Recently, Flt3 (Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3)-ligand has been identified as an important cytokine for the generation of professional antigen-presenting cells (APCs), particularly dendritic cells (DCs). A recombinant chimera of the extracellular domain of Flt3-ligand (FL) linked to a model antigen may potentially target the antigen to DCs and their precursor cells. Using human papillomavirus-16 E7 as a model antigen, we evaluated the effect of linkage to FL on the potency of antigen-specific immunity generated by naked DNA vaccines administered intradermally via gene gun. We found that vaccines containing chimeric FL-E7 fusion genes significantly increased the frequency of E7-specific CD8+ T cells relative to vaccines containing the wild-type E7 gene. In vitro studies indicated that cells transfected with FL-E7 DNA presented E7 antigen through the MHC class I pathway more efficiently than wild-type E7 DNA. Furthermore, bone marrow-derived DCs pulsed with cell lysates containing FL-E7 fusion protein presented E7 antigen through the MHC class I pathway more efficiently than DCs pulsed with cell lysates containing wild-type E7 protein. More importantly, this fusion converted a less effective vaccine into one with significant potency against established E7-expressing metastatic tumors. The FL-E7 fusion vaccine mainly targeted CD8+ T cells, and antitumor effects were completely CD4 independent. These results indicate that fusion of a gene encoding the extracellular domain of FL to an antigen gene may greatly enhance the potency of DNA vaccines via CD8-dependent pathways.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|State||Published - Mar 6 2001|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research