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Mol Immunol. 2005 May;42(8):979-85. Epub 2004 Dec 10.

Single chain antibody fragments for the selective targeting of antigens to dendritic cells.

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Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology, Newtown, Australia.


In order to target antigens (Ags) selectively to dendritic cells (DC), we derived single chain antibody fragments (scFvs) from NLDC-145 and N418, two monoclonal antibodies binding the mouse dendritic cell-restricted surface molecules DEC-205 and CD11c. Recombinant hexahistidine-tagged forms of the scFvs (scNLDC and scN418) were efficiently produced in a baculovirus expression system. Both scFvs bound DEC-205(+) Langerhans cells and CD11c(+) fetal skin-derived dendritic cells (FSDCs) comparably to their parental antibodies. Immunization of C57BL/6 mice with a DNA vaccine encoding a model protein antigen fused to scNLDC stimulated specific immune responses in both the humoral and cellular compartments, in contrast to DNA vaccines expressing scN418-targeted or untargeted antigen. Our results show that antigen targeting to DCs via a DEC-205 binding scFv leads to enhanced immunogenicity. Further, this work suggests that scFvs fused to protein antigens and delivered as DNA vaccines may provide a generic means for delivering vaccinal molecules to selected cell populations.

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