Synthesis and Immunological Evaluation of a MUC1 Glycopeptide Incorporated into L-Rhamnose Displaying Liposomes
MUC1 variable number tandem repeats (VNTRs) conjugated to tumor-associated carbo-hydrate antigens (TACAs) have been shown to break self-tolerance in humanized MUC1 trans-genic mice. Therefore, we hypothesize that a MUC1 VNTR TACA-conjugate can be successfully formulated into a liposome-based anti-cancer vaccine. The immunogenicity of the vaccine should be further augmented by incorporating surface displayed L-rhamnose (Rha) epitopes onto the liposomes to take advantage of a natural antibody-dependent antigen uptake mechanism. To validate our hypothesis we synthesized a 20-amino acid MUC1 glycopeptide containing a GalNAc-O-Thr (Tn) TACA by SPPS and conjugated it to a functionalized Toll-like receptor lig-and (TLRL). An L-Rha-cholesterol conjugate was prepared using tetraethylene glycol (TEG) as a linker. The liposome-based anti-cancer vaccine was formulated by the extrusion method using TLRL-MUC1-Tn conjugate, Rha-TEG-cholesterol and 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) in a total lipid concentration of 30 mM. The stability, homogeneity and size characterization of the liposomes was evaluated by SEM and DLS measurements. The formulated liposomes demonstrated positive binding with both anti-Rha and mouse anti-human MUC1 antibodies. Groups of female BALB/c mice were immunized and boosted with a rhamnose-Ficoll (Rha-Ficoll) conjugate formulated with alum as adjuvant to generate the appropriate concentration of anti-Rha antibodies in the mice. Anti-Rha antibody titers were >25-fold higher in the groups of mice immunized with the Rha-Ficoll conjugate than the non-immunized control groups. The mice were then immunized with the TLRL-MUC1-Tn liposomal vaccine formulated either with or without the surface displaying Rha epitopes. Sera collected from the groups of mice initially immunized with Rha-Ficoll and later vaccinated with the Rha-displaying TLRL-MUC1-Tn liposomes showed a >8-fold increase in both anti-MUC1-Tn and anti-Tn antibody titers in comparison to the groups of mice that did not receive Rha-Ficoll. T-cells from BALB/c mice primed with a MUC1-Tn peptide demonstrated increased proliferation to the Rha-liposomal vaccine in the presence of antibodies isolated from Rha-Ficoll immunized mice compared to nonimmune mice, supporting the proposed effect on antigen presentation. The anti-MUC1-Tn antibodies in the vaccinated mice serum recognized MUC1 on human leukemia U266 cells.
Available from: Reto A Schwendener
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ABSTRACT: Here, we report methods of preparation of liposome vaccine formulations for the entrapment of antigenic peptides and antigen encoding plasmid DNAs. Two examples of liposomal vaccine formulations producing highly effective immune responses are given. Firstly, a formulation with encapsulated antigenic peptides derived from the hepatitis C virus NS4 and the core proteins, and secondly, the encapsulation of a plasmid DNA encoding the gp33 glycoprotein of the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). Vaccination with liposomal HCV peptides in HLA-A2 transgenic mice by subcutaneous injections induced strong cytotoxic T cell responses as shown by lysis of human target cells expressing HCV proteins. The immunogenicity of the liposomal peptide vaccines was further enhanced by incorporation of immunostimulatory CpG oligonucleotide sequences, shown by a strong increase of the frequency of IFN-gamma secreting cells that persisted at high levels for long periods of time. With the LCMV model, we could show that upon intradermal injection, plasmid-DNA liposomes formed LCMV gp33 antigen depots facilitating long-lasting in vivo antigen loading of dendritic cells (DC), followed by a strong immune response. Our data show that liposomal formulations of peptide or plasmid-DNA vaccines are highly effective at direct in vivo antigen loading and activation of DC leading to protective antiviral and anti-tumor immune responses.
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ABSTRACT: The mucin MUC1 is overexpressed and aberrantly glycosylated by many epithelial cancer cells manifested by truncated O-linked saccharides. Although tumor-associated MUC1 has generated considerable attention because of its potential for the development of a therapeutic cancer vaccine, it has been difficult to design constructs that consistently induce cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTLs) and ADCC-mediating antibodies specific for the tumor form of MUC1. We have designed, chemically synthesized, and immunologically examined vaccine candidates each composed of a glycopeptide derived from MUC1, a promiscuous Thelper peptide, and a TLR2 (Pam3CysSK4) or TLR9 (CpG-ODN 1826) agonist. It was found that the Pam3CysSK4-containing compound elicits more potent antigenic and cellular immune responses, resulting in a therapeutic effect in a mouse model of mammary cancer. It is thus shown, for the first time, that the nature of an inbuilt adjuvant of a tripartite vaccine can significantly impact the quality of immune responses elicited against a tumor-associated glycopeptide. The unique adjuvant properties of Pam3CysSK4, which can reduce the suppressive function of regulatory T cells and enhance the cytotoxicity of tumor-specific CTLs, are likely responsible for the superior properties of the vaccine candidate 1.
Available from: Junfeng Shi
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ABSTRACT: An L-rhamnose-based hydrogelator self-assembles to form nanofibrils, which, contrasting to the properties of monomeric L-rhamnose, suppress the antibody response of mice to phycoerythrin (PE), a fluorescent protein antigen. As the first example of the supramolecular assemblies of a saccharide to suppress immunity, this work illustrates a new approach of immunomodulation.
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