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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Sep;1174:6-17. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04933.x.

The human cancer antigen mesothelin is more efficiently presented to the mouse immune system when targeted to the DEC-205/CD205 receptor on dendritic cells.

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Laboratory of Cellular Physiology and Immunology, Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10065, USA.


To develop a tumor vaccine directly targeting tumor antigen to dendritic cells in situ, we engineered human mesothelin (MSLN) into an antibody specific for mouse DEC-205, a receptor for antigen presentation. We then characterized both T cell and humoral responses to human MSLN and compared immunizing efficacy of DEC-205-targeted MSLN to nontargeted protein after a single-dose immunization. Targeting human MSLN to DEC-205 receptor induced stronger CD4(+) T-cell responses compared to high doses of mesothelin protein. Approximately 0.5% CD4(+) T cells were primed to produce IFN-gamma, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and IL-2 via intracellular cytokine staining, and the T cells also could proliferate rapidly. The immune response exhibited breadth because the primed CD4(+) T cells responded to at least three epitopes in the H-2(b) background. Targeting MSLN protein to DEC-205 receptor also resulted in cross-presentation to CD8(+) T cells. Antibody responses against human MSLN were also detected in serum from primed mice by ELISA assays. In summary, targeting of MSLN to DEC-205 improves the induction of CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-cell immunity accompanied by an antibody response. DEC-205-targeting could be valuable for enhancing immunity to MSLN in cancers where this nonmutated protein is expressed.

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