Administration of DNA vaccines via gene gun has emerged as an important form of Ag-specific immunotherapy. The MHC CIITA is a master regulator of MHC class II expression and also induces expression of class I molecules. We reasoned that the gene gun administration of CIITA DNA with DNA vaccines employing different strategies to improve MHC I and II processing could enhance DNA vaccine potency. We observed that DC-1 cells transfected with CIITA DNA lead to higher expression of MHC I and II molecules, leading to enhanced Ag presentation through the MHC I/II pathways. Furthermore, our data suggested that coadministration of DNA-encoding calreticulin (CRT) linked to human papillomavirus (HPV) 16 E6 Ag (CRT/E6) with CIITA DNA leads to enhanced E6-specific CD8+ T cell immune responses in vaccinated mice. In addition, coadministration of the combination of CRT/E6 DNA with CIITA DNA and DNA encoding the invariant chain (Ii) linked to the pan HLA-DR-reactive epitope (Ii-PADRE) further enhanced E6-specific CD8+ T cell immune responses in vaccinated mice. Treatment with the combination vaccine was also shown to enhance the antitumor effects and to prolong survival in TC-1 tumor-bearing mice. Vaccination with the combination vaccine also led to enhanced E6-specific CD8+ memory T cells and to long-term protection against TC-1 tumors and prolonged survival in vaccinated mice. Thus, our findings suggest that the combination of CIITA DNA with CRT/E6 and Ii-PADRE DNA vaccines represents a potentially effective means to combat tumors in the clinical setting.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy