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Hum Gene Ther. 1999 Nov 20;10(17):2727-40.

Targeting human papillomavirus type 16 E7 to the endosomal/lysosomal compartment enhances the antitumor immunity of DNA vaccines against murine human papillomavirus type 16 E7-expressing tumors.

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Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.


DNA vaccination is an attractive approach for tumor immunotherapy because of its stability and simplicity of delivery. Advances demonstrate that helper T cell responses play a critical role in initiating immune responses. The aim of the current study is to test whether targeting HPV-16 E7 to the endosomal/lysosomal compartment can enhance the potency of DNA vaccines. We linked the lysosome-associated membrane protein 1 (LAMP-1) to HPV-E7 to construct a chimeric DNA, Sig/E7/LAMP-1 DNA. For in vivo tumor prevention experiments, mice were vaccinated with E7 DNA or Sig/E7/LAMP-1 DNA via gene gun, followed by tumor challenge. For in vivo tumor regression experiments, mice were first challenged with tumor cells and then vaccinated with E7-DNA or Sig/E7/LAMP-1 DNA. Intracellular cytokine staining with flow cytometry analysis, cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) assays, enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay (ELISA), and enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assays were used for in vitro E7-specific immunological studies. In both tumor prevention and tumor regression assays, Sig/E7/LAMP-1 DNA generated greater antitumor immunity than did wild-type E7 DNA. In addition, mice vaccinated with Sig/E7/LAMP-1 DNA had greater numbers of E7-specific CD4+ helper T cells, higher E7-specific CTL activity, and greater numbers of CD8+ T cell precursors than did mice vaccinated with Sig/E7 or wild-type E7 DNA. Sig/E7 generated a stronger E7-specific antibody response than did Sig/E7/LAMP-1 or wild-type E7 DNA. Our results indicate that linkage of the antigen gene to an endosomal/lysosomal targeting signal may greatly enhance the potency of DNA vaccines.

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