[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Intradermal administration of DNA vaccines encoding luciferase represents a convenient method to assess gene expression in vivo. Gene silencing by intradermal gene gun administration of DNA encoding short hairpin RNA (shRNA) may represent an effective technique for the specific knockdown of gene expression in vivo. In the current study, we characterized luciferase gene expression over time in vivo by noninvasive bioluminescence imaging. Furthermore, we characterized in vivo luciferase gene silencing with DNA encoding shRNA targeting luciferase. We also characterized human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16) E7-specific CD8(+) T cell immune responses in mice immunized with E7 DNA and DNA encoding shRNA targeting Fas ligand (FasL), a key proapoptotic signaling protein. Our results indicated that coadministration of DNA encoding shRNA targeting luciferase significantly reduced luciferase expression in mice intradermally administered luciferase DNA. Furthermore, we observed that mice vaccinated with E7-expressing DNA coadministered with DNA encoding shRNA targeting FasL generated significantly enhanced E7-specific CD8(+) cytotoxic T cell responses as well as potent therapeutic antitumor effects against E7-expressing tumors. Thus, intradermal administration of DNA encoding shRNA represents a plausible approach to silence genes in vivo and a potentially useful tool to enhance DNA vaccine potency.
Human gene therapy 08/2008; 19(8):763-73. · 4.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is an urgent need to develop new innovative therapies for the control of cancer. Antigen-specific immunotherapy and the employment of proteasome inhibitors have emerged as two potentially plausible approaches for the control of cancer. In the current study, we explored the combination of the DNA vaccine encoding calreticulin (CRT) linked to human papillomavirus type 16 E7 antigen (CRT/E7) with the proteasome inhibitor, bortezomib, for their ability to generate E7-specific immune responses and antitumor effects in vaccinated mice. We found that the combination of treatment with bortezomib and CRT/E7(detox) DNA generated more potent E7-specific CD8+ T cell immune responses and better therapeutic effects against TC-1 tumors in tumor-bearing mice compared to monotherapy. Furthermore, we found that treatment with bortezomib led to increased apoptosis of TC-1 tumor cells and could render the TC-1 tumor cells more susceptible to lysis by E7-specific CD8+ T cells. Our data have significant implications for future clinical translation.
Journal of Molecular Medicine 07/2008; 86(8):899-908. · 4.77 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Intradermal vaccination via gene gun efficiently delivers DNA vaccines into dendritic cells (DCs) of the skin, resulting in the activation and priming of antigen-specific T cells in vivo. We have previously demonstrated that intradermal delivery of DNA vaccines encoding single-chain trimer (SCT) composed of the most immunogenic epitope of human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16) E6 protein (aa49-57), beta2-microglobulin, and MHC class I heavy chain (SCT-E6) can bypass antigen processing and lead to stable cell-surface presentation of E6 peptides. We also showed that co-administration of DNA vaccines with DNA encoding anti-apoptotic proteins can prolong the survival of DNA-transduced DCs, resulting in significant enhancement of antigen-specific CD8(+) T cell immune responses. In the current study, we hypothesized that combining the SCT strategy and antiapoptotic strategy may further enhance DNA vaccine potency by augmenting antigen-specific CD8(+) T cell immune responses and antitumor effects in vaccinated mice. Here, we show that C57BL/6 mice vaccinated with SCT-E6 DNA combined with antiapoptotic protein Bcl-xL DNA generated enhanced E6-specific CD8(+) T cell immune responses compared to mice vaccinated with SCT-E6 DNA and a non-functional mutant Bcl-xL (mtBcl-xL) DNA. Furthermore, we show that mice treated with SCT-E6 and Bcl-xL DNA generated enhanced anti-tumor effects against E6-expressing tumor cells (TC-1/Luciferase) compared to mice treated with SCT-E6 and mtBcl-xL DNA.