<0.01; respectively). The levels of p45 and MDA-p45 IgM both correlated with .beta..sub.2-GP-I IgM levels (r=0.13, P=0.001 and r=0.14, P<0.001; respectively), but otherwise there were no association between autoantibody levels against apo 1.3 peptides and anti-.beta..sub.2GPI. None of the common SU medications were associated with autoantibodies against apoB, with the exception of antimalarials, which were negatively associated with MDA-p45 IgG (P=0.03).

[0287] Low levels of apo B p45 IgM and p210 IgG are associated with CND in SLE. Next we compared autoantibody levels against apo B peptides and .beta..sub.2GPI in SLE patients with and without prevalent CVD. CVD patients had lower levels of native and MDAp45 IgM, native p210 IgM, native and MDA-p210 IgG, whereas .beta..sub.2GPI IgG levels were higher. MDA-p45 IgM, MDA-p210 IgG and .beta..sub.2GPI IgG levels remained significantly different when adjusting for age and sex (Table 26 and FIG. 14).

TABLE-US-00026 TABLE 26 Apolipoprotein B and .beta..sub.2-glycoprotein-I (GPI) autoantibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients with and without cardiovascular disease. SLE CVD (n = 62) No CVD (n = 370) median (IQR)* median (IQR)* P P adjusted Apo B antibodies p45 IgM 0.47 (0.19-1.17) 0.70 (0.33-1.29) 0.01 n.s. MDA-p45 IgM 0.55 (0.24-1.02) 0.75 (0.41-1.48) 0.003 0.04 p45 IgG 0.36 (0.17-0.90) 0.54 (0.23-1.05) n.s. n.s. MDA-p45 IgG 0.46 (0.29-0.84) 0.54 (0.28-1.04) n.s. n.s. p210 IgM 0.64 (0.42-0.99) 0.78 (0.53-1.07) 0.03 n.s. MDA-p210 IgM 0.80 (0.51-1.02) 0.54 (0.28-1.04) n.s. n.s. p210 IgG 0.32 (0.10-0.64) 0.50 (0.25-0.88) 0.004 n.s. MDA-p210 IgG 0.60 (0.3-0.84) 0.72 (0.53-1.00) 0.001 0.05 Apo H antibodies .beta.2GPI IgM 1.9 (1.9-3.5) 1.9 (1.9-4.0) n.s. n.s. .beta.2GPI IgG 4.0 (1.9-30.9) 1.9 (1.9-8.7) 0.02 0.01 Table 26 above: *Distributions are given as median [interquartile range (IQR)]. Ig = immunoglobulin; MDA = malondialdehyde; CVD = cardiovascular disease; n.s. = not significant.

[0288] To further determine the association between these autoantibodies and cardiovascular disease in patients with SLE we used measurements of carotid IMT as assessed by ultrasonography. Associations were in a negative direction between carotid IMT and all apo B autoantibodies. For p45, both native and MDA modified, IgM antibodies became significant after age and gender adjustments, but these association were generally so weak that the biological relevance is questionable. Crude associations for all p210 antibodies were significant, but these associations were not independent of age and sex (Table 27).

TABLE-US-00027 TABLE 27 Associations between apolipoprotein B and .beta..sub.2-gly-coprotein-I (GPI) autoantibodies and carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) in SLE patients. SLE patients P adjusted for (n = 302) P age and gender Apolipoprotein B antibodies p45 IgM -0.05 n.s. 0.02 MDA-p45 IgM -0.08 n.s. 0.02 p45 IgG -0.10 n.s. n.s. MDA-p45 IgG -0.07 n.s. n.s. p210 IgM -0.23 0.001 n.s. MDA-p210 IgM -0.16 0.005 n.s. p210 IgG -0.20 0.001 n.s. MDA-p210 IgG -0.19 0.001 n.s. Apolipoprotein H antibodies .beta..sub.2GPI IgM 0.04 n.s. n.s. .beta..sub.2GPI IgG -0.03 n.s. n.s. Table 27 above: Partial correlations were calculated to determine independent associations between autoantibodies and IMT when controlling for age and sex. Ig = immunoglobulin; MDA = malondialdehyde; n.s. = not significant,

[0289] Low levels of apoB autoantibodies are associated with manifestation of organ damage in SLE, Finally we determined if plasma levels of apo B autoantibodies were associated with clinical signs of organ damage in SLE. SLE patients with permanent organ damage (SDI>1) had lower levels of p45 IgM (both native and MDA-modified), p210 IgM and p210 IgG (both native and MDA-modified) than SLE patients with a SDI.ltoreq.1 (Table 28). When controlling for age and sex only the difference in MDA-p210 IgG remained significantly different between the groups (Table 28). in contrast, SHE patients with permanent organ damage had elevated levels of .beta..sub.2GPI IgG (Table 28).

TABLE-US-00028 TABLE 28 Apolipoprotein B and .beta..sub.2-glycoprotein-I (GPI) autoantibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients with and without organ damage (SDI > 1). SDI > 1 median SDI < 1 median P adjusted (IQR)* (IQR)* P for age Apolipoprotein B p45 IgM 0.53 (0.24-1.19) 0.72 (0.36-1.38) 0.02 n.s. MDA-p45 IgM 0.60 (0.28-1.22) 0.79 (0.44-1.55) 0.003 n.s. p45 IgG 0.48 (0.19-0.91) 0.50 (0.24-1.04) n.s. n.s. MDA-p45 IgG 0.50 (0.30-0.97) 0.56 (0.27-1.03) n.s. n.s. p210 IgM 0.68 (0.44-1.02) 0.83 (0.57-1.07) 0.006 n.s. MDA-p210 IgM 0.80 (0.55-1.02) 0.89 (0.68-1.05) n.s. n.s. p210 IgG 0.37 (0.16-0.66) 0.54 (0.28-0.95) 0.001 n.s. MDA-p210 IgG 0.61 (0.41-0.84) 0.76 (0.56-1.05) 0.001 0.005 Apolipoprotein H antibodies .beta.2GPI IgM 1.9 (1.9-5.9) 1.9 (1.9-3.1) n.s. n.s. .beta.2GPI IgG 2.1 (1.9-21.5) 1.9 (1.9-7.6) 0.02 0.006 Table 28 Above: *Distributions are given as median [interquartile range (IQR)]. Ig = immunoglobulin; MDA = malondialdehyde; SDI = Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics damage index; n.s. = not significant.

[0290] Since many of the associations between antibody levels and organ complications, including the cardiovascular, were found to be dependent on age we specifically analyzed the relationships between antibody levels and age. All apo B autoantibodies were found to decrease with age both in SLE patients and in controls, while no such trend was observed for .beta..sub.2GPI antibodies (Table 29).

TABLE-US-00029 TABLE 29 Associations between apolipoprotein B and .beta..sub.2-glycoprotein-I (GPI) autoantibodies and age in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients and controls. SLE patients Controls (n = 434) P (n = 322) P Apolipoprotein B antibodies p45 IgM -0.19 0.001 -0.24 0.001 MDA-p45 IgM -0.22 0.001 -0.24 0.001 p45 IgG -0.17 0.001 -0.12 0.04 MDA-p45 IgG -0.16 0.001 -0.07 n.s. p210 IgM -0.26 0.001 -0.26 0.001 MDA-p210 IgM -0.19 0.001 -0.21 0.001 p210 IgG -0.29 0.001 -0.28 0.001 MDA-p210 IgG -0.30 0.001 -0.27 0.001 Apolipoprotein H antibodies .beta..sub.2GPI IgM 0.07 n.s. 0.12 0.04 .beta..sub.2GPI IgG 0.01 n.s. 0.09 n.s. For Table 29 above: Ig = immunoglobulin; MDA= malondialdehyde; n.s. = not significant.

[0291] Production of a multitude of autoantibodies is a characteristic feature of SLE and there is evidence that several of these autoantibodies, in particular aPL, contribute to increased CVD in SLE. Autoantibodies against the apo B-100 peptides p45 and p210 are found in most individuals and have on the contrary been associated with a lower CND risk in observational studies. The present study investigated how SLE affects the occurrence of these potentially protective antibodies. Our findings demonstrate that subjects with SLE have reduced levels of p45 IgM and p210 IgG. Moreover, SLE patients with clinically manifest CVD had lower levels of p45 IgM and p210 IgG than those without CND, but only the levels of MDA-p45 IgM and NIDA-p210 IgG remained significantly after controlling for age and sex. One possible explanation for the stronger association with autoantibodies recognizing the MDA-peptides could be that these are more specific for epitopes present in oxidized LDL. Also SLE patients with clinical manifestations of permanent organ damage as assessed by a SDI score >1 had lower levels of MDA-p210 IgG. In comparison, anti-IgG levels were increased in SLE patients and those with prevalent CVD had higher levels than those without. Taken together these observations demonstrate that SLE is associated with suppression of a set of naturally occurring autoantibodies with potential protective effects and suggest that this may contribute to increased risk for development of organ damage and CND in SLE. There is evidence that some medications used to treat SLE also have athero-protective effects. However, we found no association between treatment with prednisolone, azathioprine or mycophenolate mofetil and apol3 peptide autoantibodies in the present study while the use of antimalarias were associated with lower levels of MDA-p45 IgG.

[0292] There are several mechanisms through which autoantibodies to apoB antigens could protect against atherosclerosis and other types of organ damage in SLE. First, it is likely that such antigens are recognized by the immune system first when LDL is modified by oxidation. This oxidation is associated with degradation of the apo B protein into smaller peptide fragments as well as aldehyde-modifications. Aldehyde-modified apo B peptides are readily identified by the immune system but also non-modified apo B peptide sequences may be targeted by the immune system if normally embedded into phospholipid. LDL membrane. Oxidized is cytotoxic for vascular cells and promotes the inflammation that leads to development and destabilization of atherosclerotic plaques. Factors that facilitate an early removal of oxidized LDL are therefore likely to have an athero-protective effect. Both p45 and p210 IgG have been shown to promote the uptake of oxidized LDL in human monocyte/macrophages and treatment of LDLr.sup.-/-/human apoB.sup.+/+ mice with MDA-p45 IgG lowers the plasma level of oxidized LDL, Oxidized LDL/MDAp45 immune complexes have anti-inflammatory properties through activation of the inhibitory Fc.gamma.RII receptor. Treatment of hypercholesterolemic mice with recombinant malondialdehyde-p45 IgG has been shown to inhibit development of atherosclerosis and to promote plaque regression when combined with lowering of plasma cholesterol levels. Low levels of autoantibodies against apoB peptides have been associated with more severe atherosclerosis and an increased risk for development of myocardial infarction. Also IgM autoantibodies targeting phosphorylcholine (PC) in oxidized LDL have been attributed a protective role in cardiovascular disease. Several studies have shown that subclinical carotid disease in SLE patients is associated with lower levels of these autoantibodies adding further support to the notion that autoantibodies against oxidized LDL antigens may protect against cardiovascular complications in SLE. In line with the notion that oxidized LDL contributes to vascular damage in autoirnmune disease and that anti-PC antibodies may protect against this damage Ajeganova and coworkers reported that development of cardiovascular events in rheumatoid arthritis is associated with both elevated plasma levels of oxidized LDL and lower levels of anti-PC IgM.

[0293] .beta..sub.2GPI is an evolutionary conserved protein, which occurs abundantly in the human circulation. The function of .beta..sub.2GPI is still under investigation, but recent data indicate that .beta..sub.2GPI is mainly a scavenger molecule with capacity to bind and remove harmful bacterial products e.g. LPS. It is also involved in clearance of endogenous waste such as micro particles and cellular debris. There is growing evidence that low affinity anti-.beta..sub.2GPI, in similarity to some anti-apoB antibodies, belong to the natural antibody repertoire, which defends us against well-conserved pathogenic structures e.g. bacterial antigens or products of oxidation. in most previous studies anti-.beta..sub.2GPI antibodies are regarded as present or absent according to cut-offs used in the APS criteria. In this study, however, we have in similarity to anti-apoB antibodies investigated continuous titers and isotypes. Our results demonstrate that only anti-.beta..sub.2GPI antibodies of the IgG isotype occurred at higher titers in SLE patients as compared to controls, and high titers are especially common in the SLE subgroup with previous CVD. We also note that, unlike anti-apoB antibodies, anti-.beta..sub.2GPI antibodies do not decline with age, rather in the control group titers were higher among older subjects.

[0294] Loss of tolerance against abundant apoptotic cell antigens is an important pathogenic factor in SLE. In atherosclerosis the loss of tolerance against apoptotic cell antigens appears to take place primarily within the environment of the atherosclerotic plaque where there is a similar loss of tolerance against antigens in oxidized LDL. Taken together, these findings imply that the issue of tolerance control may be particularly critical in SLIP, atherosclerotic lesions. Oxidized LDL is enhanced in SLE and may further aggravate pro-inflammatory responses to apoptotic cells in SLE atherosclerotic lesions by competing with the binding to phagocytic receptors, which mediate clearance of both apoptotic cells and oxidized LDL. It is likely that these mechanisms play a role in the accelerated. atherosclerosis in SLE and that antibody-mediated removal of oxidized. LDL could help to limit vascular and possibly also the general systemic inflammation in SLE.

[0295] We report that patients with SLE, a condition generally characterized. by a high production of auto-antibodies, have reduced levels of athero-protective autoantibodies against the apo B-100 peptides p45 and p210. The level of these antibodies was further reduced in SLE patients that had developed CVD, We propose that an impaired antibody-mediated removal of oxidized LDL may contribute to loss of tolerance and increased inflammation in vascular tissues in SLE.

Example 5

Immunization with Apo 3100 Peptide Vaccine Reduces Atherosclerosis Development in a Mouse Model of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

[0296] In the present study we investigated if immunization with CVX-4, a prototype vaccine consisting of the apoB peptide p210, a bovine serum albumin (BSA) carrier and the aluminum phosphate adjuvant Adjuphos, affects atherosclerosis development in MRL/lpr/ApoE.sup.-/- mice that display both hypercholesterolemia and a SLE-like phenotype.

Experimental Methods

[0297] Mice: Animal care and experimental procedures were approved by the local committee of Animal Care and Use at Lund University. MRL/lpr ApoE.sup.-/- mice on a C57bl/6 background (originally from Jackson Laboratories, Charles River Laboratories, Germany) were bred in the animal facility and female mice were used for the present study. High fat diet (HFD, 0.15% cholesterol, 21% fat, Lantmannen, Sweden) was introduced from 12 weeks of age until the experimental end point. Mice were given subcutaneous injections (200 .mu.L) of p210 conjugated to bovine serum albumin (BSA, CVX-14) together with aluminium phosphate gel (Adjuphos) as adjuvant at 6, 9, 11 and 21 weeks of age. Injections of phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) or Adjuphos alone served as controls. Mice were killed at 22 weeks of age by intraperitoneal injection of ketamine and xylazine. Spleens were harvested and stored in PBS on ice and plasma was collected by cardiac puncture and stored at -80.degree. C. until analysis. Mice were then whole-body perfused with PBS followed by Histochoice (Amresco, Solon, Ohio, USA), and the descending aorta was then dissected free of connective tissue and fat, cut longitudinally, mounted en face and stored in Histochoice [Schiopu, A., et al. 2004. Recombinant human antibodies against aldehyde-modified apolipoprotein B-100 peptide sequences inhibit atherosclerosis. Circulation 110: 2047-2052]. The hearts were collected and snap frozen in liquid nitrogen for storage or sectioning.

[0298] Staining of the descending aorta: En face preparations of the descending aorta were washed in distilled water, dipped in 78% methanol and stained for 40 min in 0.16% Oil Red O dissolved in 78% methanol/0.2 mol L)1 NaOH. The Oil Red O stained plaque areas were quantified blindly using BioPix iQ2.3.1 (BioPix AB).

[0299] Immunohistochemistry: Frozen hearts were embedded in Tissue Tek (Sakura Fine Tek., Japan) and sections of 10 .mu.m were cut from the aortic root for immunohistochemical staining of atherosclerotic plaques. Sections were fixed in ice-cold acetone for 10 minutes followed by permeabilized in 0.5% TritonX-100 (Merck, Millipore, US) with PBS washing for 5 minutes between each step. Further, sections were blocked in 10% mouse serum in PBS for 30 minutes. Immunohistochemical staining of macrophages using rabbit anti-CD68 (Abeam, Cambridge, UK) detected by secondary biotinylated goat anti-rabbit (Abcarn) with diaminobenzene (DAB, Vector Labs, Calif., USA) was performed. The primary or secondary antibodies were omitted as controls. Immune stained areas were quantified blindly in BioPix 2.0 Software (BioPix AB, Goteborg, Sweden).

[0300] Spleen cell preparation and cell culture: Splenocytes in single cell suspension were prepared by pressing the spleen through a 70-.mu.m cell strainer (BD Falcon, Franklin Lakes, N.J., USA). Erythrocytes were removed using red blood cell lysing buffer (Sigma, St. Louis, Mo., USA). Cells were cultured in culture medium (RPMI 1640 medium containing 10% heat-inactivated foetal calf serum, 1 mmol L.sup.-1 sodium pyruvate, 10 mmol.sup.-1 Hepes, 50 U penicillin, 50 .mu.g/mL streptomycin, 0.05 mmol L.sup.-1 .beta.-mercaptoethanol and 2 mmol L.sup.-1 L-glutamine; GIBCO, Paisley, UK) in 96-well, round-bottom plates (Sarstedt, Ntimbrecht, Germany).

[0301] Flow cytometry: Splenocytes were stained with fluorochrome-conjugated antibodies and measured with a. CyAn ADP flow cytometer (Beckman Coulter). The following antibodies phycoerythrin/Cy7-conjugated anti-CD3, pacific blue-conjugated anti-CD4, allophycocyanin-conjgated anti-CD25, phycoerythrin-conjugated anti-Foxp3 and allophycocyanin/Cy7-conjugated anti-CD8 were used for T cells and fluorescein isothiocyanate-conjugated anti-B220, pacific blue-conjugated anti-CD11b, phycoerythrin/Cy7-conjugated anti-CD11 c and allophycocyanin-conjugated anti-CD115. The analysis was performed with FlowJo V10 software (Tree Star).

[0302] Measurements of IgG: A 96-well ELISA plate was coated with 20 .quadrature.g/ml p210 diluted in Na.sub.2CO.sub.3-NaHCO.sub.3 and incubated at 4.degree. C. overnight. After three cycles of washing, the plate was blocked with 2% goat serum in PBS for 60 minutes. After a single wash plasma samples dittued 1:50 was added to the plate and incubated for 1 hour in 37.degree. C. After three washing cycles, detection antibody (anti-mouse IgG-biotin) was added and the plate was incubated for 1 hour in 37.degree. C. After three more washing cycles, strepatavidin-HRP was then added and incubated for 20 minutes in the dark. Stop solution (1M H.sub.2SO.sub.4) was then added and the absorbance was read at 450nm.

[0303] Plasma cholesterol and triglyceride: Total plasma cholesterol and triglyceride levels were quantified with colorimetric assays, Infinity.TM. Cholesterol and Triglyceride (INT), respectively (Thermo Scientific).

[0304] Plasma cytokines: Cytokine (IL-2, IL-5, IL-6 and IL-10) concentrations in plasma were determined with multiplex technology (Luminex Assay, R&D Systems Inc.) according to the manufacturer's instructions.

[0305] Statistics: Data are presented as mean.+-.standard deviation. Student's two-tailed. t-test was used for normally distributed samples and the Mann-Whitney rank sum test for skewed data. Statistical significance was considered at the level P.ltoreq.0.05.

[0306] MRL/lpr/ApoE-/- mice received 4 subcutaneous injections with PBS, CVX-14 or adjuphos alone at week 6, 9, 11 and 21 of age. Mice were killed at week 22 of age and atherosclerosis assessed by Oil Red O (ORO) en staining of the aorta and measurement of the cross-sectional plaque area at the aortic root. Immunization with CVX-14 reduced plaque development in the aorta by 55.5% as compared to the PBS (1.32.+-.0.36 versus 2.97+2.26% ORO stained area, p=0.0133; FIG. 154). A trend towards reduced atherosclerosis was also observed in the mice give adiuphos alone. There was no significant difference in aortic root plaque area between the PBS and CVX-14 treated groups (FIG. 15B), but CVX-14 treatment reduced the plaque area with positive macrophage staining (CD68) by 66.2% as compared with the PBS control (11.2+6.9 versus 34.6+6.9%, p=0.005; FIG. 15C and FIG. 15D). There was no effect on plaque macrophage staining by giving adjuphos alone. The effect of CVX-14 treatment on vascular inflammation was further assessed by analyzing cytokine mRNA expression in the carotid artery. Arteries from CVX-14 treated mice were found to have reduced expression of TNF-.alpha. and TGF-.beta. mRNA, as well as of Foxp3 mRNA (FIG. 15E-FIG. 15G).

[0307] Plasma cholesterol was increased in CVX-14 treated mice compared to PBS control, whereas no difference was observed in triglyceride levels or body weights (Table 30). There were also no significant differences between p210 IgG1 between the Groups (Table 30).

TABLE-US-00030 TABLE 30 PBS CVX-14 Adjuphos Cholesterol 2.80 .+-. 2.22 4.77 .+-. 1.41 4.30 .+-. 0.69 Triglycerides 0.63 .+-. 0.55 0.92 .+-. 0.21 0.99 .+-. 0.22 P210-IgG1 0.47 .+-. 0.32 0.45 .+-. 0.32 0.51 .+-. 0.48

[0308] Splenocytes were analyzed with flow cytometry to determine systemic changes of the immune system in immunized mice. There was an increased frequency of regulatory T cells, defined as CD3.sup.+CD4.sup.+CD25.sup.+Foxp3+cells, in mice immunized with CVX-14 as compared to the PBS controls, but a similar increase was also observed with Adjuphos alone (FIG. 16A). Immunization with CVX-14 also reduced the fraction of CD8+ T cells (FIG. 16C), whereas no effect was seen on the fraction of splenic plasmacytoid dendritic cells and CD11b.sup.+CD115.sup.+(FIG. 16D-FIG. 16E).

[0309] There is accumulating evidence that autoimmune responses against modified LDL particles aggravate arterial inflammation and development of atherosclerosis. As loss of tolerance against self-antigens is an important feature of SLE and atherosclerosis it reasonable to assume that autoimmune responses against LDL trapped in the vascular extracellular matrix contributes to the development of cardiovascular complications in SLE. In the present study we found that immunization with the ApoB peptide p210 reduces plaque development and inflammation in an atherosclerosis-prone mouse model of SLE. This effect was associated with reduced arterial cytokine expression and an expansion of Tregs in the spleen, whereas no change was observed in the levels of p210 IgG. These observations are in good agreement with previous studies demonstrating that immunization with apoB peptide and oxidized LDL inhibits atherosclerosis through activation of Tregs and promotion of LDL tolerance, An expansion of Tregs in the spleen and a trend towards reduced atherosclerosis was also observed in mice injected with adjuphos alone. Athero-protective effects of aluminum-based adjuvants have previously been identified in several studies and have been suggested to be explained by an uptake of oxidized LDL by the adjuvant subcutaneously. Irrespective of this, aluminum-based adjuvants represent attractive candidate adjuvants for possible future atherosclerosis vaccines.

[0310] There is a considerable unmet clinical need for improved prevention of cardiovascular complications in SLE. Treatment with statins has not affected the progression of carotid disease in randomized clinical trials involving subjects with SLE and it remains unclear to what extent other medications used in treatment of SLE reduces the cardiovascular risk. In this context, oxidized LDL represents an interesting possible target as it has been implicated both in SLE and atherosclerosis. Autoantibodies against oxidized LDL-associated phospholipid antigens are common in SLE. Oxidized LDL and apoptotic cells compete for binding to the same scavenger receptors on macrophages suggesting that presence of large amounts of oxidized LDL may further impair handling of apoptotic cells in SLE. Human atherosclerotic plaques contains T cells specific for oxidized LDL antigens and T cells recognizing epitopes in apo B have been shown to accelerate atherosclerosis in experimental mouse models. Immunizations with the ApoB100 derived peptides could potentially represent an attractive approach not only for preventing damage to the cardiovascular system in SLE because it may also have effects on other organs. As previous studies have shown that immunizations with the ApoB100 derived peptides promotes generation of LDL specific Tregs it is likely that these cells would have an immune-suppressive effect in any organ where they encounter native or oxidized LDL.

[0311] The results from this study show that itntnunizations with p210-containing vaccines reduce atherosclerosis development in Apoe.sup.-/- mice with a SLE like phenotype. In accordance with previous studies using p210-containing vaccines in hypercholesterolemic Apoe.sup.-/- mice without SLE, regulatory T cells are increased systemically after the p210 immunization. ApoB peptide based vaccines represents a possible novel approach for prevention of CVD in SLE that warrants further investigation.

Example 6

[0312] Inflammatory responses in the autoimmune disorder systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) results in severe clinical manifestations of peripheral inflammation. Atherosclerosis, one inflammatory manifestation of the disease, arises as a result of lipid accumulation and modification of lipoproteins in the arterial wall. Underlying both myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke, it is one of the main causes of further cardiovascular disease (CVD) events and mortality. The incidence of CVD is significantly increased in SLE patients suggesting that the enhanced systemic inflammation contributes to the dysfunctional protection against oxidized low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and other atherogenic antigens. A vaccine formulation containing a peptide sequence of the LDL antigen was used to evaluate the effects of atherosclerosis in a hypercholersterolemic SLE mouse to assess the immune responses. We assessed the atherosclerosis by examining plaque development in the aorta. The response to immunization was investigated by flow cytometry of spleen and lymph node cells. Plaque progression in the aorta was significantly decreased in the mice treated with the vaccine. Further, inflammatory immune cell populations were significantly decreased. This vaccine candidate represents as a possible new therapy against CVD in SLE for the future.

[0313] Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex autoimmune disease in which the individual displays various immune responses against own tissue. (1) The inflammatory response given by this autoimmune condition results in severe clinical manifestations leading to complications such as atherosclerosis, renal failure and hypertension amongst other things.

[0314] Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease arising as a result of lipid accumulation and modification in the arterial wall. Underlying both myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke, it is one of the main causes of clinical manifestations of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The atherosclerotic process is initiated when low-density lipoproteins (LDL) particles is entrapped in the vascular wall and modified by enzymes or reactive oxygen species forming oxidized LDL (oxLDL). Macrophages attempt to remove oxLDL by engulfing them and eventually this leads to foam cell accumulation, immune cell activation and arterial lesions in the vessel wall.

[0315] The incidence of CVD is significantly increased in SLE patients suggesting that the enhanced systemic inflammation contributes to the dysfunctional protection against oxLDL and other atherogenic antigens. For example, females with SLE have up to 50-fold increased risk of getting a MI, underlining the need for alternative preventives to inhibit atherosclerosis in SLE. Systemic autoimmune manifestations such as SLE are suggested to go hand in hand with immunodeficiency. The deficiencies arise from defects of the immune system and features genetic variations, environmental factors and immune cell activation. General characteristics of autoimmunity is antinuclear antibodies (ANA), anti-smith/ribonuclear proteins (anti-sm/RNP) and the `interferon (IFN) signature`, where peripheral blood cells display a significant upregulation of type I IFN-inducible genes.

[0316] Vaccines has been used a long time clinically to induce the individuals own immune protection against an antigen. Therefore, a vaccine through antigen-specific modulation would be of great interest as a therapy. We investigated whether immunomodulation therapies with the ApoB100 peptide 45 are able to reduce atherosclerosis and apoptosis in experimental SLE.

Experimental Methods

[0317] Mice. Female MRL/lpr ApoE.sup.-/- mice (purchased from Jackson Laboratories, Charles River Laboratories, Germany) were bred in the animal facility. High fat diet (HFD, 0.15% cholesterol, 21% fat, Lantmannen, Sweden) was introduced from 6 weeks of age until the experimental end point. ApoB100 peptide 45 (P45) was coupled to cholera toxin B (P45-CTB), as previously described (Sun J B, Czerkinsky C and Holmgren J. B lymphocytes treated in vitro with antigen coupled to cholera toxin B subunit induce antigen-specific Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells and protect against experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. J Immunol. 2012;188:1686-9). Treatments with 30, 15, 5 .mu.g p45-CTB conjugate, 30 .mu.g CTB or PBS started at 18 weeks of age at day 0 and were orally administered at day 0, 2, 5, 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42 and 49. Blood and urine was collected at day 0, 14, 28, 42 and 56. Weight was monitored at day 0, 28 and 56. At day 56 of treatment, the mice were killed by ketamin/xylazine injection at 26 weeks of age. Blood for plasma was collected before a whole-body perfusion with PBS followed by collection of heart, kidney, carotids and mesenterial lymph node, which was snap frozen in liquid nitrogen and consequently stored at -80 .degree. C. until analysis. Aorta was dissected free from surrounding tissues and fixed in Histochoice (Amresco, Solon Ohio, USA). Spleens and remaining mesenterial lymph node were collected and kept on ice until further analysis. Animal care and experimental procedures were approved by the local committee of Animal Care and Use at Lund University.

[0318] Lipid staining of the aortic arch. The aortic arch was prepared en face and washed in distilled water, 78% methanol and stained for 40 minutes in 0.16% Oil-Red-O dissolved in 78% methanol (0.2 mol/L NaOH). The quantification was performed blindly using BioPix i.Q 2.0 software (Biopix AB, Gothenburg, Sweden) where bordeaux coloured regions were referred to the content of neutral lipids in plaques.

[0319] Cytokine determination of spleen and lymph node cells. Spleens and lymph nodes were pressed trough a 70 uM single cell mesh, washed in RPMI and centrifuged 700.times. g for 5 minutes. Red blood cells from spleens were lysed with Red Blood Cell Lysis buffer (Sigma). Cells were calculated, washed in RPMI and centrifuged 700.times. g for 5 minutes followed by resuspension in cRPMI supplemented with 2% FBS and seeding at a density of 0.5.times.10(6) cells/well. Cells were stimulated with CD3/28 beads (Life Technologies) and incubated for 72 h in 37*c, 5% CO2. The cytokine determination will be performed with a multiplex assay.

[0320] Flow cytometry analysis of blood, spleen and lymph node cells. Blood cells from day 42 were stained with CD3-PeCy7, CD4-PB, CD25-APC, FoxP3-PE IL-17-APC and IFN-.gamma.-PE (Biolegend) for regulatory T-cell panel and T helper-1/T-helper 17 panel. Blood cells (20 .mu.l) were also seeded in a round bottomed 96-well plate in cRPMI supplemented with 10% FBS together with 100 ug/ml Brefeldin A (Sigma Aldrich) for 24 h, consequently stained for flow cytometry analysis with CD3-PeCy7, CD4-PB, CD8-APC, IL-17-APC and IFN-.gamma.-FITC (Biolegend) for T helper-1/T-helper 17 panel.

[0321] Spleen and lymph node cells were stained for flow cytometry analysis with anti CD3-PeCy7, CD4-PB, CD25-APC, FoxP3-PE, CD44-AF488, CD62L-PE, CD8-APC/Cy7, B220-FITC, B220-PB, CD24-PE, CD5-PE/Cy7, CD23-PB, CD21/35-APC/Cy7, CD1d-AF488, CD40-PE, mTGF.beta.-APC and CD86-APC/Cy7 (all Biolegend), run on Gallios Flow cytometer (Backman Coulter) and analyzed with FlowJo software (Tree star).

[0322] Immunohistochemistry. Frozen hearts and kidneys were embedded in Tissue Tek (Sakura Fine Tek., Japan) and cross sections from the aortic root were collected with a thickness of 10 and 5 .mu.m, respectively. Macrophage, CD3 and CD8 stainings were performed using rabbit anti-CD68 (Abeam, Cambridge, UK), rat anti-CD3 (Abeam, Cambridge, UK) and rat anti-CD8a (BD Parmingen,), respectively, and detected by diaminobenzene (DAB). Briefly, sections were permeabilized in 0.5% Triton X-100 (Merck Millipore, United States) and incubated in 3% H.sub.2O.sub.2 in PBS. Sections were blocked with 10% goat (CD68) or mouse (CD3 and CD8) serum (Sigma-Aldrich, United States) in PBS followed by incubation with 1 .mu.g/ml of the primary anti-CD68, -CD3 or -CD8 antibodies overnight at 4.degree. C. in a pre-wet chamber.

[0323] Immunoglobulin G and M stainings of aortic arch and/or kidney will be performed by using biotinylated anti-mouse IgG/IgM (Vector Laboratories) as primary antibodies, respectively. For detection of the anti-CD68, a secondary biotinylated anti-rabbit IgG (Vector Lab) produced in goat was used and a biotinylated mouse anti rat (Vector Lab) for the detection of CD3 and CD8. Color was developed with DAB Detection Kit (Vector Labs, Calif., USA) binding to the biotinylated antibody and immune stained areas were quantified in BioPix i.Q 2.0 software.

In vitro Induction of Tregs through Antigen Presentation

[0324] CD11c.sup.+ dendritic cells were isolated from a MRL/lpr ApoE-/- spleen using CD11c positive selection kit and EasySep magnetic beads (StemCell Technologies). CD4+ T cells were isolated using CD4 negative selection kit (StemCell Technologies) followed by isolation of CD25.sup.-CD4.sup.+ cells were isolated using CD25 positive selection kit (StemCell Technologies). Cells were cultured in complete RPMI (RPMI-1640 medium containing 2% heat-inactivated fetal bovine serum (FBS), 1 mmol L-1 sodium pyruvate, 10 mmol L-1 Hepes, 50 U penicillin, 50 .mu.g mL-1 streptomycin, 0.05 mmol L-1 b-mercaptoethanol and 2 mmol L-1 L-glutamine; all from GIBCO) for all experiments.

[0325] CD11c+ cells were pulsed with 5, 15, 30 .mu.g/ml p45-CTB, 30 .mu.g/ml CTB or PBS for two hours in 37.degree. C. and thereafter washed three times in PBS. CD25.sup.-CD4.sup.+cells were incubated with Celltrace Violet proliferation marker (Thermo Scientific) for one hour in 37 .degree. C. 100 000 CD11c+ cells were then cocultured with 100 000 CD4+CD25- T effector cells in complete RPMI for 72 hours. IL-2 and TGF-.beta. (Peprotech) were added to all wells at 25 U/ml and 10 ng/ml respectively, to induce Tregs. Dendritic cells and Treg induction was verified by flow cytometry using the antibodies anti CD123 PE, CD86-PeCy7, CD3-PeCy7, CD25-APC, FoxP3-PE, CD4-AF488, CD8a-APC/Cy7 as previously described above.

[0326] Previous studies using P45 in hypocholesterolemic mice have shown that immunization is associated with inhibited atherosclerosis progression as well as eliciting a protective immunoresponse with anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, there is clinical evidence of an association between P45 IgG autoantibody levels and atherosclerotic plaque inflammation, repair and cardiovascular events in endarterectomy patients. To investigate if the ApoB100 peptide 45 is able to induce atheroprotection and reduce apoptosis in experimental SLE, MRL/lpr ApoE.sup.-/- mice were orally immunized with P45-CTB (5, 15 or 30 .mu.g/ml), CTB (30 .mu.g/ml) or PBS at treatment day 0, 2, 5, 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42 and 49.

[0327] En face mounted aorta were analysed with Oil Red O (ORO) where the aortic arch demonstrated decrease of plaques with 5 and 15 ug/ml P45-CTB compared to the PBS control (FIG. 17). Immunization with 5 and 15 .mu.g/ml p45-CTB reduced the ORO positive staining for lipids with 58.1 and 58.5% respectively (12.1.+-.5.0% and 12.1.+-.4.1%, p<0.01 in both) compared to the PBS treated group (20.8 .+-.4.9%). However, no reduction observed in the group treated with 30 .mu.g/ml p45-CTB compared to PBS. No significant difference between each treatment group and CTB, although a trend of reduction can be seen between 5 and 15 .mu.g/ml p45-CTB compared to CTB.

[0328] The populations of immune cells in spleen and lymph node at the day of sacrifice were influenced by the treatment, especially the groups of 5 and 15 .mu.g/ml p45-CTB. The central memory helper T cells (CD3.sup.+CD4.sup.+CD62L.sup.+CD44.sup.int-hi) were reduced in spleen in the 15 and 30 .mu.g/ml p45-CTB groups compared to CTB (7.6.+-.7.7% and 7.5.+-.6.1% versus 19.4.+-.5.2% p<0.001 and p<0.01 respectively) but not PBS (FIG. 18). In lymph node, the central memory T cells were reduced in 15 .mu.g/ml p45-CTB compared to CTB (18.8.+-.11.5% versus 34.5.+-.10.6%, (FIG. 19). Interestingly, the cytolytic T cell populations (CD3.sup.+CD8.sup.+CD62L.sup.+CD44.sup.int-hi) in spleen displayed an increase in the 5 and 15 .mu.g/ml p45-CTB groups compared to both PBS (29.4.+-.13.3% and 31.9.+-.15.1% respectively versus 17.0.+-.5.1%, p<0.05 in both) and CTB (18.2.+-.3.7%, p<0.05 in both). In contrast, a reduction was observed in lymph node for 15 .mu.g/ml p45-CTB compared to PBS (23.0.+-.16.3% versus 41.3.+-.7.6%, p<0.05 (FIG. 18-FIG. 19).

[0329] No differences in the amount of Tregs in spleen and LN were observed at the day of sacrifice. However, staining blood cells for Tregs mid-treatment at day 42, a trend can be seen between the treatment groups and PBS and CTB controls where an slight increase can be observed in the 5 and 15 .mu.g/ml p45-CTB groups, although not significant.

[0330] Previous observations suggest there is a possibility to develop an ApoB-100 peptide-conjugated vaccine targeting atherosclerosis. SLE patients has a significant increased incidence of CVD as a result of systemic inflammation and thus in need of specific therapies. In this study provide data that an ApoB-100 peptide (p45) coupled to CTB have immune-modulating properties and reduces atherosclerosis in the aortic arch in MRL/lpr ApoE.sup.-/.

[0331] Plaque formations in the 5 and 15 .mu.g/ml p45-CTB treatment groups were decreased compared to PBS control, suggesting atheroprotection is elicited by the vaccine candidate in lower doses. The immune cell populations seen in spleen and lymph node reveals how the vaccine influence the immune system, thus there were differences in the T cell populations. Central memory helper T cells were reduced in spleen after treatment with 5 and 15 .mu.g/ml p45-CTB compared to CTB. In the lymph node, the effects were not as pronounced, only a reduction in the 15 .mu.g/ml p45-CTB group was seen. The activated central memory cytolytic T cells in spleen were increased in the 5 and 15 .mu.g/ml p45-CTB treatment groups and similarly in the lymph node. This might suggest an expansion of the CD8.sup.+ portion of T cells resulting in less CD4.sup.+ cells in the periphery after exposure to peptide vaccine. Immune protection would rather be elicited through cytolytic T cell activation from antigen specificity initiated by the vaccine rather than regulatory T cell suppression, even though a slight trend in populations can be seen.

[0332] Taken the results from Oil Red O and the flow cytometry immune cell population characteristics together, it is distinct that an effect of the immunizations with the vaccine candidate in lower doses is observed, either compared to PBS and/or to CTB. As seen in our previous studies using P45-CTB as a therapy against atherosclerosis, we can now see immuno-modulating effects in an SLE setting as well. This peptide vaccine represents a possible new therapy for treatment of CVD in SLE patients.

[0333] The various methods and techniques described above provide a number of ways to carry out the application. Of course, it is to be understood that not necessarily all objectives or advantages described can be achieved in accordance with any particular embodiment described herein. Thus, for example, those skilled in the art will recognize that the methods can be performed in a manner that achieves or optimizes one advantage or group of advantages as taught herein without necessarily achieving other objectives or advantages as taught or suggested herein. A variety of alternatives are mentioned herein. It is to be understood that some preferred embodiments specifically include one, another, or several features, while others specifically exclude one, another, or several features, while still others mitigate a particular feature by inclusion of one, another, or several advantageous features.

[0334] Furthermore, the skilled artisan will recognize the applicability of various features from different embodiments. Similarly, the various elements, features and steps discussed above, as well as other known equivalents for each such element, feature or step, can be employed in various combinations by one of ordinary skill in this art to perform methods in accordance with the principles described herein. Among the various elements, features, and steps some will be specifically included and others specifically excluded in diverse embodiments.

[0335] Although the application has been disclosed in the context of certain embodiments and examples, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the embodiments of the application extend beyond the specifically disclosed embodiments to other alternative embodiments and/or uses and modifications and equivalents thereof.

[0336] Preferred embodiments of this application are described herein, including the best mode known to the inventors for carrying out the application. Variations on those preferred embodiments will become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the foregoing description. It is contemplated that skilled artisans can employ such variations as appropriate, and the application can be practiced otherwise than specifically described herein. Accordingly, many embodiments of this application include all modifications and equivalents of the subject matter recited in the claims appended hereto as permitted by applicable law. Moreover, any combination of the above-described elements in all possible variations thereof is encompassed by the application unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context.

[0337] All patents, patent applications, publications of patent applications, and other material, such as articles, books, specifications, publications, documents, things, and/or the like, referenced herein are hereby incorporated herein by this reference in their entirety for all purposes, excepting any prosecution file history associated with same, any of same that is inconsistent with or in conflict with the present document, or any of same that may have a limiting affect as to the broadest scope of the claims now or later associated with the present document. By way of example, should there be any inconsistency or conflict between the description, definition, and/or the use of a term associated with any of the incorporated material and that associated with the present document, the description, definition, and/or the use of the term in the present document shall prevail.

[0338] It is to be understood that the embodiments of the application disclosed herein are illustrative of the principles of the embodiments of the application. Other modifications that can be employed can be within the scope of the application. Thus, by way of example, but not of limitation, alternative configurations of the embodiments of the application can be utilized in accordance with the teachings herein. Accordingly, embodiments of the present application are not limited to that precisely as shown and described.

[0339] Various embodiments of the invention are described above in the Detailed Description. While these descriptions directly describe the above embodiments, it is understood that those skilled in the art may conceive modifications and/or variations to the specific embodiments shown and described herein. Any such modifications or variations that fall within the purview of this description are intended to be included therein as well. Unless specifically noted, it is the intention of the inventors that the words and phrases in the specification and claims be given the ordinary and accustomed meanings to those of ordinary skill in the applicable art(s).

[0340] The foregoing description of various embodiments of the invention known to the applicant at this time of filing the application has been presented and is intended for the purposes of illustration and description. The present description is not intended to be exhaustive nor limit the invention to the precise form disclosed and many modifications and variations are possible in the light of the above teachings. The embodiments described serve to explain the principles of the invention and its practical application and to enable others skilled in the art to utilize the invention in various embodiments and with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiments disclosed for carrying out the invention.

[0341] While particular embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that, based upon the teachings herein, changes and modifications may be made without departing from this invention and its broader aspects and, therefore, the appended claims are to encompass within their scope all such changes and modifications as are within the true spirit and scope of this invention.

Sequence CWU 1

1

315120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 1Glu Glu Glu Met Leu Glu Asn Val Ser Leu Val Cys Pro Lys Asp Ala 1 5 10 15 Thr Arg Phe Lys 20 220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 2Ala Thr Arg Phe Lys His Leu Arg Lys Tyr Thr Tyr Asn Tyr Glu Ala 1 5 10 15 Glu Ser Ser Ser 20 320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 3Ala Glu Ser Ser Ser Gly Val Pro Gly Thr Ala Asp Ser Arg Ser Ala 1 5 10 15 Thr Arg Ile Asn 20 420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 4Ala Thr Arg Ile Asn Cys Lys Val Glu Leu Glu Val Pro Gln Leu Cys 1 5 10 15 Ser Phe Ile Leu 20 520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 5Cys Ser Phe Ile Leu Lys Thr Ser Gln Cys Thr Leu Lys Glu Val Tyr 1 5 10 15 Gly Phe Asn Pro 20 620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 6Tyr Gly Phe Asn Pro Glu Gly Lys Ala Leu Leu Lys Lys Thr Lys Asn 1 5 10 15 Ser Glu Glu Phe 20 720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 7Asn Ser Glu Glu Phe Ala Ala Ala Met Ser Arg Tyr Glu Leu Lys Leu 1 5 10 15 Ala Ile Pro Glu 20 820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 8Leu Ala Ile Pro Glu Gly Lys Gln Val Phe Leu Tyr Pro Glu Lys Asp 1 5 10 15 Glu Pro Thr Tyr 20 920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 9Asp Glu Pro Thr Tyr Ile Leu Asn Ile Lys Arg Gly Ile Ile Ser Ala 1 5 10 15 Leu Leu Val Pro 20 1020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 10Ala Leu Leu Val Pro Pro Glu Thr Glu Glu Ala Lys Gln Val Leu Phe 1 5 10 15 Leu Asp Thr Val 20 1120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 11Phe Leu Asp Thr Val Tyr Gly Asn Cys Ser Thr His Phe Thr Val Lys 1 5 10 15 Thr Arg Lys Gly 20 1220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 12Lys Thr Arg Lys Gly Asn Val Ala Thr Glu Ile Ser Thr Glu Arg Asp 1 5 10 15 Leu Gly Gln Cys 20 1320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 13Asp Leu Gly Gln Cys Asp Arg Phe Lys Pro Ile Arg Thr Gly Ile Ser 1 5 10 15 Pro Leu Ala Leu 20 1420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 14Ser Pro Leu Ala Leu Ile Lys Gly Met Thr Arg Pro Leu Ser Thr Leu 1 5 10 15 Ile Ser Ser Ser 20 1520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 15Leu Ile Ser Ser Ser Gln Ser Cys Gln Tyr Thr Leu Asp Ala Lys Arg 1 5 10 15 Lys His Val Ala 20 1620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 16Arg Lys His Val Ala Glu Ala Ile Cys Lys Glu Gln His Leu Phe Leu 1 5 10 15 Pro Phe Ser Tyr 20 1720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 17Leu Pro Phe Ser Tyr Asn Asn Lys Tyr Gly Met Val Ala Gln Val Thr 1 5 10 15 Gln Thr Leu Lys 20 1820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 18Thr Gln Thr Leu Lys Leu Glu Asp Thr Pro Lys Ile Asn Ser Arg Phe 1 5 10 15 Phe Gly Glu Gly 20 1920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 19Phe Phe Gly Glu Gly Thr Lys Lys Met Gly Leu Ala Phe Glu Ser Thr 1 5 10 15 Lys Ser Thr Ser 20 2020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 20Thr Lys Ser Thr Ser Pro Pro Lys Gln Ala Glu Ala Val Leu Lys Thr 1 5 10 15 Leu Gln Glu Leu 20 2120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 21Thr Leu Gln Glu Leu Lys Lys Leu Thr Ile Ser Glu Gln Asn Ile Gln 1 5 10 15 Arg Ala Asn Leu 20 2220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 22Gln Arg Ala Asn Leu Phe Asn Lys Leu Val Thr Glu Leu Arg Gly Leu 1 5 10 15 Ser Asp Glu Ala 20 2320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 23Leu Ser Asp Glu Ala Val Thr Ser Leu Leu Pro Gln Leu Ile Glu Val 1 5 10 15 Ser Ser Pro Ile 20 2420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 24Val Ser Ser Pro Ile Thr Leu Gln Ala Leu Val Gln Cys Gly Gln Pro 1 5 10 15 Gln Cys Ser Thr 20 2520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 25Pro Gln Cys Ser Thr His Ile Leu Gln Trp Leu Lys Arg Val His Ala 1 5 10 15 Asn Pro Leu Leu 20 2620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 26Ala Asn Pro Leu Leu Ile Asp Val Val Thr Tyr Leu Val Ala Leu Ile 1 5 10 15 Pro Glu Pro Ser 20 2720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 27Ile Pro Glu Pro Ser Ala Gln Gln Leu Arg Glu Ile Phe Asn Met Ala 1 5 10 15 Arg Asp Gln Arg 20 2820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 28Ala Arg Asp Gln Arg Ser Arg Ala Thr Leu Tyr Ala Leu Ser His Ala 1 5 10 15 Val Asn Asn Tyr 20 2920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 29Ala Val Asn Asn Tyr His Lys Thr Asn Pro Thr Gly Thr Gln Glu Leu 1 5 10 15 Leu Asp Ile Ala 20 3020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 30Leu Leu Asp Ile Ala Asn Tyr Leu Met Glu Gln Ile Gln Asp Asp Cys 1 5 10 15 Thr Gly Asp Glu 20 3120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 31Cys Thr Gly Asp Glu Asp Tyr Thr Tyr Leu Ile Leu Arg Val Ile Gly 1 5 10 15 Asn Met Gly Gln 20 3220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 32Gly Asn Met Gly Gln Thr Met Glu Gln Leu Thr Pro Glu Leu Lys Ser 1 5 10 15 Ser Ile Leu Lys 20 3320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 33Ser Ser Ile Leu Lys Cys Val Gln Ser Thr Lys Pro Ser Leu Met Ile 1 5 10 15 Gln Lys Ala Ala 20 3420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 34Ile Gln Lys Ala Ala Ile Gln Ala Leu Arg Lys Met Glu Pro Lys Asp 1 5 10 15 Lys Asp Gln Glu 20 3520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 35Asp Lys Asp Gln Glu Val Leu Leu Gln Thr Phe Leu Asp Asp Ala Ser 1 5 10 15 Pro Gly Asp Lys 20 3620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 36Ser Pro Gly Asp Lys Arg Leu Ala Ala Tyr Leu Met Leu Met Arg Ser 1 5 10 15 Pro Ser Gln Ala 20 3720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 37Ser Pro Ser Gln Ala Asp Ile Asn Lys Ile Val Gln Ile Leu Pro Trp 1 5 10 15 Glu Gln Asn Glu 20 3820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 38Trp Glu Gln Asn Glu Gln Val Lys Asn Phe Val Ala Ser His Ile Ala 1 5 10 15 Asn Ile Leu Asn 20 3920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 39Ala Asn Ile Leu Asn Ser Glu Glu Leu Asp Ile Gln Asp Leu Lys Lys 1 5 10 15 Leu Val Lys Glu 20 4020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 40Lys Leu Val Lys Glu Ala Leu Lys Glu Ser Gln Leu Pro Thr Val Met 1 5 10 15 Asp Phe Arg Lys 20 4120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 41Met Asp Phe Arg Lys Phe Ser Arg Asn Tyr Gln Leu Tyr Lys Ser Val 1 5 10 15 Ser Leu Pro Ser 20 4220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 42Val Ser Leu Pro Ser Leu Asp Pro Ala Ser Ala Lys Ile Glu Gly Asn 1 5 10 15 Leu Ile Phe Asp 20 4320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 43Asn Leu Ile Phe Asp Pro Asn Asn Tyr Leu Pro Lys Glu Ser Met Leu 1 5 10 15 Lys Thr Thr Leu 20 4420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 44Leu Lys Thr Thr Leu Thr Ala Phe Gly Phe Ala Ser Ala Asp Leu Ile 1 5 10 15 Glu Ile Gly Leu 20 4520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 45Ile Glu Ile Gly Leu Glu Gly Lys Gly Phe Glu Pro Thr Leu Glu Ala 1 5 10 15 Leu Phe Gly Lys 20 4620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 46Ala Leu Phe Gly Lys Gln Gly Phe Phe Pro Asp Ser Val Asn Lys Ala 1 5 10 15 Leu Tyr Trp Val 20 4720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 47Ala Leu Tyr Trp Val Asn Gly Gln Val Pro Asp Gly Val Ser Lys Val 1 5 10 15 Leu Val Asp His 20 4820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 48Val Leu Val Asp His Phe Gly Tyr Thr Lys Asp Asp Lys His Glu Gln 1 5 10 15 Asp Met Val Asn 20 4920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 49Gln Asp Met Val Asn Gly Ile Met Leu Ser Val Glu Lys Leu Ile Lys 1 5 10 15 Asp Leu Lys Ser 20 5020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 50Lys Asp Leu Lys Ser Lys Glu Val Pro Glu Ala Arg Ala Tyr Leu Arg 1 5 10 15 Ile Leu Gly Glu 20 5120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 51Arg Ile Leu Gly Glu Glu Leu Gly Phe Ala Ser Leu His Asp Leu Gln 1 5 10 15 Leu Leu Gly Lys 20 5220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 52Gln Leu Leu Gly Lys Leu Leu Leu Met Gly Ala Arg Thr Leu Gln Gly 1 5 10 15 Ile Pro Gln Met 20 5320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 53Gly Ile Pro Gln Met Ile Gly Glu Val Ile Arg Lys Gly Ser Lys Asn 1 5 10 15 Asp Phe Phe Leu 20 5420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 54Asn Asp Phe Phe Leu His Tyr Ile Phe Met Glu Asn Ala Phe Glu Leu 1 5 10 15 Pro Thr Gly Ala 20 5520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 55Leu Pro Thr Gly Ala Gly Leu Gln Leu Gln Ile Ser Ser Ser Gly Val 1 5 10 15 Ile Ala Pro Gly 20 5620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 56Val Ile Ala Pro Gly Ala Lys Ala Gly Val Lys Leu Glu Val Ala Asn 1 5 10 15 Met Gln Ala Glu 20 5720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 57Asn Met Gln Ala Glu Leu Val Ala Lys Pro Ser Val Ser Val Glu Phe 1 5 10 15 Val Thr Asn Met 20 5820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 58Phe Val Thr Asn Met Gly Ile Ile Ile Pro Asp Phe Ala Arg Ser Gly 1 5 10 15 Val Gln Met Asn 20 5920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 59Gly Val Gln Met Asn Thr Asn Phe Phe His Glu Ser Gly Leu Glu Ala 1 5 10 15 His Val Ala Leu 20 6020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 60Ala His Val Ala Leu Lys Ala Gly Lys Leu Lys Phe Ile Ile Pro Ser 1 5 10 15 Pro Lys Arg Pro 20 6120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 61Ser Pro Lys Arg Pro Val Lys Leu Leu Ser Gly Gly Asn Thr Leu His 1 5 10 15 Leu Val Ser Thr 20 6220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 62His Leu Val Ser Thr Thr Lys Thr Glu Val Ile Pro Pro Leu Ile Glu 1 5 10 15 Asn Arg Gln Ser 20 6320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 63Glu Asn Arg Gln Ser Trp Ser Val Cys Lys Gln Val Phe Pro Gly Leu 1 5 10 15 Asn Tyr Cys Thr 20 6420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 64Leu Asn Tyr Cys Thr Ser Gly Ala Tyr Ser Asn Ala Ser Ser Thr Asp 1 5 10 15 Ser Ala Ser Tyr 20 6520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 65Asp Ser Ala Ser Tyr Tyr Pro Leu Thr Gly Asp Thr Arg Leu Glu Leu 1 5 10 15 Glu Leu Arg Pro 20 6620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 66Leu Glu Leu Arg Pro Thr Gly Glu Ile Glu Gln Tyr Ser Val Ser Ala 1 5 10 15 Thr Tyr Glu Leu 20 6720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 67Ala Thr Tyr Glu Leu Gln Arg Glu Asp Arg Ala Leu Val Asp Thr Leu 1 5 10 15 Lys Phe Val Thr 20 6820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 68Leu Lys Phe Val Thr Gln Ala Glu Gly Ala Lys Gln Thr Glu Ala Thr 1 5 10 15 Met Thr Phe Lys 20 6920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 69Thr Met Thr Phe Lys Tyr Asn Arg Gln Ser Met Thr Leu Ser Ser Glu 1 5 10 15 Val Gln Ile Pro 20 7020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 70Glu Val Gln Ile Pro Asp Phe Asp Val Asp Leu Gly Thr Ile Leu Arg 1 5 10 15 Val Asn Asp Glu 20 7120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 71Arg Val Asn Asp Glu Ser Thr Glu Gly Lys Thr Ser Tyr Arg Leu Thr 1 5 10 15 Leu Asp Ile Gln 20 7220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 72Thr Leu Asp Ile Gln Asn Lys Lys Ile Thr Glu Val Ala Leu Met Gly 1 5 10 15 His Leu Ser Cys 20 7320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 73Gly His Leu Ser Cys Asp Thr Lys Glu Glu Arg Lys Ile Lys Gly Val 1 5 10 15 Ile Ser Ile Pro 20 7420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 74Val Ile Ser Ile Pro Arg Leu Gln Ala Glu Ala Arg Ser Glu Ile Leu 1 5 10 15 Ala His Trp Ser 20 7520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 75Leu Ala His Trp Ser Pro Ala Lys Leu Leu Leu Gln Met Asp Ser Ser 1 5 10 15 Ala Thr Ala Tyr 20 7620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 76Ser Ala Thr Ala Tyr Gly Ser Thr Val Ser Lys Arg Val Ala Trp His 1 5 10 15 Tyr Asp Glu Glu 20 7720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 77His Tyr Asp Glu Glu Lys Ile Glu Phe Glu Trp Asn Thr Gly Thr Asn 1 5 10 15 Val Asp Thr Lys 20 7820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 78Asn Val Asp Thr Lys Lys Met Thr Ser Asn Phe Pro Val Asp Leu Ser 1 5 10 15 Asp Tyr Pro Lys 20 7920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 79Ser Asp Tyr Pro Lys Ser Leu His Met Tyr Ala Asn Arg Leu Leu Asp 1 5 10 15 His Arg Val Pro 20 8020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 80Asp His Arg Val Pro Glu Thr Asp Met Thr Phe Arg His Val Gly Ser 1 5 10 15 Lys Leu Ile Val 20 8120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 81Ser Lys Leu Ile Val Ala Met Ser Ser Trp Leu Gln Lys Ala Ser Gly 1 5 10 15 Ser Leu Pro Tyr 20 8220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 82Gly Ser Leu Pro Tyr Thr Gln Thr Leu Gln Asp His Leu Asn Ser Leu 1 5 10 15 Lys Glu Phe Asn 20 8320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 83Leu Lys Glu Phe Asn Leu Gln Asn Met Gly Leu Pro Asp Phe His Ile 1 5 10 15 Pro Glu Asn Leu 20 8420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 84Ile Pro Glu Asn Leu Phe Leu Lys Ser Asp Gly Arg Val Lys Tyr Thr 1 5

10 15 Leu Asn Lys Asn 20 8520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 85Thr Leu Asn Lys Asn Ser Leu Lys Ile Glu Ile Pro Leu Pro Phe Gly 1 5 10 15 Gly Lys Ser Ser 20 8620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 86Gly Gly Lys Ser Ser Arg Asp Leu Lys Met Leu Glu Thr Val Arg Thr 1 5 10 15 Pro Ala Leu His 20 8720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 87Thr Pro Ala Leu His Phe Lys Ser Val Gly Phe His Leu Pro Ser Arg 1 5 10 15 Glu Phe Gln Val 20 8820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 88Arg Glu Phe Gln Val Pro Thr Phe Thr Ile Pro Lys Leu Tyr Gln Leu 1 5 10 15 Gln Val Pro Leu 20 8920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 89Leu Gln Val Pro Leu Leu Gly Val Leu Asp Leu Ser Thr Asn Val Tyr 1 5 10 15 Ser Asn Leu Tyr 20 9020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 90Tyr Ser Asn Leu Tyr Asn Trp Ser Ala Ser Tyr Ser Gly Gly Asn Thr 1 5 10 15 Ser Thr Asp His 20 9120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 91Thr Ser Thr Asp His Phe Ser Leu Arg Ala Arg Tyr His Met Lys Ala 1 5 10 15 Asp Ser Val Val 20 9220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 92Ala Asp Ser Val Val Asp Leu Leu Ser Tyr Asn Val Gln Gly Ser Gly 1 5 10 15 Glu Thr Thr Tyr 20 9320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 93Gly Glu Thr Thr Tyr Asp His Lys Asn Thr Phe Thr Leu Ser Cys Asp 1 5 10 15 Gly Ser Leu Arg 20 9420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 94Asp Gly Ser Leu Arg His Lys Phe Leu Asp Ser Asn Ile Lys Phe Ser 1 5 10 15 His Val Glu Lys 20 9520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 95Ser His Val Glu Lys Leu Gly Asn Asn Pro Val Ser Lys Gly Leu Leu 1 5 10 15 Ile Phe Asp Ala 20 9620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 96Leu Ile Phe Asp Ala Ser Ser Ser Trp Gly Pro Gln Met Ser Ala Ser 1 5 10 15 Val His Leu Asp 20 9720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 97Ser Val His Leu Asp Ser Lys Lys Lys Gln His Leu Phe Val Lys Glu 1 5 10 15 Val Lys Ile Asp 20 9820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 98Glu Val Lys Ile Asp Gly Gln Phe Arg Val Ser Ser Phe Tyr Ala Lys 1 5 10 15 Gly Thr Tyr Gly 20 9920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 99Lys Gly Thr Tyr Gly Leu Ser Cys Gln Arg Asp Pro Asn Thr Gly Arg 1 5 10 15 Leu Asn Gly Glu 20 10020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 100Arg Leu Asn Gly Glu Ser Asn Leu Arg Phe Asn Ser Ser Tyr Leu Gln 1 5 10 15 Gly Thr Asn Gln 20 10120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 101Gln Gly Thr Asn Gln Ile Thr Gly Arg Tyr Glu Asp Gly Thr Leu Ser 1 5 10 15 Leu Thr Ser Thr 20 10220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 102Ser Leu Thr Ser Thr Ser Asp Leu Gln Ser Gly Ile Ile Lys Asn Thr 1 5 10 15 Ala Ser Leu Lys 20 10320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 103Thr Ala Ser Leu Lys Tyr Glu Asn Tyr Glu Leu Thr Leu Lys Ser Asp 1 5 10 15 Thr Asn Gly Lys 20 10420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 104Asp Thr Asn Gly Lys Tyr Lys Asn Phe Ala Thr Ser Asn Lys Met Asp 1 5 10 15 Met Thr Phe Ser 20 10520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 105Asp Met Thr Phe Ser Lys Gln Asn Ala Leu Leu Arg Ser Glu Tyr Gln 1 5 10 15 Ala Asp Tyr Glu 20 10620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 106Gln Ala Asp Tyr Glu Ser Leu Arg Phe Phe Ser Leu Leu Ser Gly Ser 1 5 10 15 Leu Asn Ser His 20 10720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 107Ser Leu Asn Ser His Gly Leu Glu Leu Asn Ala Asp Ile Leu Gly Thr 1 5 10 15 Asp Lys Ile Asn 20 10820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 108Thr Asp Lys Ile Asn Ser Gly Ala His Lys Ala Thr Leu Arg Ile Gly 1 5 10 15 Gln Asp Gly Ile 20 10920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 109Gly Gln Asp Gly Ile Ser Thr Ser Ala Thr Thr Asn Leu Lys Cys Ser 1 5 10 15 Leu Leu Val Leu 20 11020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 110Ser Leu Leu Val Leu Glu Asn Glu Leu Asn Ala Glu Leu Gly Leu Ser 1 5 10 15 Gly Ala Ser Met 20 11120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 111Ser Gly Ala Ser Met Lys Leu Thr Thr Asn Gly Arg Phe Arg Glu His 1 5 10 15 Asn Ala Lys Phe 20 11220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 112His Asn Ala Lys Phe Ser Leu Asp Gly Lys Ala Ala Leu Thr Glu Leu 1 5 10 15 Ser Leu Gly Ser 20 11320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 113Leu Ser Leu Gly Ser Ala Tyr Gln Ala Met Ile Leu Gly Val Asp Ser 1 5 10 15 Lys Asn Ile Phe 20 11420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 114Ser Lys Asn Ile Phe Asn Phe Lys Val Ser Gln Glu Gly Leu Lys Leu 1 5 10 15 Ser Asn Asp Met 20 11520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 115Leu Ser Asn Asp Met Met Gly Ser Tyr Ala Glu Met Lys Phe Asp His 1 5 10 15 Thr Asn Ser Leu 20 11620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 116His Thr Asn Ser Leu Asn Ile Ala Gly Leu Ser Leu Asp Phe Ser Ser 1 5 10 15 Lys Leu Asp Asn 20 11720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 117Ser Lys Leu Asp Asn Ile Tyr Ser Ser Asp Lys Phe Tyr Lys Gln Thr 1 5 10 15 Val Asn Leu Gln 20 11820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 118Thr Val Asn Leu Gln Leu Gln Pro Tyr Ser Leu Val Thr Thr Leu Asn 1 5 10 15 Ser Asp Leu Lys 20 11920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 119Asn Ser Asp Leu Lys Tyr Asn Ala Leu Asp Leu Thr Asn Asn Gly Lys 1 5 10 15 Leu Arg Leu Glu 20 12020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 120Lys Leu Arg Leu Glu Pro Leu Lys Leu His Val Ala Gly Asn Leu Lys 1 5 10 15 Gly Ala Tyr Gln 20 12120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 121Lys Gly Ala Tyr Gln Asn Asn Glu Ile Lys His Ile Tyr Ala Ile Ser 1 5 10 15 Ser Ala Ala Leu 20 12220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 122Ser Ser Ala Ala Leu Ser Ala Ser Tyr Lys Ala Asp Thr Val Ala Lys 1 5 10 15 Val Gln Gly Val 20 12320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 123Lys Val Gln Gly Val Glu Phe Ser His Arg Leu Asn Thr Asp Ile Ala 1 5 10 15 Gly Leu Ala Ser 20 12420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 124Ala Gly Leu Ala Ser Ala Ile Asp Met Ser Thr Asn Tyr Asn Ser Asp 1 5 10 15 Ser Leu His Phe 20 12520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 125Asp Ser Leu His Phe Ser Asn Val Phe Arg Ser Val Met Ala Pro Phe 1 5 10 15 Thr Met Thr Ile 20 12620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 126Phe Thr Met Thr Ile Asp Ala His Thr Asn Gly Asn Gly Lys Leu Ala 1 5 10 15 Leu Trp Gly Glu 20 12720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 127Ala Leu Trp Gly Glu His Thr Gly Gln Leu Tyr Ser Lys Phe Leu Leu 1 5 10 15 Lys Ala Glu Pro 20 12820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 128Leu Lys Ala Glu Pro Leu Ala Phe Thr Phe Ser His Asp Tyr Lys Gly 1 5 10 15 Ser Thr Ser His 20 12920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 129Gly Ser Thr Ser His His Leu Val Ser Arg Lys Ser Ile Ser Ala Ala 1 5 10 15 Leu Glu His Lys 20 13020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 130Ala Leu Glu His Lys Val Ser Ala Leu Leu Thr Pro Ala Glu Gln Thr 1 5 10 15 Gly Thr Trp Lys 20 13120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 131Thr Gly Thr Trp Lys Leu Lys Thr Gln Phe Asn Asn Asn Glu Tyr Ser 1 5 10 15 Gln Asp Leu Asp 20 13220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 132Ser Gln Asp Leu Asp Ala Tyr Asn Thr Lys Asp Lys Ile Gly Val Glu 1 5 10 15 Leu Thr Gly Arg 20 13320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 133Glu Leu Thr Gly Arg Thr Leu Ala Asp Leu Thr Leu Leu Asp Ser Pro 1 5 10 15 Ile Lys Val Pro 20 13420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 134Pro Ile Lys Val Pro Leu Leu Leu Ser Glu Pro Ile Asn Ile Ile Asp 1 5 10 15 Ala Leu Glu Met 20 13520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 135Asp Ala Leu Glu Met Arg Asp Ala Val Glu Lys Pro Gln Glu Phe Thr 1 5 10 15 Ile Val Ala Phe 20 13620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 136Thr Ile Val Ala Phe Val Lys Tyr Asp Lys Asn Gln Asp Val His Ser 1 5 10 15 Ile Asn Leu Pro 20 13720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 137Ser Ile Asn Leu Pro Phe Phe Glu Thr Leu Gln Glu Tyr Phe Glu Arg 1 5 10 15 Asn Arg Gln Thr 20 13820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 138Arg Asn Arg Gln Thr Ile Ile Val Val Val Glu Asn Val Gln Arg Asn 1 5 10 15 Leu Lys His Ile 20 13920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 139Asn Leu Lys His Ile Asn Ile Asp Gln Phe Val Arg Lys Tyr Arg Ala 1 5 10 15 Ala Leu Gly Lys 20 14020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 140Ala Ala Leu Gly Lys Leu Pro Gln Gln Ala Asn Asp Tyr Leu Asn Ser 1 5 10 15 Phe Asn Trp Glu 20 14120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 141Ser Phe Asn Trp Glu Arg Gln Val Ser His Ala Lys Glu Lys Leu Thr 1 5 10 15 Ala Leu Thr Lys 20 14220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 142Thr Ala Leu Thr Lys Lys Tyr Arg Ile Thr Glu Asn Asp Ile Gln Ile 1 5 10 15 Ala Leu Asp Asp 20 14320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 143Ile Ala Leu Asp Asp Ala Lys Ile Asn Phe Asn Glu Lys Leu Ser Gln 1 5 10 15 Leu Gln Thr Tyr 20 14420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 144Gln Leu Gln Thr Tyr Met Ile Gln Phe Asp Gln Tyr Ile Lys Asp Ser 1 5 10 15 Tyr Asp Leu His 20 14520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 145Ser Tyr Asp Leu His Asp Leu Lys Ile Ala Ile Ala Asn Ile Ile Asp 1 5 10 15 Glu Ile Ile Glu 20 14620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 146Asp Glu Ile Ile Glu Lys Leu Lys Ser Leu Asp Glu His Tyr His Ile 1 5 10 15 Arg Val Asn Leu 20 14720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 147Ile Arg Val Asn Leu Val Lys Thr Ile His Asp Leu His Leu Phe Ile 1 5 10 15 Glu Asn Ile Asp 20 14820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 148Ile Glu Asn Ile Asp Phe Asn Lys Ser Gly Ser Ser Thr Ala Ser Trp 1 5 10 15 Ile Gln Asn Val 20 14920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 149Trp Ile Gln Asn Val Asp Thr Lys Tyr Gln Ile Arg Ile Gln Ile Gln 1 5 10 15 Glu Lys Leu Gln 20 15020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 150Gln Glu Lys Leu Gln Gln Leu Lys Arg His Ile Gln Asn Ile Asp Ile 1 5 10 15 Gln His Leu Ala 20 15120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 151Ile Gln His Leu Ala Gly Lys Leu Lys Gln His Ile Glu Ala Ile Asp 1 5 10 15 Val Arg Val Leu 20 15220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 152Asp Val Arg Val Leu Leu Asp Gln Leu Gly Thr Thr Ile Ser Phe Glu 1 5 10 15 Arg Ile Asn Asp 20 15320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 153Glu Arg Ile Asn Asp Val Leu Glu His Val Lys His Phe Val Ile Asn 1 5 10 15 Leu Ile Gly Asp 20 15420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 154Asn Leu Ile Gly Asp Phe Glu Val Ala Glu Lys Ile Asn Ala Phe Arg 1 5 10 15 Ala Lys Val His 20 15520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 155Arg Ala Lys Val His Glu Leu Ile Glu Arg Tyr Glu Val Asp Gln Gln 1 5 10 15 Ile Gln Val Leu 20 15620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 156Gln Ile Gln Val Leu Met Asp Lys Leu Val Glu Leu Thr His Gln Tyr 1 5 10 15 Lys Leu Lys Glu 20 15720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 157Tyr Lys Leu Lys Glu Thr Ile Gln Lys Leu Ser Asn Val Leu Gln Gln 1 5 10 15 Val Lys Ile Lys 20 15820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 158Gln Val Lys Ile Lys Asp Tyr Phe Glu Lys Leu Val Gly Phe Ile Asp 1 5 10 15 Asp Ala Val Lys 20 15920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 159Asp Asp Ala Val Lys Lys Leu Asn Glu Leu Ser Phe Lys Thr Phe Ile 1 5 10 15 Glu Asp Val Asn 20 16020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 160Ile Glu Asp Val Asn Lys Phe Leu Asp Met Leu Ile Lys Lys Leu Lys 1 5 10 15 Ser Phe Asp Tyr 20 16120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 161Lys Ser Phe Asp Tyr His Gln Phe Val Asp Glu Thr Asn Asp Lys Ile 1 5 10 15 Arg Glu Val Thr 20 16220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 162Ile Arg Glu Val Thr Gln Arg Leu Asn Gly Glu Ile Gln Ala Leu Glu 1 5 10 15 Leu Pro Gln Lys 20 16320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 163Glu Leu Pro Gln Lys Ala Glu Ala Leu Lys Leu Phe Leu Glu Glu Thr 1 5 10 15 Lys Ala Thr Val 20 16420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 164Thr Lys Ala Thr Val Ala Val Tyr Leu Glu Ser Leu Gln Asp Thr Lys 1 5 10 15 Ile Thr Leu Ile 20 16520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 165Lys Ile Thr Leu Ile Ile Asn Trp Leu Gln Glu Ala Leu Ser Ser Ala 1 5 10 15 Ser Leu Ala His 20 16620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 166Ala Ser Leu Ala His Met Lys Ala Lys Phe Arg Glu Thr Leu Glu Asp 1 5 10 15 Thr Arg Asp Arg 20 16720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 167Asp Thr Arg Asp Arg Met Tyr Gln Met Asp Ile Gln Gln Glu Leu Gln 1 5 10 15 Arg Tyr Leu Ser 20 16820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 168Gln Arg Tyr Leu Ser Leu

Val Gly Gln Val Tyr Ser Thr Leu Val Thr 1 5 10 15 Tyr Ile Ser Asp 20 16920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 169Thr Tyr Ile Ser Asp Trp Trp Thr Leu Ala Ala Lys Asn Leu Thr Asp 1 5 10 15 Phe Ala Glu Gln 20 17020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 170Asp Phe Ala Glu Gln Tyr Ser Ile Gln Asp Trp Ala Lys Arg Met Lys 1 5 10 15 Ala Leu Val Glu 20 17120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 171Lys Ala Leu Val Glu Gln Gly Phe Thr Val Pro Glu Ile Lys Thr Ile 1 5 10 15 Leu Gly Thr Met 20 17220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 172Ile Leu Gly Thr Met Pro Ala Phe Glu Val Ser Leu Gln Ala Leu Gln 1 5 10 15 Lys Ala Thr Phe 20 17320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 173Gln Lys Ala Thr Phe Gln Thr Pro Asp Phe Ile Val Pro Leu Thr Asp 1 5 10 15 Leu Arg Ile Pro 20 17420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 174Asp Leu Arg Ile Pro Ser Val Gln Ile Asn Phe Lys Asp Leu Lys Asn 1 5 10 15 Ile Lys Ile Pro 20 17520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 175Asn Ile Lys Ile Pro Ser Arg Phe Ser Thr Pro Glu Phe Thr Ile Leu 1 5 10 15 Asn Thr Phe His 20 17620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 176Leu Asn Thr Phe His Ile Pro Ser Phe Thr Ile Asp Phe Val Glu Met 1 5 10 15 Lys Val Lys Ile 20 17720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 177Met Lys Val Lys Ile Ile Arg Thr Ile Asp Gln Met Gln Asn Ser Glu 1 5 10 15 Leu Gln Trp Pro 20 17820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 178Glu Leu Gln Trp Pro Val Pro Asp Ile Tyr Leu Arg Asp Leu Lys Val 1 5 10 15 Glu Asp Ile Pro 20 17920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 179Val Glu Asp Ile Pro Leu Ala Arg Ile Thr Leu Pro Asp Phe Arg Leu 1 5 10 15 Pro Glu Ile Ala 20 18020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 180Leu Pro Glu Ile Ala Ile Pro Glu Phe Ile Ile Pro Thr Leu Asn Leu 1 5 10 15 Asn Asp Phe Gln 20 18120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 181Leu Asn Asp Phe Gln Val Pro Asp Leu His Ile Pro Glu Phe Gln Leu 1 5 10 15 Pro His Ile Ser 20 18220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 182Leu Pro His Ile Ser His Thr Ile Glu Val Pro Thr Phe Gly Lys Leu 1 5 10 15 Tyr Ser Ile Leu 20 18320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 183Leu Tyr Ser Ile Leu Lys Ile Gln Ser Pro Leu Phe Thr Leu Asp Ala 1 5 10 15 Asn Ala Asp Ile 20 18420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 184Ala Asn Ala Asp Ile Gly Asn Gly Thr Thr Ser Ala Asn Glu Ala Gly 1 5 10 15 Ile Ala Ala Ser 20 18520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 185Gly Ile Ala Ala Ser Ile Thr Ala Lys Gly Glu Ser Lys Leu Glu Val 1 5 10 15 Leu Asn Phe Asp 20 18620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 186Val Leu Asn Phe Asp Phe Gln Ala Asn Ala Gln Leu Ser Asn Pro Lys 1 5 10 15 Ile Asn Pro Leu 20 18720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 187Lys Ile Asn Pro Leu Ala Leu Lys Glu Ser Val Lys Phe Ser Ser Lys 1 5 10 15 Tyr Leu Arg Thr 20 18820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 188Lys Tyr Leu Arg Thr Glu His Gly Ser Glu Met Leu Phe Phe Gly Asn 1 5 10 15 Ala Ile Glu Gly 20 18920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 189Asn Ala Ile Glu Gly Lys Ser Asn Thr Val Ala Ser Leu His Thr Glu 1 5 10 15 Lys Asn Thr Leu 20 19020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 190Glu Lys Asn Thr Leu Glu Leu Ser Asn Gly Val Ile Val Lys Ile Asn 1 5 10 15 Asn Gln Leu Thr 20 19120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 191Asn Asn Gln Leu Thr Leu Asp Ser Asn Thr Lys Tyr Phe His Lys Leu 1 5 10 15 Asn Ile Pro Lys 20 19220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 192Leu Asn Ile Pro Lys Leu Asp Phe Ser Ser Gln Ala Asp Leu Arg Asn 1 5 10 15 Glu Ile Lys Thr 20 19320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 193Asn Glu Ile Lys Thr Leu Leu Lys Ala Gly His Ile Ala Trp Thr Ser 1 5 10 15 Ser Gly Lys Gly 20 19420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 194Ser Ser Gly Lys Gly Ser Trp Lys Trp Ala Cys Pro Arg Phe Ser Asp 1 5 10 15 Glu Gly Thr His 20 19520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 195Asp Glu Gly Thr His Glu Ser Gln Ile Ser Phe Thr Ile Glu Gly Pro 1 5 10 15 Leu Thr Ser Phe 20 19620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 196Pro Leu Thr Ser Phe Gly Leu Ser Asn Lys Ile Asn Ser Lys His Leu 1 5 10 15 Arg Val Asn Gln 20 19720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 197Leu Arg Val Asn Gln Asn Leu Val Tyr Glu Ser Gly Ser Leu Asn Phe 1 5 10 15 Ser Lys Leu Glu 20 19820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 198Phe Ser Lys Leu Glu Ile Gln Ser Gln Val Asp Ser Gln His Val Gly 1 5 10 15 His Ser Val Leu 20 19920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 199Gly His Ser Val Leu Thr Ala Lys Gly Met Ala Leu Phe Gly Glu Gly 1 5 10 15 Lys Ala Glu Phe 20 20020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 200Gly Lys Ala Glu Phe Thr Gly Arg His Asp Ala His Leu Asn Gly Lys 1 5 10 15 Val Ile Gly Thr 20 20120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 201Lys Val Ile Gly Thr Leu Lys Asn Ser Leu Phe Phe Ser Ala Gln Pro 1 5 10 15 Phe Glu Ile Thr 20 20220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 202Pro Phe Glu Ile Thr Ala Ser Thr Asn Asn Glu Gly Asn Leu Lys Val 1 5 10 15 Arg Phe Pro Leu 20 20320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 203Val Arg Phe Pro Leu Arg Leu Thr Gly Lys Ile Asp Phe Leu Asn Asn 1 5 10 15 Tyr Ala Leu Phe 20 20420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 204Asn Tyr Ala Leu Phe Leu Ser Pro Ser Ala Gln Gln Ala Ser Trp Gln 1 5 10 15 Val Ser Ala Arg 20 20520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 205Gln Val Ser Ala Arg Phe Asn Gln Tyr Lys Tyr Asn Gln Asn Phe Ser 1 5 10 15 Ala Gly Asn Asn 20 20620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 206Ser Ala Gly Asn Asn Glu Asn Ile Met Glu Ala His Val Gly Ile Asn 1 5 10 15 Gly Glu Ala Asn 20 20720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 207Asn Gly Glu Ala Asn Leu Asp Phe Leu Asn Ile Pro Leu Thr Ile Pro 1 5 10 15 Glu Met Arg Leu 20 20820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 208Pro Glu Met Arg Leu Pro Tyr Thr Ile Ile Thr Thr Pro Pro Leu Lys 1 5 10 15 Asp Phe Ser Leu 20 20920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 209Lys Asp Phe Ser Leu Trp Glu Lys Thr Gly Leu Lys Glu Phe Leu Lys 1 5 10 15 Thr Thr Lys Gln 20 21020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 210Lys Thr Thr Lys Gln Ser Phe Asp Leu Ser Val Lys Ala Gln Tyr Lys 1 5 10 15 Lys Asn Lys His 20 21120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 211Lys Lys Asn Lys His Arg His Ser Ile Thr Asn Pro Leu Ala Val Leu 1 5 10 15 Cys Glu Phe Ile 20 21220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 212Leu Cys Glu Phe Ile Ser Gln Ser Ile Lys Ser Phe Asp Arg His Phe 1 5 10 15 Glu Lys Asn Arg 20 21320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 213Phe Glu Lys Asn Arg Asn Asn Ala Leu Asp Phe Val Thr Lys Ser Tyr 1 5 10 15 Asn Glu Thr Lys 20 21420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 214Tyr Asn Glu Thr Lys Ile Lys Phe Asp Lys Tyr Lys Ala Glu Lys Ser 1 5 10 15 His Asp Glu Leu 20 21520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 215Ser His Asp Glu Leu Pro Arg Thr Phe Gln Ile Pro Gly Tyr Thr Val 1 5 10 15 Pro Val Val Asn 20 21620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 216Val Pro Val Val Asn Val Glu Val Ser Pro Phe Thr Ile Glu Met Ser 1 5 10 15 Ala Phe Gly Tyr 20 21720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 217Ser Ala Phe Gly Tyr Val Phe Pro Lys Ala Val Ser Met Pro Ser Phe 1 5 10 15 Ser Ile Leu Gly 20 21820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 218Phe Ser Ile Leu Gly Ser Asp Val Arg Val Pro Ser Tyr Thr Leu Ile 1 5 10 15 Leu Pro Ser Leu 20 21920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 219Ile Leu Pro Ser Leu Glu Leu Pro Val Leu His Val Pro Arg Asn Leu 1 5 10 15 Lys Leu Ser Leu 20 22020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 220Leu Lys Leu Ser Leu Pro His Phe Lys Glu Leu Cys Thr Ile Ser His 1 5 10 15 Ile Phe Ile Pro 20 22120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 221His Ile Phe Ile Pro Ala Met Gly Asn Ile Thr Tyr Asp Phe Ser Phe 1 5 10 15 Lys Ser Ser Val 20 22220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 222Phe Lys Ser Ser Val Ile Thr Leu Asn Thr Asn Ala Glu Leu Phe Asn 1 5 10 15 Gln Ser Asp Ile 20 22320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 223Asn Gln Ser Asp Ile Val Ala His Leu Leu Ser Ser Ser Ser Ser Val 1 5 10 15 Ile Asp Ala Leu 20 22420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 224Val Ile Asp Ala Leu Gln Tyr Lys Leu Glu Gly Thr Thr Arg Leu Thr 1 5 10 15 Arg Lys Arg Gly 20 22520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 225Thr Arg Lys Arg Gly Leu Lys Leu Ala Thr Ala Leu Ser Leu Ser Asn 1 5 10 15 Lys Phe Val Glu 20 22620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 226Asn Lys Phe Val Glu Gly Ser His Asn Ser Thr Val Ser Leu Thr Thr 1 5 10 15 Lys Asn Met Glu 20 22720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 227Thr Lys Asn Met Glu Val Ser Val Ala Lys Thr Thr Lys Ala Glu Ile 1 5 10 15 Pro Ile Leu Arg 20 22820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 228Ile Pro Ile Leu Arg Met Asn Phe Lys Gln Glu Leu Asn Gly Asn Thr 1 5 10 15 Lys Ser Lys Pro 20 22920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 229Thr Lys Ser Lys Pro Thr Val Ser Ser Ser Met Glu Phe Lys Tyr Asp 1 5 10 15 Phe Asn Ser Ser 20 23020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 230Asp Phe Asn Ser Ser Met Leu Tyr Ser Thr Ala Lys Gly Ala Val Asp 1 5 10 15 His Lys Leu Ser 20 23120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 231Asp His Lys Leu Ser Leu Glu Ser Leu Thr Ser Tyr Phe Ser Ile Glu 1 5 10 15 Ser Ser Thr Lys 20 23220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 232Glu Ser Ser Thr Lys Gly Asp Val Lys Gly Ser Val Leu Ser Arg Glu 1 5 10 15 Tyr Ser Gly Thr 20 23320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 233Glu Tyr Ser Gly Thr Ile Ala Ser Glu Ala Asn Thr Tyr Leu Asn Ser 1 5 10 15 Lys Ser Thr Arg 20 23420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 234Ser Lys Ser Thr Arg Ser Ser Val Lys Leu Gln Gly Thr Ser Lys Ile 1 5 10 15 Asp Asp Ile Trp 20 23520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 235Ile Asp Asp Ile Trp Asn Leu Glu Val Lys Glu Asn Phe Ala Gly Glu 1 5 10 15 Ala Thr Leu Gln 20 23620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 236Glu Ala Thr Leu Gln Arg Ile Tyr Ser Leu Trp Glu His Ser Thr Lys 1 5 10 15 Asn His Leu Gln 20 23720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 237Lys Asn His Leu Gln Leu Glu Gly Leu Phe Phe Thr Asn Gly Glu His 1 5 10 15 Thr Ser Lys Ala 20 23820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 238His Thr Ser Lys Ala Thr Leu Glu Leu Ser Pro Trp Gln Met Ser Ala 1 5 10 15 Leu Val Gln Val 20 23920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 239Ala Leu Val Gln Val His Ala Ser Gln Pro Ser Ser Phe His Asp Phe 1 5 10 15 Pro Asp Leu Gly 20 24020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 240Phe Pro Asp Leu Gly Gln Glu Val Ala Leu Asn Ala Asn Thr Lys Asn 1 5 10 15 Gln Lys Ile Arg 20 24120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 241Asn Gln Lys Ile Arg Trp Lys Asn Glu Val Arg Ile His Ser Gly Ser 1 5 10 15 Phe Gln Ser Gln 20 24220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 242Ser Phe Gln Ser Gln Val Glu Leu Ser Asn Asp Gln Glu Lys Ala His 1 5 10 15 Leu Asp Ile Ala 20 24320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 243His Leu Asp Ile Ala Gly Ser Leu Glu Gly His Leu Arg Phe Leu Lys 1 5 10 15 Asn Ile Ile Leu 20 24420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 244Lys Asn Ile Ile Leu Pro Val Tyr Asp Lys Ser Leu Trp Asp Phe Leu 1 5 10 15 Lys Leu Asp Val 20 24520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 245Leu Lys Leu Asp Val Thr Thr Ser Ile Gly Arg Arg Gln His Leu Arg 1 5 10 15 Val Ser Thr Ala 20 24620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 246Arg Val Ser Thr Ala Phe Val Tyr Thr Lys Asn Pro Asn Gly Tyr Ser 1 5 10 15 Phe Ser Ile Pro 20 24720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 247Ser Phe Ser Ile Pro Val Lys Val Leu Ala Asp Lys Phe Ile Thr Pro 1 5 10 15 Gly Leu Lys Leu 20 24820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 248Pro Gly Leu Lys Leu Asn Asp Leu Asn Ser Val Leu Val Met Pro Thr 1 5 10 15 Phe His Val Pro 20 24920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 249Thr Phe His Val Pro Phe Thr Asp Leu Gln Val Pro Ser Cys Lys Leu 1 5 10 15 Asp Phe Arg Glu 20 25020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 250Leu Asp Phe Arg Glu Ile Gln Ile Tyr Lys Lys Leu Arg Thr Ser Ser 1 5 10 15 Phe Ala Leu Asn 20 25120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 251Ser Phe Ala Leu Asn Leu Pro Thr Leu Pro Glu Val Lys Phe Pro Glu 1 5 10 15 Val Asp Val Leu 20

25220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 252Glu Val Asp Val Leu Thr Lys Tyr Ser Gln Pro Glu Asp Ser Leu Ile 1 5 10 15 Pro Phe Phe Glu 20 25320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 253Ile Pro Phe Phe Glu Ile Thr Val Pro Glu Ser Gln Leu Thr Val Ser 1 5 10 15 Gln Phe Thr Leu 20 25420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 254Ser Gln Phe Thr Leu Pro Lys Ser Val Ser Asp Gly Ile Ala Ala Leu 1 5 10 15 Asp Leu Asn Ala 20 25520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 255Leu Asp Leu Asn Ala Val Ala Asn Lys Ile Ala Asp Phe Glu Leu Pro 1 5 10 15 Thr Ile Ile Val 20 25620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 256Pro Thr Ile Ile Val Pro Glu Gln Thr Ile Glu Ile Pro Ser Ile Lys 1 5 10 15 Phe Ser Val Pro 20 25720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 257Lys Phe Ser Val Pro Ala Gly Ile Val Ile Pro Ser Phe Gln Ala Leu 1 5 10 15 Thr Ala Arg Phe 20 25820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 258Leu Thr Ala Arg Phe Glu Val Asp Ser Pro Val Tyr Asn Ala Thr Trp 1 5 10 15 Ser Ala Ser Leu 20 25920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 259Trp Ser Ala Ser Leu Lys Asn Lys Ala Asp Tyr Val Glu Thr Val Leu 1 5 10 15 Asp Ser Thr Cys 20 26020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 260Leu Asp Ser Thr Cys Ser Ser Thr Val Gln Phe Leu Glu Tyr Glu Leu 1 5 10 15 Asn Val Leu Gly 20 26120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 261Leu Asn Val Leu Gly Thr His Lys Ile Glu Asp Gly Thr Leu Ala Ser 1 5 10 15 Lys Thr Lys Gly 20 26220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 262Ser Lys Thr Lys Gly Thr Leu Ala His Arg Asp Phe Ser Ala Glu Tyr 1 5 10 15 Glu Glu Asp Gly 20 26320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 263Tyr Glu Glu Asp Gly Lys Phe Glu Gly Leu Gln Glu Trp Glu Gly Lys 1 5 10 15 Ala His Leu Asn 20 26420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 264Lys Ala His Leu Asn Ile Lys Ser Pro Ala Phe Thr Asp Leu His Leu 1 5 10 15 Arg Tyr Gln Lys 20 26520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 265Leu Arg Tyr Gln Lys Asp Lys Lys Gly Ile Ser Thr Ser Ala Ala Ser 1 5 10 15 Pro Ala Val Gly 20 26620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 266Ser Pro Ala Val Gly Thr Val Gly Met Asp Met Asp Glu Asp Asp Asp 1 5 10 15 Phe Ser Lys Trp 20 26720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 267Asp Phe Ser Lys Trp Asn Phe Tyr Tyr Ser Pro Gln Ser Ser Pro Asp 1 5 10 15 Lys Lys Leu Thr 20 26820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 268Asp Lys Lys Leu Thr Ile Phe Lys Thr Glu Leu Arg Val Arg Glu Ser 1 5 10 15 Asp Glu Glu Thr 20 26920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 269Ser Asp Glu Glu Thr Gln Ile Lys Val Asn Trp Glu Glu Glu Ala Ala 1 5 10 15 Ser Gly Leu Leu 20 27020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 270Ala Ser Gly Leu Leu Thr Ser Leu Lys Asp Asn Val Pro Lys Ala Thr 1 5 10 15 Gly Val Leu Tyr 20 27120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 271Thr Gly Val Leu Tyr Asp Tyr Val Asn Lys Tyr His Trp Glu His Thr 1 5 10 15 Gly Leu Thr Leu 20 27220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 272Thr Gly Leu Thr Leu Arg Glu Val Ser Ser Lys Leu Arg Arg Asn Leu 1 5 10 15 Gln Asn Asn Ala 20 27320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 273Leu Gln Asn Asn Ala Glu Trp Val Tyr Gln Gly Ala Ile Arg Gln Ile 1 5 10 15 Asp Asp Ile Asp 20 27420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 274Ile Asp Asp Ile Asp Val Arg Phe Gln Lys Ala Ala Ser Gly Thr Thr 1 5 10 15 Gly Thr Tyr Gln 20 27520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 275Thr Gly Thr Tyr Gln Glu Trp Lys Asp Lys Ala Gln Asn Leu Tyr Gln 1 5 10 15 Glu Leu Leu Thr 20 27620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 276Gln Glu Leu Leu Thr Gln Glu Gly Gln Ala Ser Phe Gln Gly Leu Lys 1 5 10 15 Asp Asn Val Phe 20 27720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 277Lys Asp Asn Val Phe Asp Gly Leu Val Arg Val Thr Gln Lys Phe His 1 5 10 15 Met Lys Val Lys 20 27820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 278His Met Lys Val Lys His Leu Ile Asp Ser Leu Ile Asp Phe Leu Asn 1 5 10 15 Phe Pro Arg Phe 20 27920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 279Asn Phe Pro Arg Phe Gln Phe Pro Gly Lys Pro Gly Ile Tyr Thr Arg 1 5 10 15 Glu Glu Leu Cys 20 28020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 280Arg Glu Glu Leu Cys Thr Met Phe Ile Arg Glu Val Gly Thr Val Leu 1 5 10 15 Ser Gln Val Tyr 20 28120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 281Leu Ser Gln Val Tyr Ser Lys Val His Asn Gly Ser Glu Ile Leu Phe 1 5 10 15 Ser Tyr Phe Gln 20 28220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 282Phe Ser Tyr Phe Gln Asp Leu Val Ile Thr Leu Pro Phe Glu Leu Arg 1 5 10 15 Lys His Lys Leu 20 28320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 283Arg Lys His Lys Leu Ile Asp Val Ile Ser Met Tyr Arg Glu Leu Leu 1 5 10 15 Lys Asp Leu Ser 20 28420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 284Leu Lys Asp Leu Ser Lys Glu Ala Gln Glu Val Phe Lys Ala Ile Gln 1 5 10 15 Ser Leu Lys Thr 20 28520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 285Gln Ser Leu Lys Thr Thr Glu Val Leu Arg Asn Leu Gln Asp Leu Leu 1 5 10 15 Gln Phe Ile Phe 20 28620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 286Leu Gln Phe Ile Phe Gln Leu Ile Glu Asp Asn Ile Lys Gln Leu Lys 1 5 10 15 Glu Met Lys Phe 20 28720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 287Lys Glu Met Lys Phe Thr Tyr Leu Ile Asn Tyr Ile Gln Asp Glu Ile 1 5 10 15 Asn Thr Ile Phe 20 28820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 288Ile Asn Thr Ile Phe Asn Asp Tyr Ile Pro Tyr Val Phe Lys Leu Leu 1 5 10 15 Lys Glu Asn Leu 20 28920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 289Leu Lys Glu Asn Leu Cys Leu Asn Leu His Lys Phe Asn Glu Phe Ile 1 5 10 15 Gln Asn Glu Leu 20 29020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 290Ile Gln Asn Glu Leu Gln Glu Ala Ser Gln Glu Leu Gln Gln Ile His 1 5 10 15 Gln Tyr Ile Met 20 29120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 291His Gln Tyr Ile Met Ala Leu Arg Glu Glu Tyr Phe Asp Pro Ser Ile 1 5 10 15 Val Gly Trp Thr 20 29220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 292Ile Val Gly Trp Thr Val Lys Tyr Tyr Glu Leu Glu Glu Lys Ile Val 1 5 10 15 Ser Leu Ile Lys 20 29320PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 293Val Ser Leu Ile Lys Asn Leu Leu Val Ala Leu Lys Asp Phe His Ser 1 5 10 15 Glu Tyr Ile Val 20 29420PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 294Ser Glu Tyr Ile Val Ser Ala Ser Asn Phe Thr Ser Gln Leu Ser Ser 1 5 10 15 Gln Val Glu Gln 20 29520PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 295Ser Gln Val Glu Gln Phe Leu His Arg Asn Ile Gln Glu Tyr Leu Ser 1 5 10 15 Ile Leu Thr Asp 20 29620PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 296Ser Ile Leu Thr Asp Pro Asp Gly Lys Gly Lys Glu Lys Ile Ala Glu 1 5 10 15 Leu Ser Ala Thr 20 29720PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 297Glu Leu Ser Ala Thr Ala Gln Glu Ile Ile Lys Ser Gln Ala Ile Ala 1 5 10 15 Thr Lys Lys Ile 20 29820PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 298Thr Lys Lys Ile Ile Ser Asp Tyr His Gln Gln Phe Arg Tyr Lys Leu 1 5 10 15 Gln Asp Phe Ser 20 29920PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 299Leu Gln Asp Phe Ser Asp Gln Leu Ser Asp Tyr Tyr Glu Lys Phe Ile 1 5 10 15 Ala Glu Ser Lys 20 30020PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 300Ile Ala Glu Ser Lys Arg Leu Ile Asp Leu Ser Ile Gln Asn Tyr His 1 5 10 15 Thr Phe Leu Ile 20 30120PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 301His Thr Phe Leu Ile Tyr Ile Thr Glu Leu Leu Lys Lys Leu Gln Ser 1 5 10 15 Thr Thr Val Met 20 30220PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 302Ser Thr Thr Val Met Asn Pro Tyr Met Lys Leu Ala Pro Gly Glu Leu 1 5 10 15 Thr Ile Ile Leu 20 3031353DNAArtificial SequencePolynucleotide sequence encoding heavy chain of P45 specific antibody 303gaggtgcagc tgttggagtc tgggggaggc ttggtacagc ctggggggtc cctgagactc 60tcctgtgcag cctctggatt caccttcagt aacgcctgga tgagctgggt ccgccaggct 120ccagggaagg ggctggagtg ggtctcaagt attagtgttg gtggacatag gacatattat 180gcagattccg tgaagggccg gtccaccatc tccagagaca attccaagaa cacgctgtat 240ctgcaaatga acagcctgag agccgaggac actgccgtgt attactgtgc acggatacgg 300gtgggtccgt ccggcggggc ctttgactac tggggccagg gtacactggt caccgtgagc 360tcagcctcca ccaagggccc atcggtcttc cccctggcac cctcctccaa gagcacctct 420gggggcacag cggccctggg ctgcctggtc aaggactact tccccgaacc ggtgacggtg 480tcgtggaact caggcgccct gaccagcggc gtgcacacct tcccggctgt cctacagtcc 540tcaggactct actccctcag cagcgtggtg accgtgccct ccagcagctt gggcacccag 600acctacatct gcaacgtgaa tcacaagccc agcaacacca aggtggacaa gaaagttgag 660cccaaatctt gtgacaaaac tcacacatgc ccaccgtgcc cagcacctga actcctgggg 720ggaccgtcag tcttcctctt ccccccaaaa cccaaggaca ccctcatgat ctcccggacc 780cctgaggtca catgcgtggt ggtggacgtg agccacgaag accctgaggt caagttcaac 840tggtacgtgg acggcgtgga ggtgcataat gccaagacaa agccgcggga ggagcagtac 900aacagcacgt accgtgtggt cagcgtcctc accgtcctgc accaggactg gctgaatggc 960aaggagtaca agtgcaaggt ctccaacaaa gccctcccag cccccatcga gaaaaccatc 1020tccaaagcca aagggcagcc ccgagaacca caggtgtaca ccctgccccc atcccgggat 1080gagctgacca agaaccaggt cagcctgacc tgcctggtca aaggcttcta tcccagcgac 1140atcgccgtgg agtgggagag caatgggcag ccggagaaca actacaagac cacgcctccc 1200gtgctggact ccgacggctc cttcttcctc tacagcaagc tcaccgtgga caagagcagg 1260tggcagcagg ggaacgtctt ctcatgctcc gtgatgcatg aggctctgca caaccactac 1320acgcagaaga gcctctccct gtctccgggt aaa 1353304648DNAArtificial SequencePolynucleotide sequence encoding light chain of P45 specific antibody 304cagtctgtgc tgactcagcc accctcagcg tctgggaccc ccgggcagag ggtcaccatc 60tcctgctctg gaagcaacac caacattggg aagaactatg tatcttggta tcagcagctc 120ccaggaacgg cccccaaact cctcatctat gctaatagca atcggccctc aggggtccct 180gaccgattct ctggctccaa gtctggcacc tcagcctccc tggccatcag tgggctccgg 240tccgaggatg aggctgatta ttactgtgcg tcatgggatg ccagcctgaa tggttgggta 300ttcggcggag gaaccaagct gacggtccta ggtcagccca aggctgcccc ctcggtcact 360ctgttcccgc cctcctctga ggagcttcaa gccaacaagg ccacactggt gtgtctcata 420agtgacttct acccgggagc cgtgacagtg gcctggaagg cagatagcag ccccgtcaag 480gcgggagtgg agaccaccac accctccaaa caaagcaaca acaagtacgc ggccagcagc 540tatctgagcc tgacgcctga gcagtggaag tcccacagaa gctacagctg ccaggtcacg 600catgaaggga gcaccgtgga gaagacagtg gcccctacag aatgttca 6483057PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 305Pro Lys Lys Lys Arg Lys Val 1 5 30616PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 306Lys Arg Pro Ala Ala Thr Lys Lys Ala Gly Gln Ala Lys Lys Lys Lys 1 5 10 15 3074PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptidemisc(2)..(2)X can be K or Rmisc(3)..(3)X can be any amino acidmisc(4)..(4)X can be K or R 307Lys Xaa Xaa Xaa 1 3084PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptidemisc_feature(3)..(3)Xaa can be any naturally occurring amino acid 308Lys Lys Xaa Arg 1 3094PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptidemisc_feature(3)..(3)Xaa can be any naturally occurring amino acid 309Lys Lys Xaa Lys 1 3104PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptidemisc_feature(3)..(3)Xaa can be any naturally occurring amino acid 310Lys Arg Xaa Lys 1 3114PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptidemisc_feature(3)..(3)Xaa can be any naturally occurring amino acid 311Lys Arg Xaa Arg 1 31218PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 312Met Lys Trp Val Thr Phe Ile Ser Leu Leu Phe Leu Phe Ser Ser Ala 1 5 10 15 Tyr Ser 31318PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 313Met Ala Phe Leu Trp Leu Leu Ser Cys Trp Ala Leu Leu Gly Thr Thr 1 5 10 15 Gly Phe 31414PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 314Met Gln Leu Leu Ser Cys Ile Ala Leu Ile Leu Ala Leu Val 1 5 10 31515PRTArtificial SequenceSynthetic peptide 315Met Asn Leu Leu Leu Ile Leu Thr Phe Val Ala Ala Ala Val Ala 1 5 10 15

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