Five overlapping fragments of rat HER-2/neu have been expressed in recombinant Listeria monocytogenes. Each fragment of HER-2/neu is secreted as a fusion protein with a truncated, nonhemolytic form of listeriolysin O (LLO). Lm-LLO-EC1, Lm-LLO-EC2, and Lm-LLO-EC3 overlap the extracellular domain of HER-2/neu, whereas Lm-LLO-IC1 and Lm-LLO-IC2 span the intracellular domain. All five strains controlled the growth of established NT-2 tumors, a rat HER-2/neu-expressing tumor line derived from a spontaneously arising mammary tumor in a FVB/N HER-2/neu-transgenic mouse. The antitumor effect of each of these vaccine constructs was abrogated by the in vivo depletion of CD8 + T cells, although only one known epitope has been defined previously and is present in Lm-LLO-EC2. Anti-HER-2/neu CTL responses were generated by each of the rLm vaccine constructs. With the use of a panel of 3T3 cell lines expressing overlapping fragments of HER-2/neu, regions of HER-2/neu with potential CD8+ T cell epitopes have been defined. DNA vaccines expressing either a fragment or full-length HER-2/neu were constructed in LLO-fused and non-LLO-fused forms. CTL analysis of the DNA vaccines revealed a broadening in the regions of HER-2/neu recognizable as targets when the target Ag is fused to LLO. These studies show the efficacy of L. monocytogenes-based HER-2/neu vaccines in a murine model of breast cancer and also that the immunogenicity of self-Ags can be increased by fusion to LLO and delivery by L. monocytogenes revealing subdominant epitopes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy