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Cancer Immun. 2001 Aug 16;1:9.

Alternative roles for interferon-gamma in the immune response to DNA vaccines encoding related melanosomal antigens.

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The Swim Across America Laboratory, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Tyrosinase-related proteins-1 and -2 (gp75/TRP-1 and TRP-2) are melanosomal membrane glycoproteins recognized by antibodies and T-cells from patients with melanoma. Xenogeneic DNA immunization against gp75/TRP-1 generates antibody-dependent tumor immunity and autoimmune depigmentation. In contrast xenogeneic TRP-2 DNA immunization induces immunity mediated by CD8+ T-cells. The role of IFN-gamma in the generation of tumor immunity and autoimmune depigmentation in these two models was investigated. No tumor protection and minimal depigmentation was observed after immunization with human TRP-2 DNA in mice deficient in IFN-gamma ligand. Repletion with recombinant murine IFN-gamma restored tumor immunity. Experiments using IL4 deficient mice demonstrated that tumor immunity was unaffected but that autoimmune depigmentation was potentially accelerated, consistent with down-modulation of autoimmunity against TRP-2 by IL4. In contrast, IFN-gamma was not required for the generation of immunity to gp75/TRP-1. In fact, exogenous IFN-gamma ablated autoantibody responses against gp75/TRP-1 after xenogeneic DNA immunization, consistent with a down-regulatory effect of IFN-gamma. These results show that immunity to TRP-2 following DNA immunization uses an IFN-gamma-dependent Th1 pathway, but immunity to gp75/TRP-1 is down-regulated by IFN-gamma.

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