[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recombinant live-attenuated Listeria monocytogenes is currently being developed as a vaccine platform for treatment or prevention of malignant and infectious diseases. The effectiveness of complex biologic vaccines, such as recombinant viral and bacterial vectors, can be limited by either preexisting or vaccine-induced vector-specific immunity. We characterized the level of L. monocytogenes-specific cellular and humoral immunity present in more than 70 healthy adult subjects as a first step to understanding its possible impact on the efficacy of L. monocytogenes-based vaccines being evaluated in early-phase clinical trials. Significant L. monocytogenes-specific humoral immunity was not measured in humans, consistent with a lack of antibodies in mice immunized with wild-type L. monocytogenes. Cellular immune responses specific for listeriolysin O, a secreted bacterial protein required for potency of L. monocytogenes-derived vaccines, were detected in approximately 60% of human donors tested. In mice, while wild-type L. monocytogenes did not induce significant humoral immunity, attenuated L. monocytogenes vaccine strains induced high-titer L. monocytogenes-specific antibodies when given at high doses used for immunization. Passive transfer of L. monocytogenes-specific antiserum to naïve mice had no impact on priming antigen-specific immunity in mice immunized with a recombinant L. monocytogenes vaccine. In mice with preexisting L. monocytogenes-specific immunity, priming of naïve T cells was not prevented, and antigen-specific responses could be boosted by additional vaccinations. For the first time, our findings establish the level of L. monocytogenes-specific cellular immunity in healthy adults, and, together with modeling studies performed with mice, they support the scientific rationale for repeated L. monocytogenes vaccine immunization regimens to elicit a desired therapeutic effect.
Infection and immunity 07/2009; 77(9):3958-68. · 4.21 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vaccine strategies that utilize human DCs to enhance antitumor immunity have yet to realize their full potential. Approaches that optimally target a spectrum of antigens to DCs are urgently needed. Here we report the development of a platform for loading DCs with antigen. It is based on killed but metabolically active (KBMA) recombinant Listeria monocytogenes and facilitates both antigen delivery and maturation of human DCs. Highly attenuated KBMA L. monocytogenes were engineered to express an epitope of the melanoma-associated antigen MelanA/Mart-1 that is recognized by human CD8+ T cells when presented by the MHC class I molecule HLA-A*0201. The engineered KBMA L. monocytogenes induced human DC upregulation of costimulatory molecules and secretion of pro-Th1 cytokines and type I interferons, leading to effective priming of Mart-1-specific human CD8+ T cells and lysis of patient-derived melanoma cells. KBMA L. monocytogenes expressing full-length NY-ESO-1 protein, another melanoma-associated antigen, delivered the antigen for presentation by MHC class I and class II molecules independent of the MHC haplotype of the DC donor. A mouse therapeutic tumor model was used to show that KBMA L. monocytogenes efficiently targeted APCs in vivo to induce protective antitumor responses. Together, our data demonstrate that KBMA L. monocytogenes may be a powerful platform that can both deliver recombinant antigen to DCs for presentation and provide a potent DC-maturation stimulus, making it a potential cancer vaccine candidate.
Journal of Clinical Investigation 01/2009; 118(12):3990-4001. · 12.81 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recombinant vaccines derived from the facultative intracellular bacterium Listeria monocytogenes are presently undergoing early-stage clinical evaluation in oncology treatment settings. This effort has been stimulated in part due to preclinical results that illustrate potent activation of innate and adaptive immune effectors by L. monocytogenes vaccines, combined with efficacy in rigorous animal models of malignant and infectious disease. Here, we evaluated the immunologic potency of a panel of isogenic vaccine strains that varied only in prfA. PrfA is an intracellularly activated transcription factor that induces expression of virulence genes and encoded heterologous antigens (Ags) in appropriately engineered vaccine strains. Mutant strains with PrfA locked into a constitutively active state are known as PrfA* mutants. We assessed the impacts of three PrfA* mutants, G145S, G155S, and Y63C, on the immunologic potencies of live-attenuated and photochemically inactivated nucleotide excision repair mutant (killed but metabolically active [KBMA]) vaccines. While PrfA* substantially increased Ag expression in strains grown in broth culture, Ag expression levels were equivalent in infected macrophage and dendritic cell lines, conditions that more closely parallel those in the immunized host. However, only the prfA(G155S) allele conferred significantly enhanced vaccine potency to KBMA vaccines. In the KBMA vaccine background, we show that PrfA*(G155S) enhanced functional cellular immunity following an intravenous or intramuscular prime-boost immunization regimen. These results form the basis of a rationale for including the prfA(G155S) allele in future live-attenuated or KBMA L. monocytogenes vaccines advanced to the clinical setting.
Infection and immunity 09/2008; 76(8):3742-53. · 4.21 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: NK cells can identify and eliminate emerging tumors due to altered expression of activating and inhibitory ligands on aberrant cells, a process that is greatly enhanced following NK cell activation. As a principal site of both tumor metastases and immature NK cells, the liver represents a unique anatomic location in which activation of the innate immune system could provide substantial therapeutic benefit. We describe here the NK cell-dependent destruction of a primary hepatic tumor following infection with an attenuated intracellular bacterium derived from Listeria monocytogenes. NK cell-mediated immunity correlated with the ordered migration and maturation of NK cells within the liver. Cytolytic activity was partially dependent on NKG2D-mediated tumor cell recognition, but surprisingly was still effective in the absence of type I IFN. Significantly, NK cell-mediated destruction of a primary hepatic tumor in infected mice led to long-lived CD4- and CD8 T cell-dependent tumor-specific adaptive immunity. These findings establish that activation and differentiation of immature NK cells using complex microbial stimuli can elicit potent anti-tumor activity within the liver, promote cross-presentation of tumor-derived Ags leading to long-lived systemic anti-tumor immunity, and suggests a paradigm for clinical intervention of liver metastatic carcinoma.
The Journal of Immunology 01/2008; 179(11):7376-84. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Improved immunization and ex vivo T-cell culture strategies can generate larger numbers and more potent tumor-specific effector cells than previously possible. Nonetheless, the capacity of these cells to eliminate established tumors is limited by their ability to efficiently enter tumor-bearing organs and mediate their effector function. In the current study, we show that the administration of an engineered organ-homing microbe selectively targets tumor-specific immune responses to metastases within that organ. Specifically, an attenuated Listeria monocytogenes strain, which preferentially infects the liver following systemic administration, dramatically enhances the activity of a cancer vaccine against liver metastases but not metastases in the lung. This enhanced activity results from both local recruitment of innate immune effectors as well as concentration and increased activation of vaccine-induced antitumor T cells within the liver. These findings show a general approach to focus systemic cancer immunotherapies to specific organs bearing tumor metastases by taking advantage of differential tropisms and the proinflammatory nature of microbes.
Cancer Research 02/2006; 66(2):1096-104. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We developed a new class of vaccines, based on killed but metabolically active (KBMA) bacteria, that simultaneously takes advantage of the potency of live vaccines and the safety of killed vaccines. We removed genes required for nucleotide excision repair (uvrAB), rendering microbial-based vaccines exquisitely sensitive to photochemical inactivation with psoralen and long-wavelength ultraviolet light. Colony formation of the nucleotide excision repair mutants was blocked by infrequent, randomly distributed psoralen crosslinks, but the bacterial population was able to express its genes, synthesize and secrete proteins. Using the intracellular pathogen Listeria monocytogenes as a model platform, recombinant psoralen-inactivated Lm DeltauvrAB vaccines induced potent CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-cell responses and protected mice against virus challenge in an infectious disease model and provided therapeutic benefit in a mouse cancer model. Microbial KBMA vaccines used either as a recombinant vaccine platform or as a modified form of the pathogen itself may have broad use for the treatment of infectious disease and cancer.
Nature Medicine 09/2005; 11(8):853-60. · 22.86 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The facultative intracellular bacterium Listeria monocytogenes is being developed as a cancer vaccine platform because of its ability to induce potent innate and adaptive immunity. For successful clinical application, it is essential to develop a Listeria platform strain that is safe yet retains the potency of vaccines based on wild-type bacteria. Here, we report the development of a recombinant live-attenuated vaccine platform strain that retains the potency of the fully virulent pathogen, combined with a >1,000-fold reduction in toxicity, as compared with wild-type Listeria. By selectively deleting two virulence factors, ActA (DeltaactA) and Internalin B (DeltainlB), the immunopotency of Listeria was maintained and its toxicity was diminished in vivo, largely by blocking the direct internalin B-mediated infection of nonphagocytic cells, such as hepatocytes, and the indirect ActA-mediated infection by cell-to-cell spread from adjacent phagocytic cells. In contrast, infection of phagocytic cells was not affected, leaving intact the ability of Listeria to stimulate innate immunity and to induce antigenspecific cellular responses. Listeria DeltaactA/DeltainlB-based vaccines were rapidly cleared from mice after immunization and induced potent and durable effector and memory T-cell responses with no measurable liver toxicity. Therapeutic vaccination of BALB/c mice bearing murine CT26 colon tumor lung metastases or palpable s.c. tumors (>100 mm(3)) with recombinant Listeria DeltaactA/DeltainlB expressing an endogenous tumor antigen resulted in breaking of self-tolerance and long-term survival. We propose that recombinant Listeria DeltaactA/DeltainlB expressing human tumor-associated antigens represents an attractive therapeutic strategy for further development and testing in human clinical trials.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/2004; 101(38):13832-7. · 9.74 Impact Factor