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Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2010 Jan;59(1):81-92. doi: 10.1007/s00262-009-0725-4. Epub 2009 Jun 14.

Intradermal DNA electroporation induces survivin-specific CTLs, suppresses angiogenesis and confers protection against mouse melanoma.

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Immune and Gene Therapy Laboratory, Department of Oncology and Pathology, Cancer Center Karolinska, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


Survivin is an intracellular tumor-associated antigen that is broadly expressed in a large variety of tumors and also in tumor associated endothelial cells but mostly absent in differentiated tissues. Naked DNA vaccines targeting survivin have been shown to induce T cell as well as humoral immune responses in mice. However, the lack of epitope-specific CD8+ T cell detection and modest tumor protection observed highlight the need for further improvements to develop effective survivin DNA vaccination approaches. Here, the efficacy of a human survivin DNA vaccine delivered by intradermal electroporation (EP) was tested. The CD8+ T cell epitope surv(20-28) restricted to H-2 Db was identified based on in-silico epitope prediction algorithms and binding to MHC class I molecules. Intradermal DNA EP of mice with a human survivin encoding plasmid generated CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses cross-reactive with the mouse epitope surv(20-28), as determined by intracellular IFN-gamma staining, suggesting that self-tolerance has been broken. Survivin-specific CTLs displayed an activated effector phenotype as determined by CD44 and CD107 up-regulation. Vaccinated mice displayed specific cytotoxic activity against B16 and peptide-pulsed RMA-S cells in vitro as well as against surv(20-28) peptide-pulsed target cells in vivo. Importantly, intradermal EP with a survivin DNA vaccine suppressed angiogenesis in vivo and elicited protection against highly aggressive syngeneic B16 melanoma tumor challenge. We conclude that intradermal EP is an attractive method for delivering a survivin DNA vaccine that should be explored also in clinical studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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