[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human papillomavirus type 16 is commonly implicated in cervical cancers. The viral genome encodes potential targets like the oncoprotein E7, expressed in transformed cells but thought to represent a poorly immunogenic antigen. We describe in this work a DNA-based vaccination protocol aimed at inducing an efficient anti-E7 immune response in vivo. Plasmids allowing the expression of the E7 protein in distinct cellular compartments were generated and assayed in an in vivo model of tumor growth. Our data demonstrate that mice vaccinated with a plasmid encoding for an E7 protein fused to a domain of the MHC class II-associated invariant chain (IiE7) were protected against tumor challenge. Mice immunized against an ubiquitinated form of E7 (Ub(Ala)E7) failed to control tumor growth. Protection induced by IiE7 was correlated with the development of CD8+ CTL and required the presence of CD4+ cells. In vitro studies confirmed that the IiE7 fusion protein was expressed at high levels in the endosomal compartment of transfected cells, while the natural and the ubiquitin-modified form of E7 were mainly nuclear. The present study suggests that an efficient anti-tumor response can be induced in vivo by DNA constructs encoding for E7 protein forms localizing at the endosomal compartment.
See accompanying commentary: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eji.200636233
Full-text · Article · Feb 2007 · European Journal of Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infection with oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) and HPV-16 in particular is a leading cause of anogenital neoplasia. High-grade intraepithelial lesions require treatment because of their potential to progress to invasive cancer. Numerous preclinical studies have demonstrated the therapeutic potential of E7-directed vaccination strategies in mice tumour models. In the present study, we tested the immunogenicity of a fusion protein (PD-E7) comprising a mutated HPV-16 E7 linked to the first 108 amino acids of Haemophilus influenzae protein D, formulated in the GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals adjuvant AS02B, in patients bearing oncogenic HPV-positive cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN).
Seven patients, five with a CIN3 and two with a CIN1, received three intramuscular injections of adjuvanted PD-E7 at 2-week intervals. Three additional CIN1 patients received a placebo. CIN3 patients underwent conization 8 weeks postvaccination. Cytokine flow cytometry and ELISA were used to monitor antigen-specific cellular and antibody responses from blood taken before and after vaccine or placebo injection.
Some patients had preexisting systemic IFN-gamma CD4+ (1/10) and CD8+ (5/10) responses to PD-E7. Vaccination, not placebo injection, elicited systemic specific immune responses in the majority of the patients. Five vaccinated patients (71%) showed significantly increased IFN-gamma CD8+ cell responses upon PD-E7 stimulation. Two responding patients generated long-term T-cell immunity toward the vaccine antigen and E7 as well as a weak H. influenzae protein D (PD)-directed CD4+ response. All the vaccinated patients, but not the placebo, made significant E7- and PD-specific IgG.
The encouraging results obtained from this study performed on a limited number of subjects justify further analysis of the efficacy of the PD-E7/AS02B vaccine in CIN patients.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2004 · Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Current vaccination strategies against Human papillomavirus (HPV)-induced ano-genital cancers mostly target E7 from HPV16. However, the oncogenic nature of E7 raises potential human safety issues. Although the modifications abrogating the E7 transforming potential have been well characterized, their effect on E7 immunogenicity has been poorly studied. In this study, we evaluated the vaccine potential of an HPV16 E7 protein deleted from the entire pRb-binding motif.
Purified recombinant deleted (E7delta21-26) and wild-type (His6-E7 and E7WT) E7 proteins were studied in pre-clinical mice models.
In C57BL/6 mice, E7delta21-26 formulated with the Quil A adjuvant generated systemic E7-specific cytotoxic T-cell and antibody responses similar to those induced following His6-E7/Quil A and E7WT/Quil A vaccinations. E7delta21-26/Quil A injections efficiently protected animals from challenge with the HPV16-expressing tumours, C3 and TC-1. Moreover, therapeutic vaccination with adjuvant-modified E7 suppressed or significantly decreased C3 tumour outgrowth.
E7delta21-26 could represent a safe and efficient vaccine candidate against E7-containing tumour cells.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2004 · Anticancer research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) trans- activator protein, Tat, stimulates transcription from the viral long-terminal repeats (LTR) through an RNA hairpin element, trans-activation responsive region (TAR). We and others have shown that trans-activator protein (Tat)-associated histone acetyltransferases (TAHs), p300 and p300/CBP-associating factor (PCAF), assist functionally in the activation of chromosomally integrated HIV-1 LTR. Here, we show that p300 and PCAF also directly acetylate Tat. We defined two sites of acetylation located in different functional domains of Tat. p300 acetylated Lys50 in the TAR RNA binding domain, while PCAF acetylated Lys28 in the activation domain of Tat. In support of a functional role for acetylation in vivo, histone deacetylase inhibitor (trichostatin A) synergized with Tat in transcriptional activation of the HIV-1 LTR. Synergism was TAR-dependent and required the intact presence of both Lys28 and Lys50. Mechanistically, acetylation at Lys28 by PCAF enhanced Tat binding to the Tat-associated kinase, CDK9/P-TEFb, while acetylation by p300 at Lys50 of Tat promoted the dissociation of Tat from TAR RNA that occurs during early transcription elongation. These data suggest that acetylation of Tat regulates two discrete and functionally critical steps in transcription, binding to an RNAP II CTD-kinase and release of Tat from TAR RNA.