Author(s): Birkholz K, Schwenkert M, Kellner C, Gross S, Fey G,
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Abstract The use of dendritic cells (DCs) in therapeutic cancer vaccination requires their loading with tumor-specific antigen(s). DEC-205, a phagocytosis receptor mediating antigen uptake, is associated with CD8(+) T-cell responses in mice. Here we fused an anti-DEC-205scFv to an HLA-DP4-restricted epitope from the tumor antigen MAGE-A3, and examined the suitability and efficacy of DEC-205 to deliver a helper epitope to human monocyte-derived DCs (moDCs). The construct specifically bound DEC-205 on human moDCs without negative impact on DC phenotype and function. We measured antigen presentation with specific autologous CD4(+) T cells, generated by TCR-RNA transfection. DEC-205 targeting resulted in significant major histocompatibility complex class II-restricted antigen presentation, and was superior to loading DCs by electroporation of mRNA encoding endosome-targeted MAGE-A3-DCLAMP or by direct peptide pulsing. Anti-DEC-205scFv-MAGE-A3 was presented 100 times more efficiently than the control constructs. DC maturation before or during incubation with anti-DEC-205scFv-MAGE-A3 reduced the interleukin-10/interleukin-2 ratio. Moreover, we successfully applied the DEC-205 targeting strategy to moDCs from malignant melanoma patients. Again, DEC-205-targeted mature DCs (mDCs) presented the antigen more efficiently than peptide-pulsed DCs and maintained their stimulatory capacity after cryoconservation. Thus, DEC-205 targeting represents a feasible and effective method to deliver helper epitopes to DCs in anticancer vaccine strategies, which may also be suitable for DC targeting in vivo.
This article was published in Blood
and referenced in Journal of Nanomedicine & Biotherapeutic Discovery