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Hum Gene Ther. 2001 Oct 10;12(15):1867-79.

Dendritic cells transduced with HSV-1 amplicons expressing prostate-specific antigen generate antitumor immunity in mice.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


There is currently much interest in generating cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses against tumor antigens as a therapy for cancer. This work describes a novel gene transfer technique utilizing dendritic cells (DCs), an extremely potent form of antigen-presenting cell (APC), and herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) amplicons. HSV-1 amplicons are plasmid-based viral vectors that are packaged into HSV-1 capsids, but lack viral coding sequences. Amplicon vectors have been constructed that encode the model tumor antigen ovalbumin (HSV-OVA) and human prostate-specific antigen (HSV-PSA), a protein that is expressed specifically in prostate epithelium and prostate carcinoma cells. These amplicons were packaged using a helper virus-free system that produces vector stocks that are devoid of contaminating cytotoxic helper virus. Transduction of DCs with HSV-OVA or HSV-PSA and co-culture with CTL hybridomas results in specific activation, indicating that transduced DCs express these transgenes and process the tumor antigens for class I MHC presentation to CTL. Mice immunized with HSV-PSA-transduced DCs generate a specific CTL response that can be detected in vitro by a (51)Cr-release assay and are protected from challenge with tumors that express PSA. These results indicate that DCs transduced with HSV-1 amplicon vectors may provide a tool for investigation of the biology of CTL activation by DCs and a new modality for immunotherapy of cancer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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