I would like to know if proteins expressed in higher quantities, such as DNA polymerase, would be better vaccine candidates for a T-cell based vaccine.
To find candidate proteins which can be used as peptide vaccine, these need to fulfill some criteria:
- The most important is that the peptide (or protein) used for
vaccination shall not have a closely relate sequence in the organism in which the vaccination shall occur. Otherwise either no reaction (due to immunologic tolerance to self) or an autoimmune reaction might happen.
- The peptide/protein need to be expressed on the surface of the microbe (either virus or bacteria) since otherwise it will not be recognized by the immune system. Also domains of a potential vaccine candidate which are inside of membrane are not useful.
- The epitope needs to be stable enough to be used as a vaccine and also be present on the microbe (otherwise there is no immune reaction).
If you want to read further on this topic, there is an interesting Paper from the WHO available, which gives a nice introduction:
To answer your question: No, these proteins cannot be used for this purpose, as they are relatively closely related to the same proteins in the human body. This will probably lead to no immunologic reaction at all. Additionally, these proteins are located inside of cells and thus not exposed to the immune system.
The original question asks about vaccine development against a virus. Most effective anti-viral vaccines elicit antibody responses that presumably protect via neutralization of viruses as they enter the body. Bob Seder has a good review on this - you may find a discussion relevant to this topic in the section titled "Viral targets for the induction of humoral immunity". These vaccines would not necessarily be leading to the destruction of infected cells as this is a CTL function.
I think the hype that biotech is referring to is in relation to therapeutic vaccines against cancer, etc. that elicit CTL responses capable of destroying cancer cells. However, it is also important to keep in mind that both CTLs and B Cells need CD4 T Cell help in order to develop - nothing stands alone in the immune system.