Vaccination with filamentous bacteriophages targeting DEC-205 induces DC maturation and potent anti-tumor T-cell responses in the absence of adjuvants.
ABSTRACT The efficacy of a new vaccine-delivery vector, based on the filamentous bacteriophage fd displaying a single-chain antibody fragment known to bind the mouse DC surface molecule DEC-205, is reported. We demonstrate both in vitro and in vivo an enhanced receptor-mediated uptake of phage particles expressing the anti-DEC-205 fragment by DCs. We also report that DCs targeted by fd virions in the absence of other stimuli produce IFN-α and IL-6, and acquire a mature phenotype. Moreover, DC-targeting with fd particles double-displaying the anti-DEC-205 fragment on the pIII protein and the OVA(257-264) antigenic determinant on the pVIII protein induced potent inhibition of the growth of the B16-OVA tumor in vivo. This protection was much stronger than other immunization strategies and similar to that induced by adoptively transferred DCs. Since targeting DEC-205 in the absence of DC activation/maturation agents has previously been described to result in tolerance, the ability of fd bacteriophages to induce a strong tumor-specific immune response by targeting DCs through DEC-205 is unexpected, and further validates the potential employment of this safe, versatile and inexpensive delivery system for vaccine formulation.