Azam Bolhassani

Pasteur Institute of Iran (IPI), Teheran, Tehrān, Iran

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Publications (38)86.86 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Delivery of the macromolecules including DNA, miRNA, and antisense oligonucleotides is typically mediated by carriers due to the large size and negative charge. Different physical (e.g., gene gun or electroporation), and chemical (e.g., cationic polymer or lipid) vectors have been already used to improve the efficiency of gene transfer. Polymer-based DNA delivery systems have attracted special interest, in particular via intravenous injection with many intra- and extracellular barriers. The recent progress has shown that stimuli-responsive polymers entitled as multi-functional nucleic acid vehicles can act to target specific cells. These non-viral carriers are classified by the type of stimulus including reduction potential, pH, and temperature. Generally, the physicochemical characterization of DNA-polymer complexes is critical to enhance the transfection potency via protection of DNA from nuclease digestion, endosomal escape, and nuclear localization. The successful clinical applications will depend on an exact insight of barriers in gene delivery and development of carriers overcoming these barriers. Consequently, improvement of novel cationic polymers with low toxicity and effective for biomedical use has attracted a great attention in gene therapy. This article summarizes the main physicochemical and biological properties of polyplexes describing their gene transfection behavior, in vitro and in vivo. In this line, the relative efficiencies of various cationic polymers are compared. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Biopolymers 03/2015; DOI:10.1002/bip.22638 · 2.29 Impact Factor
  • Sahar Hosseinzadeh, Azam Bolhassani
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    ABSTRACT: One approach to improve the vaccine quality is the incorporation of immunomodulators and/ or adjuvants with modified delivery systems. The use of delivery systems especially chemical carriers is a promising strategy in the prevention and treatment of infections, cancers, allergies and autoimmune diseases. These systems are able to elicit an effective immune response as well as stability and safety in vaccine development. Synthetic microparticles, liposomes, chitosan, virus like particle, polymeric nanogel, phytosome, noisome, and micro/ nanospheres have been applied as carriers, providing a broad variety of immunomodulatory effects in vaccines. The potency and nature of immune responses rely on the physicochemical properties of the vaccine constructs (e.g., size and charge), the route of injection, the biochemical characteristics and the amount of antigen. Three main steps are necessary for vaccine efficiency such as targeting, activation and transfection/ antigen presentation. These systems can generally influence the type and direction of immune responses. This review describes different vaccine delivery systems developed to generate immunomodulatory effects.
    Current Drug Delivery 03/2015; 12(999). DOI:10.2174/1567201812666150309150755 · 2.25 Impact Factor
  • Azam Bolhassani
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    ABSTRACT: The use of specific compounds to suppress the growth of tumors or reverse carcinogenesis is defined as chemoprevention. Natural products have been known as one of the most important resources of anticancer agents. Among them, carotenoids are lipophilic molecules accumulating in lipophilic compartments including lipoproteins and/or membranes. Various carotenoids were used as major phytonutrients to inhibit the development of tumors in vitro and in vivo. They have shown different functions such as scavenging free radicals, inhibition of angiogenesis, prevention of cell propagation, and apoptosis induction in lung, colon, breast and prostate. Regarding to these roles, most carotenoids possess anti-oxi¬dant properties. However, their therapeutic use is problematic due to the lack of solubility of carotenoids in water. Hence, the recent studies have been focused on uncommon carotenoids soluble in water because of their glycosylated form, such as crocin(s) extracted from saffron. These structures with their cytotoxicity effects on human cancer cells are suggested as the most suitable compounds for cancer treatment. Herein, we summarize different functions of carotenoids for suppressing tumor growth.
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    ABSTRACT: The development of an efficient vaccine against high-risk HPV types can reduce the incidence rates of cervical cancer by generating anti-tumor protective responses. Traditionally, the majority of prophylactic viral vaccines are composed of live, attenuated or inactivated viruses. Among them, the design of an effective and low-cost vaccine is critical. Inactivated vaccines especially heat-killed yeast cells have emerged as a promising approach for generating antigen-specific immunotherapy. Recent studies have indicated that yeast cell wall components possess adjuvant activities. Moreover, a non-pathogenic protozoan, Leishmania tarentolae (L.tar) has attracted a great attention as a live candidate vaccine. In current study, immunological and protective efficacy of whole recombinant killed Pichia pastoris and Leishmania tarentolae expressing HPV16 L1 capsid protein was evaluated in tumor mice model. We found that Pichia-L1, L.tar-L1 and Gardasil groups increase the IgG2a/IgG1 ratio, indicating a relative preference for the induction of Th1 immune responses. Furthermore, subcutaneous injection of killed Pichia-L1 generated the significant L1-specific IFN-γ immune response as well as the best protective effects in vaccinated mice as compared to killed L.tar-L1, killed Pichia pastoris, killed L.tar and PBS groups. Indeed, whole recombinant Leishmania tarentolae could not protect mice against C3 tumor mice model. These data suggest that Pichia-L1 may be a candidate for the control of HPV infections.
    Human Vaccines and Therapeutics 12/2014; 10(12):3499-3508. DOI:10.4161/21645515.2014.979606 · 3.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Saffron and its components have been suggested as promising candidates for cancer prevention. Carotenoids and monoterpene aldehydes are two potent ingredients of saffron. The goal of the current study was to investigate the anti-tumor effect of chemo-immunotherapy using saffron and its ingredients followed by E7-NT (gp96) DNA vaccine against tumors expressing the E7 protein of human papillomavirus. The in vitro cytotoxic and apoptotic effects of aqueous saffron extract and its components were evaluated in malignant TC-1 and non-malignant COS-7 cell lines. Then, multimodality treatments using E7-NT (gp96) DNA vaccine combined with saffron extract and its ingredients as well as single-modality treatments were tested for their efficacy in inhibiting large and bulky tumor growth. Saffron and its components exerted a considerable anti-tumor effect through prevention of cell growth and stimulation of programmed cell death. Furthermore, 100 % of mice treated with crocin were tumor-free, in contrast to DNA vaccine alone (~66.7 %) and DNA + crocin (~33.3 %) indicating the high potency of crocin as a chemotherapeutic agent. Interestingly, the multimodality treatment using DNA vaccine along with picrocrocin augmented the anti-tumor effects of picrocrocin. Thus, the combination of DNA vaccine with saffron extract and crocin at certain concentrations did not potentiate protective and therapeutic effects compared to mono-therapies for the control of TC-1 tumors.
    Archives of Virology 11/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00705-014-2250-9 · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Induction of a strong hepatitis C virus (HCV)-specific immune response plays a key role in control and clearance of the virus. A polytope (PT) DNA vaccine containing B- and T-cell epitopes could be a promising vaccination strategy against HCV, but its efficacy needs to be improved. The N-terminal domain of heat shock protein gp96 (NT(gp96)) has been shown to be a potent adjuvant for enhancing immunity. We constructed a PT DNA vaccine encoding four HCV immunodominant cytotoxic T lymphocyte epitopes (two HLA-A2- and two H2-D(d)-specific motifs) from the Core, E2, NS3 and NS5B antigens in addition to a T-helper CD4+ epitope from NS3 and a B-cell epitope from E2. The NT(gp96) was fused to the C- or N-terminal end of the PT DNA (PT-NT(gp96) or NT(gp96)-PT), and their potency was compared. Cellular and humoral immune responses against the expressed peptides were evaluated in CB6F1 mice. Our results showed that immunization of mice with PT DNA vaccine fused to NT(gp96) induced significantly stronger T-cell and antibody responses than PT DNA alone. Furthermore, the adjuvant activity of NT(gp96) was more efficient in the induction of immune responses when fused to the C-terminal end of the HCV DNA polytope. In conclusion, the NT(gp96) improved the efficacy of the DNA vaccine, and this immunomodulatory effect was dependent on the position of the fusion.
    Archives of Virology 10/2014; 160(1). DOI:10.1007/s00705-014-2243-8 · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    Azam Bolhassani, Afshin Khavari, S Zahra Bathaie
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    ABSTRACT: Saffron, a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, is rich in carotenoids. Two main natural carotenoids of saffron, crocin and crocetin, are responsible for its color. Preclinical studies have shown that dietary intake of some carotenoids have potent anti-tumor effects both in vitro and in vivo, suggesting their potential preventive and/or therapeutic roles in several tissues. The reports represent that the use of carotenoids without the potential for conversion to vitamin A may provide further protection and avoid toxicity. The mechanisms underlying cancer chemo-preventive activities of carotenoids include modulation of carcinogen metabolism, regulation of cell growth and cell cycle progression, inhibition of cell proliferation, anti-oxidant activity, immune modulation, enhancement of cell differentiation, stimulation of cell-to-cell gap junction communication, apoptosis and retinoid-dependent signaling. Taken together, different hypotheses for the antitumor actions of saffron and its components have been proposed such as a) the inhibitory effect on cellular DNA and RNA synthesis, but not on protein synthesis; b) the inhibitory effect on free radical chain reactions; c) the metabolic conversion of naturally occurring carotenoids to retinoids; d) the interaction of carotenoids with topoisomerase II, an enzyme involved in cellular DNA-protein interaction. Furthermore, the immunomodulatory activity of saffron was studied on driving toward Th1 and Th2 limbs of the immune system. In this mini-review, we briefly describe biochemical and immunological activities and chemo-preventive properties of saffron and natural carotenoids as an anticancer drug.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 11/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.bbcan.2013.11.001 · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There are more than 4000 natural and synthetic molecules structurally and/or functionally related to vitamin A. Retinoids are a class of these compounds that are structurally associated to vitamin A. The retinoids have a wide spectrum of functions. Retinoic acid, which is the active metabolite of retinol, regulates a wide range of biological processes including development, differentiation, proliferation and apoptosis. It suppresses carcinogenesis in tumorigenic animal models for the skin, oral, lung, breast, bladder, ovarian and prostate. It is important how major retinoids may act in cancer treatment or prevention. The reports have indicated that lower levels of vitamin A in humans may be associated with relative type 1 cytokine dominance and a higher proportion of NK cells. In addition, very low vitamin A levels would be undesirable explaining the essential role of vitamin A in epithelial and general cell maturation and function. However, the cytokine shifts associated with moderately low levels of vitamin A may be in some ways beneficial in an environment where HIV infection, M. tuberculosis infection, or other type 1 infections are highly prevalent and/or when acquired immunity is cooperated. In this review, we intend to describe the biochemical and immunological functions of retinoids against cancer.
    International immunopharmacology 11/2013; 18(1). DOI:10.1016/j.intimp.2013.10.027 · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nanocarriers with various compositions and biological properties have been extensively applied for in vitro/in vivo drug and gene delivery. The family of nanocarriers includes polymeric nanoparticles, lipid-based carriers (liposomes / micelles), dendrimers, carbon nanotubes, and gold nanoparticles (nanoshells / nanocages). Among different delivery systems, polymeric carriers have several properties such as: easy to synthesize, inexpensive, biocompatible, biodegradable, non-immunogenic, non-toxic, and water soluble. In addition, cationic polymers seem to produce more stable complexes led to a more protection during cellular trafficking than cationic lipids. Nanoparticles often show significant adjuvant effects in vaccine delivery since they may be easily taken up by antigen presenting cells (APCs). Natural polymers such as polysaccharides and synthetic polymers have demonstrated great potential to form vaccine nanoparticles. The development of new adjuvants or delivery systems for DNA and protein immunization is an expanding research field. This review describes polymeric carriers especially PLGA, chitosan, and PEI as vaccine delivery systems.
    10/2013; 10(2). DOI:10.4161/hv.26796
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract The attenuated or non-pathogenic live vectors have been evolved specifically to deliver DNA into cells as efficient delivery tools in gene therapy. Recently, a non-pathogenic protozoan, Leishmania tarentolae (L.tar) has attracted a great attention. In current study, we used Leishmania expression system (LEXSY) for stable expression of HPV16 E7 linked to different mini-chaperones [N-/C-terminal of gp96] and compared their immunogenicity and protective effects in C57BL/6 mice against TC-1 challenge. TC-1 murine model is primary C57BL/6 mice lung epithelial cells co-transformed with HPV16 E6, HPV16 E7 and ras oncogenes. Our results showed that subcutaneous administration of mice with both the recombinant L.tar-E7-NT (gp96) and L.tar-E7-CT (gp96) led to enhance the levels of IFN-γ and also IgG2a before and after challenge with TC-1. Furthermore, L.tar-E7-CT (gp96) live vaccine indicated significant protective effects as compared to control groups as well as group vaccinated with L.tar-E7. Indeed, the recombinant live vector is capable of eliciting effective humoral and cellular immune responses in mice, but however, further studies are required to increase their efficacy.
    Drug Delivery 06/2013; DOI:10.3109/10717544.2013.801534 · 2.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is the main cause of chronic liver disease and to date there has been no vaccine development to prevent this infection. Among non-structural HCV proteins, NS3 protein is an excellent goal for a therapeutic vaccine, due to its large size and less variation in conserved regions. The immunogenic properties of heat shock proteins (HSPs) for instance GP96 have prompted investigations into their function as strong adjuvant to improve innate and adaptive immunity. The aim of this study was to examine additive effects of recombinant GP96 (rGP96) fragments accompanied by rNS3 on expression levels of α5integrin and pro-inflammatory cytokines, IL-12 and TNFα, in Antigen Presenting Cells (APCs). Recombinant viral proteins (rNS3 and rRGD-NS3), N-terminal and C-terminal fragments of GP96 were produced and purified from E. coli in order to treat the cells; mouse spleen Dendritic Cells (DCs) and THP-1 macrophages. Our results showed that rNT-GP96 alone significantly increases the expression level of IL-12, TNFα and α5integrin in THP-1 macrophages and DCs, while IL-12 and TNFα expression levels were unaffected by either rNS3 or rRGD-NS3. Interestingly, the co-addition of these recombinant proteins with rNT-GP96 increased IL-12, TNFα and α5integrin expression. Pearson Correlation showed a direct association between α5integrin with IL-12 and TNF-α expression. we have highlighted the role of rNS3 plus rNT-GP96 mediated by α5integrin in producing IL-12 and TNFα. It can be suggested that rNT-GP96 could enhance immunity characteristic of rNS3 protein via production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
    Hepatitis Monthly 06/2013; 13(6):e8104. DOI:10.5812/hepatmon.8104 · 1.80 Impact Factor
    This article is viewable in ResearchGate's enriched format
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    ABSTRACT: Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a vector-borne disease affecting humans and domestic animals that constitutes a serious public health problem in many countries. Although many antigens have been examined so far as protein- or DNA-based vaccines, none of them conferred complete long-term protection. The use of the lizard non-pathogenic to humans Leishmania (L.) tarentolae species as a live vaccine vector to deliver specific Leishmania antigens is a recent approach that needs to be explored further. In this study, we evaluated the effectiveness of live vaccination in protecting BALB/c mice against L. infantum infection using prime-boost regimens, namely Live/Live and DNA/Live. As a live vaccine, we used recombinant L. tarentolae expressing the L. donovani A2 antigen along with cysteine proteinases (CPA and CPB without its unusual C-terminal extension (CPB(-CTE))) as a tri-fusion gene. For DNA priming, the tri-fusion gene was encoded in pcDNA formulated with cationic solid lipid nanoparticles (cSLN) acting as an adjuvant. At different time points post-challenge, parasite burden and histopathological changes as well as humoral and cellular immune responses were assessed. Our results showed that immunization with both prime-boost A2-CPA-CPB(-CTE)-recombinant L. tarentolae protects BALB/c mice against L. infantum challenge. This protective immunity is associated with a Th1-type immune response due to high levels of IFN-γ production prior and after challenge and with lower levels of IL-10 production after challenge, leading to a significantly higher IFN-γ/IL-10 ratio compared to the control groups. Moreover, this immunization elicited high IgG1 and IgG2a humoral immune responses. Protection in mice was also correlated with a high nitric oxide production and low parasite burden. Altogether, these results indicate the promise of the A2-CPA-CPB(-CTE)-recombinant L. tarentolae as a safe live vaccine candidate against VL.
    PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 04/2013; 7(4):e2174. DOI:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002174 · 4.49 Impact Factor
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    Azam Bolhassani, Afshin Khavari, S. Zahra Bathaie
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    ABSTRACT: Saffron, a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, is rich in carotenoids. Two main natural carotenoids of saffron, crocin and crocetin, are responsible for its color. Preclinical studies have shown that dietary intake of some carotenoids have potent anti-tumor effects both in vitro and in vivo, suggesting their potential preventive and/or therapeutic roles in several tissues. The reports represent that the use of carotenoids without the potential for conversion to vitamin A may provide further protection and avoid toxicity. The mechanisms underlying cancer chemo-preventive activities of carotenoids include modulation of carcinogen metabolism, regulation of cell growth and cell cycle progression, inhibition of cell proliferation, anti-oxidant activity, immune modulation, enhancement of cell differentiation, stimulation of cell-to-cell gap junction communication, apoptosis and retinoid-dependent signaling. Taken together, different hypotheses for the antitumor actions of saffron and its components have been proposed such as a) the inhibitory effect on cellular DNA and RNA synthesis, but not on protein synthesis; b) the inhibitory effect on free radical chain reactions; c) the metabolic conversion of naturally occurring carotenoids to retinoids; d) the interaction of carotenoids with topoisomerase II, an enzyme involved in cellular DNA-protein interaction. Furthermore, the immunomodulatory activity of saffron was studied on driving toward Th1 and Th2 limbs of the immune system. In this mini-review, we briefly describe biochemical and immunological activities and chemo-preventive properties of saffron and natural carotenoids as an anticancer drug.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Reviews on Cancer 01/2013; · 7.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Cervical cancer, the third most prevalent cause of cancer in women worldwide, is associated with HPVs. The critical role of E7 protein in HPV-related malignancies has designated it as a strong contender for generating vaccines against HPV. Materials & methods: In this study, we developed a novel live vaccine using recombinant Leishmania tarentolae expressing E7-green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion protein for the protection of mice against HPV-associated tumors. In order to transfect L. tarentolae with E7-GFP fusion construct, pLEXSY-neo2 system was applied. Followed by PCR, fluorescence imaging and fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis, integration of E7-GFP gene into parasites genome was confirmed. A comparative study of six groups of C57BL/6 mice was performed to analyze antigen-specific humoral and cellular immune responses against E7 encoding live and DNA vaccines. Furthermore, the anti-tumor protective effect of L. tarentolae-E7-GFP was compared to other vaccination strategies, namely pcDNA-E7 as the DNA vaccine and pcDNA-E7/L. tarentolae-E7-GFP as the prime-boost regimen. Results: We found that E7-GFP expressing recombinant L. tarentolae induces significant levels of IgG2a and IFN-γ, while there is no significant IL-5 production compared with that of other strategies and control groups before and after challenge with TC-1 tumor cells. It is noteworthy that the designed live vaccine showed the best protection and minimum tumor size among all groups against TC-1-induced tumors. Conclusion: Overall, the results obtained revealed that the E7-GFP recombinant L. tarentolae could be a potential live vaccine for induction of immune responses in vivo.
    Immunotherapy 11/2012; 4(11):1107-20. DOI:10.2217/imt.12.110 · 2.39 Impact Factor
  • Azam Bolhassani, Sima Rafati
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    ABSTRACT: The immunogenic properties of heat shock proteins (HSPs) have prompted investigations into their application as immuno-modulatory agents. HSPs have been used as potent adjuvants in immunotherapy of cancer and infectious diseases. Some studies showed that immune activities reside within N- or C-terminal fragments of HSPs. These small fragments are sufficient to link peptides, to bind and be taken up by the receptors CD91 and scavenger receptor type A on antigen presenting cells (APCs). Thus, these mini-chaperones can be used in immunotherapy of tumors and vaccine development. The data clearly demonstrated the potential of using HSP fragments as a possible adjuvant to augment CTL response against infectious diseases. Some HSP domains have been shown to inhibit endothelial cell growth, angiogenesis or tumor growth. In this review, we describe the immuno-stimulatory activities of various mini-chaperones in development of different vaccine strategies (DNA-based vaccine and protein/peptide-based vaccines).
    10/2012; 9(1). DOI:10.4161/hv.22248
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    ABSTRACT: DNA vaccines have emerged as a promising approach for generating antigen-specific immunotherapy. However, due to their low immunogenicity, there is a need to enhance DNA-based vaccine potency. Two main strategies to increase DNA-based vaccine potency are the employment of immuno-adjuvants such as heat shock proteins (HSPs) and a method of improving the delivery of naked plasmid DNA by electroporation. In the current study, we evaluated the effects of linkage of human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 E7 as a model antigen to N-terminal and C-terminal of glycoprotein 96 (NT-/CT-gp96) on the potency of E7-specific immunity generated by DNA vaccines. We found that subcutaneous DNA injection with E7-CT (gp96) followed by electroporation generates the significant E7-specific IFN-γ immune responses as well as the best protective effects in vaccinated mice as compared to E7 or E7-NT (gp96) DNA vaccines. Therefore, our data indicate that subcutaneous administration of E7 DNA linked to CT (gp96) fragment followed by electroporation can significantly enhance the potency of DNA vaccines. Indeed, the structural domains of immuno-chaperones show the potential of generating effective immune responses against different clinical disorders such as cancer. Altogether, our results show that comparable regions of gp96 (N-/C-terminal fragments of gp96) may have qualitatively different immunological effects in vaccine design.
    Immunology letters 10/2012; 148(2). DOI:10.1016/j.imlet.2012.10.003 · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although DNA vaccines represent an attractive approach for generating antigen-specific immunity, improvement of their potency is highly demanded. In the present study, three strategies including linkage to immunostimulatory molecules (N-terminal of gp96), co-administration of chemokines (IP-10 or RANTES) and PEI600-Tat as non-viral gene delivery system have been applied to enhance DNA vaccine efficacy against HPV infections. We found that C57BL/6 immunization with E7-NT-gp96 fusion gene led to increased level of IFN-γ compared to E7 alone. The fused genes showed considerable protective potency in tumor mice model. In addition, E7-NT-gp96 delivered with PEI600-Tat was more protective against E7-expressing tumors comparing with E7-NT-gp96 alone. Our results showed that co-administration of IP-10 with E7-NT-gp96 delivered by PEI600-Tat elicits significant IFN-γ production and consequently a strong preventive response against TC-1 tumor cells in contrast to increased tumor growth by RANTES co-delivery. Also in therapeutic experiment, our data showed that co-immunization of IP-10 at the same inoculation site of TC-1 along with E7-NT-gp96 delivery by PEI600-Tat is able to significantly suppress TC-1 tumor growth. The successful treatment by this immunization protocol was associated with the elevated levels of IFN-γ and IL-2 production in the lymph nodes. These data indicated that fusion of NT-gp96 to E7 in combination with IP-10 co-administration and PEI600-Tat delivery system can synergistically enhance the potency of HPV DNA vaccines. Therefore, this approach suggests a combinational therapeutic strategy against cervical and other HPV-related cancers.
    Molecular Immunology 08/2012; 53(1-2):149-60. DOI:10.1016/j.molimm.2012.07.011 · 3.00 Impact Factor
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    Sahar Hosseinzadeh, Amin Daemi, Azam Bolhassani
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    ABSTRACT: Successful vaccine development requires knowing which adjuvants to use and how to formulate adjuvants and antigens to achieve stable, safe and immunogenic vaccines. There is growing literature on immuno-regulatory and adjuvant functions of heat shock proteins (HSPs) in the development of preventive and therapeutic vaccines against cancer and infectious diseases. These extremely conserved molecules associate with antigenic peptides from tumor, virus and intracellular bacteria, present these loaded antigens to both MHC class I and class II molecules and activate specific T cells. This review aims to summarize the data on the HSP roles as the efficient tools in cancer. The ability of heat shock proteins to chaperone peptides (e.g., antigenic peptides); interact with antigen presenting cells (APCs) through a receptor; stimulate APCs to secrete inflammatory cytokines; and mediate maturation of dendritic cells, permit the utilization of these proteins to develop a new generation of prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines against cancers and infectious diseases. Furthermore, some cancers demonstrate elevated levels of HSPs and their expression has been associated with cell proliferation and disease prognosis. New adjuvant development is needed to identify novel combinations of adjuvants and formulations capable of inducing strong, long lasting humoral and cellular immune responses in humans. Numerous challenges remain related to adjuvant development. Among efficient adjuvants, it has been shown that heat shock proteins induce cross-presentation of antigens by dendritic cells (DC) as well as DC maturation. These properties make HSP-antigen complexes good candidates to prime CD8+ T cell responses against tumor-associated antigens. Moreover, these conserved proteins can be used as diagnostic biomarkers in various cancers.
    06/2012; 2(3). DOI:10.5430/jst.v2n3p47
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    Azam Bolhassani, Farnaz Zahedifard
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    ABSTRACT: The design of efficient cancer treatments is one of the major challenges of medical science. Therapeutic vaccines of cancer have been emerged as an attractive approach for their capacity of breaking the immune tolerance and invoking long-term immune response targeting cancer cells without autoimmunity. An efficient antigen delivery system is the key issue of developing an effective cancer vaccine. In this regard, live vaccination strategies including various live bacterial and viral vectors have attracted a great attention. Several bacterial strains such as Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes and Lactococcus lactis effectively colonize solid tumors and act as antitumor therapeutics. On the other hand, the use of viruses as vaccine vectors such as Vaccinia, Adenovirus, Herpes simplex virus, Paramyxovirus and Retroviruses utilizes mechanisms that evolved in these microbes for entering cells and capturing the cellular machinery to express viral proteins. Viral/bacterial-vectored vaccines induce systemic T-cell responses including polyfunctional cytokine-secreting CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells. However, there is an urgent need for the development of new safe live vaccine vectors that are capable of enhancing antigen presentation and eliciting potent immune responses without the risk of development of disease in humans. Recently, nonpathogenic parasites including Leishmania tarentolae, Toxoplasma gondii and Trypanosoma cruzi have emerged to be a novel candidate for gene delivery and heterologous genes expression. In this review, recent researches on cancer therapy using genetically modified bacteria and virus are summarized. In addition, live parasite-based vectors will be discussed as a novel anticancer therapeutic approach.
    International Journal of Cancer 05/2012; 131(8):1733-43. DOI:10.1002/ijc.27640 · 6.20 Impact Factor