The efficacy of cellular immune responses elicited by HIV vaccines is dependent on their strength, durability and antigenic breadth. The regulatory proteins are abundantly expressed early in the viral life cycle and CTL recognition may bring about early killing of infected cells. We synthesised DNA vaccine constructs that encode consensus HIV-1 subtype C Tat, Rev and Nef proteins. Proteins carrying inactivating mutations were tested for functional activity and highly expressing, inactive Tat, Rev and Nef mutants were identified and their reading frames fused into a TatRevNef cassette. Single- and polygene Tat, Rev and/or Nef constructs were immunogenic in BALB/c mice. These constructs may serve to increase the antigenic breadth for an HIV-1 vaccine that is relevant for sub-Saharan Africa.