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Vaccine. 2008 Jun 13;26(25):3092-102. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2008.02.025. Epub 2008 Feb 25.

Assessing vaccine potency using TCRmimic antibodies.

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  • 1Receptor Logic Ltd., Abilene, TX 79601, United States.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are highly specialized antigen-presenting cells of the immune system that are efficient at presenting peptide-antigen for the activation of T cells and are often the cell type of choice for vaccine targeting by virtue of high expression levels of MHC and costimulatory molecules. Since the level of peptide-MHC complex significantly influences stimulation of T cells, a proof-of-concept potency assay was developed to directly examine the presentation and density of MHC class I peptides derived from the processing of a model tumor antigen, (hCGbeta), on the surface of DCs. In this study we first generated antibodies (TCR mimics or TCRm) to two peptide-HLA-A*0201 epitopes derived from hCGbeta designated as TMT (40-48) and GVL (47-55). Characterization of each TCRm by ELISA and flow cytometric analysis, demonstrated specific binding to soluble recombinant HLA-A2 protein and HLA-A2.1+ T2 cells loaded with relevant peptide. TCRm reactive against the TMT and GVL epitopes blocked granzyme-B production by peptide-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) lines further supporting their recognition specificity. For the assessment of antigen presentation function, human immature monocyte-derived DCs (iDCs) were treated with the mannose receptor targeting vaccine, B11-hCGbeta and matured with Poly I:C. The TMT and GVL epitope reactive CTL lines responded to vaccine-treated but not vehicle-treated mature DCs (mDCs) with TMT and GVL TCRm specifically blocking IFN-gamma production. The TCRm were then used to directly confirm specific peptide-MHC complexes on mDCs. TCRm staining of vaccine-treated mDCs showed detection of the TMT and GVL peptide-HLA-A2 complexes. These findings demonstrate that TCRms may be important tools for determining the potency of DC-based vaccines.

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