Lumazine synthase protein cage nanoparticles as antigen delivery nanoplatforms for dendritic cell-based vaccine development.
ABSTRACT: PURPOSE:Protein cages are promising nanoplatform candidates for efficient delivery systems due to their homogenous size and structure with high biocompatibility and biodegradability. In this study, we investigate the potential of lumazine synthase protein cage as an antigen delivery system to dendritic cells (DCs), which induce antigen-specific T cell proliferation. MATERIALS AND METHODS:Ovalbumin (OVA) peptides OT-1 (SIINFEKL) and OT-2 (ISQAVHAAHAEINEAGR) were genetically inserted to lumazine synthase and each protein cage was over-expressed in Escherichia coli as a soluble protein. The efficiency of antigen delivery and the resulting antigen-specific T cell proliferation by DCs was examined in vitro as well as in vivo. RESULTS:We successfully generated and characterized OVA peptides carrying lumazine synthase protein cages. The OT-1 and OT-2 peptides carried by lumazine synthases were efficiently delivered and processed by DCs in vitro as well as in vivo, and induced proliferation of OT-1-specific CD8(+)T cells and OT-2-specific CD4(+)T cells. CONCLUSION:Our data demonstrate the potential of lumazine synthase protein cage being used as a novel antigen delivery system for DC-based vaccine development in future clinical applications.
Project description:Encapsulation of specific enzymes in self-assembling protein cages is a hallmark of bacterial compartments that function as counterparts to eukaryotic organelles. The cage-forming enzyme lumazine synthase (LS) from Bacillus subtilis (BsLS), for example, encapsulates riboflavin synthase (BsRS), enabling channeling of lumazine from the site of its generation to the site of its conversion to vitamin B2 Elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying the assembly of these supramolecular complexes could help inform new approaches for metabolic engineering, nanotechnology, and drug delivery. To that end, we investigated a thermostable LS from Aquifex aeolicus (AaLS) and found that it also forms cage complexes with the cognate riboflavin synthase (AaRS) when both proteins are co-produced in the cytosol of Escherichia coli A 12-amino acid-long peptide at the C terminus of AaRS serves as a specific localization sequence responsible for targeting the guest to the protein compartment. Sequence comparisons suggested that analogous peptide segments likely direct RS complexation by LS cages in other bacterial species. Covalent fusion of this peptide tag to heterologous guest molecules led to their internalization into AaLS assemblies both in vivo and in vitro, providing a firm foundation for creating tailored biomimetic nanocompartments for medical and biotechnological applications.
Project description:MIS416 is an intact minimal cell wall skeleton derived from Proprionibacterium acnes that is phagocytosed by antigen presenting cells, including dendritic cells (DCs). This property allows MIS416 to be exploited as a vehicle for the delivery of peptide antigens or other molecules (for example, nucleic acids) to DCs. We previously showed that covalent (non-cleavable) conjugation of OVA, a model antigen derived from ovalbumin, to MIS416 enhanced immune responses in DCs in vivo, compared to unconjugated MIS416 and OVA. Intracellular trafficking promotes the lysosomal degradation of MIS416, leading to the destruction of MIS416 plus the associated cargos conjugated to MIS416. However, lysosomal degradation of cargo may not be desired for some MIS416 conjugates. Here we have investigated whether a cleavable linkage could facilitate release of the cargo in the cytoplasm of DCs to avoid lysosomal degradation. DCs were treated in vitro with disulfide-containing conjugates, and as hypothesised faster release of SIINFEKL peptide in the cytoplasm of DCs was observed with the inclusion of a disulfide bond between MIS416 and cargo. The inclusion of a cleavable disulfide bond in the conjugates did not significantly alter the amount of SIINFEKL antigens presented on MHC I molecules on DCs as compared with conjugates without a disulfide bond. However, the conjugates containing disulfide-linkages performed either slightly better (p<0.05) than, or the same as conjugates without a disulfide bond with respect to in vitro OT-1 T-cell proliferation induced by the presentation of SIINFEKL antigens on DCs, or DC activation studies, respectively. However, disulfide-containing conjugates were less effective than conjugates without a disulfide bond in in vivo cytotoxicity assays. In conclusion, inclusion of a disulfide bond in MIS416-peptide conjugates was associated with efficient release of peptides in the cytoplasm of DCs, an important consideration for MIS416-mediated delivery of degradation-sensitive cargoes. However, treatment of DCs with disulfide-containing conjugates did not significantly alter the presentation of peptide antigens on MHC class I molecules to T-cells, or greatly enhance antigen-associated T-cell proliferation in vitro.
Project description:Rehmannia glutinosa polysaccharide (RGP) has shown an activation of immune cells in vitro. However, the immune stimulatory effect of RGP in a mouse in vivo is not well studied. In this study, we examined the effect of RGP on dendritic cell (DC) activation and anticancer immunity in vivo. Treatments of RGP in C56BL/6 mice induced increased levels of co-stimulatory molecule expression and pro-inflammatory cytokine production in spleen DCs dependent on toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), and those DCs promoted interferon-gamma (IFN?) production in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. RGP also enhanced ovalbumin (OVA) antigen (Ag)-specific immune activation in tumor-bearing mice, including Ag presentation in DCs, OT-I and OT-II T-cell proliferation, migration of OT-I and OT-II T cells into the B16-OVA tumor, OVA-specific IFN? production, and the specific killing of OVA-coated splenocytes, which consequently inhibited B16-OVA tumor growth dependent on TLR4 and CD8+ T cells. Finally, the combination of RGP and self-Ag treatment efficiently inhibited CT26 carcinoma and B16 melanoma tumor growth in BLAB/c and C57BL/6 mice, respectively. These data demonstrate that RGP could be a useful adjuvant molecule for immunotherapy against cancer.
Project description:The calcium-binding protein S100A4 has been described to promote pathological inflammation in experimental autoimmune and inflammatory disorders and in allergy and to contribute to antigen presentation and antibody response after parenteral immunization with an alum-adjuvanted antigen. In this study, we extend these findings by demonstrating that mice lacking S100A4 have a defective humoral and cellular immune response to mucosal (sublingual) immunization with a model protein antigen [ovalbumin (OVA)] given together with the strong mucosal adjuvant cholera toxin (CT), and that this impairment is due to defective adjuvant-stimulated antigen presentation by antigen-presenting cells. In comparison to wild-type (WT) mice, mice genetically lacking S100A4 had reduced humoral and cellular immune responses after immunization with OVA plus CT, including a complete lack of detectable germinal center reaction. Further, when stimulated in vitro with OVA plus CT, S100A4-/- dendritic cells (DCs) showed impaired responses in several CT-stimulated immune regulatory molecules including the co-stimulatory molecule CD86, inflammasome-associated caspase-1 and IL-1?. Coculture of OVA-specific OT-II T cells with S100A4-/- DCs that had been pulse incubated with OVA plus CT resulted in impaired OT-II T cell proliferation and reduced production of Th1, Th2, and Th17 cytokines compared to similar cocultures with WT DCs. In accordance with these findings, transfection of WT DCs with S100A4-targeting small interfering RNA (siRNA) but not mock-siRNA resulted in significant reductions in the expression of caspase-1 and IL-1? as well as CD86 in response to CT. Importantly, also engraftment of WT DCs into S100A4-/- mice effectively restored the immune response to immunization in the recipients. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that deficiency in S100A4 has a strong impact on the development of both humoral and cellular immunity after mucosal immunization using CT as adjuvant.
Project description:Dendritic cell (DC) apoptosis has been shown to play a role in maintaining a balance between tolerance and immunity. However, the mechanisms of how DC apoptosis affects the immune response are unclear. We have shown that in vitro culture of apoptotic DCs with immature DCs, results in their uptake by immature DCs, which subsequently turn into tolerogenic DCs, which then secrete TGF-beta1 and induce Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells (T(regs)). In this study we looked at the effects of apoptotic DCs in vivo. Here we show that apoptotic DCs are taken up by viable DCs in vivo, which suppresses the ability of viable DCs to undergo maturation and subsequent migration to the lymph nodes in response to LPS. Additionally, delivery of apoptotic DCs to LPS inflamed lungs results in resolution of inflammation, which is mediated by the ability of apoptotic DCs to suppress response of viable DCs to LPS. Additionally, apoptotic DCs also induce TGF-beta1 secretion in the mediastinal lymph nodes, which results in expansion of Foxp3(+) T(regs). Most importantly, we show that delivery of apoptotic DCs followed by OVA in CFA to mice suppresses T cell response to OVA and instead induces de novo generation of OVA-specific T(regs). Furthermore, delivery of apoptotic DCs followed by OVA in CFA results in expansion of T(regs) in TCR transgenic (OT-II) mice. These findings demonstrate that apoptotic DCs are taken up by viable DCs in vivo, which promotes tolerance through suppression of DC maturation and induction of T(regs).
Project description:Cancer vaccinations sensitize the immune system to recognize tumor-specific antigens de novo or boosting preexisting immune responses. Dendritic cells (DCs) are regarded as the most potent antigen presenting cells (APCs) for induction of (cancer) antigen-specific CD8+ T cell responses. Chitosan nanoparticles (CNPs) used as delivery vehicle have been shown to improve anti-tumor responses. This study aimed at exploring the potential of CNPs as antigen delivery system by assessing activation and expansion of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells by DCs and subsequent T cell-mediated lysis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cells. As model antigen the ovalbumin-derived peptide SIINFEKL was chosen. Using imaging cytometry, intracellular uptake of FITC-labelled CNPs of three different sizes and qualities (90/10, 90/20 and 90/50) was demonstrated in DCs and in pro- and anti-inflammatory macrophages to different extents. While larger particles (90/50) impaired survival of all APCs, small CNPs (90/10) were not toxic for DCs. Internalization of SIINFEKL-loaded but not empty 90/10-CNPs promoted a pro-inflammatory phenotype of DCs indicated by elevated expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Treatment of murine DC2.4 cells with SIINFEKL-loaded 90/10-CNPs led to a marked MHC-related presentation of SIINFEKL and enabled DC2.4 cells to potently activate SIINFEKL-specific CD8+ OT-1 T cells finally leading to effective lysis of the PDAC cell line Panc-OVA. Overall, our study supports the suitability of CNPs as antigen vehicle to induce potent anti-tumor immune responses by activation and expansion of tumor antigen-specific CD8+ T cells.
Project description:Effective induction of an antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) immune response is one of the key goals of cancer immunotherapy. We report the design and fabrication of polyethylenimine (PEI)-coated polymer nanoparticles (NPs) as efficient antigen-delivery carriers that can induce antigen cross-presentation and a strong CTL response. After synthesis of poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) NPs containing ovalbumin (OVA) by the double-emulsion solvent-evaporation method, cationic-charged PLGA NPs were generated by coating them with PEI. In a methyl tetrazolium salt assay, no discernible cytotoxic effect of PEI-coated PLGA (OVA) NPs was observed. The capacity and mechanism of PEI-coated PLGA (OVA) NPs for antigen delivery and cross-presentation on dendritic cells (DCs) were determined by fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. PEI-coated PLGA (OVA) NPs were internalized efficiently via phagocytosis or macropinocytosis in DCs and induced efficient cross-presentation of the antigen on MHC class I molecules via both endosome escape and a lysosomal processing mechanism. The DCs treated with PEI-coated PLGA (OVA) NPs induced a release of IL-2 cytokine from OVA-specific CD8-OVA1.3 T cells more efficiently than DCs treated with PLGA (OVA) NPs. Therefore, the PEI-coated PLGA (OVA) NPs can induce antigen cross-presentation and are expected to be used for induction of a strong CTL immune response and for efficient anticancer immunotherapy.
Project description:We have developed a model of autoimmunity to investigate autoantibody-mediated cross-presentation of self antigen. RIP-mOVA mice, expressing OVA in pancreatic beta cells, develop severe autoimmune diabetes when given OT-I cells (OVA-specific CD8(+) T cells) and anti-OVA IgG but not when given T cells alone. Anti-OVA IgG is not directly injurious to the islets but rather enhances cross-presentation of apoptotic islet antigen to the OT-I cells, leading to their differentiation into potent effector cells. Antibody-driven effector T cell activation is dependent on the presence of activating Fc receptors for IgG (FcgammaRs) and cross-priming DCs. As a consequence, diabetes incidence and severity was reduced in mice lacking activating FcgammaRs. An intact complement pathway was also required for disease development, as C3 deficiency was also partially protective. C3-deficient animals exhibited augmented T cell priming overall, indicating a proinflammatory role for complement activation after the T cell priming phase. Thus, we show that autoreactive antibody can potently enhance the activation of effector T cells in response to cross-presented self antigen, thereby contributing to T cell-mediated autoimmunity.
Project description:Cancer vaccines aim to induce CTL responses against tumors. Challenges for vaccine design are targeting Ag to dendritic cells (DCs) in vivo, facilitating cross-presentation, and conditioning the microenvironment for Th1 type immune responses. In this study, we report that ISCOM vaccines, which consist of ISCOMATRIX adjuvant and protein Ag, meet these challenges. Subcutaneous injection of an ISCOM vaccine in mice led to a substantial influx and activation of innate and adaptive immune effector cells in vaccine site-draining lymph nodes (VDLNs) as well as IFN-? production by NK and NKT cells. Moreover, an ISCOM vaccine containing the model Ag OVA (OVA/ISCOM vaccine) was efficiently taken up by CD8?(+) DCs in VDLNs and induced their maturation and IL-12 production. Adoptive transfer of transgenic OT-I T cells revealed highly efficient cross-presentation of the OVA/ISCOM vaccine in vivo, whereas cross-presentation of soluble OVA was poor even at a 100-fold higher concentration. Cross-presenting activity was restricted to CD8?(+) DCs in VDLNs, whereas Langerin(+) DCs and CD8?(-) DCs were dispensable. Remarkably, compared with other adjuvant systems, the OVA/ISCOM vaccine induced a high frequency of OVA-specific CTLs capable of tumor cell killing in different tumor models. Thus, ISCOM vaccines combine potent immune activation with Ag delivery to CD8?(+) DCs in vivo for efficient induction of CTL responses.
Project description:Previous studies using purified toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands plus agonistic anti-CD40 antibodies showed that TLRs and CD40 can act synergistically on dendritic cells (DCs) to optimize T cell activation and Th1 differentiation. However, a synergistic effect of TLRs and CD40 during bacterial infection is not known. Here, we show that mice lacking the TLR adaptor MyD88 alone, or lacking both MyD88 and CD40 [double knockout (DKO) mice], are compromised in survival to Salmonella infection but have intact recruitment of neutrophils and inflammatory monocytes as well as unaltered abundance of DC subsets and DC activation in infected tissues. In contrast to infected wildtype and CD40(-/-) mice, both MyD88(-/-) mice and DKO mice lack detectable serum IFN-? and have elevated IL-10. A synergistic effect of TLRs and CD40 was revealed in co-culture experiments where OT-II T cell proliferation was compromised when DKO DCs were pulsed with OVA protein and OVA323-339 peptide, but not with heat-killed Salmonella expressing OVA (HKSOVA), relative to MyD88(-/-) DCs. By contrast, MyD88(-/-) or DKO DCs pulsed with any of the antigens had a similar ability to induce IFN-? that was lower than WT or CD40(-/-) DCs. DKO DCs pulsed with HKSOVA, but not with OVA or OVA323-339, had increased IL-10 relative to MyD88(-/-) DCs. Finally, HKSOVA-pulsed MyD88(-/-) and DKO DCs had similar and low induction of NF?B-dependent and -independent genes upon co-culture with OT-II cells. Overall, our data revealed that synergistic effects of CD40 and MyD88 do not influence host survival to Salmonella infection or serum levels of IFN-? or IL-10. However, synergistic effects of MyD88 and CD40 may be apparent on some (IL-10 production) but not all (OT-II proliferation and IFN-? production) DC functions and depend on the complexity of the antigen. Indeed, synergistic effects observed using purified ligands and well-defined antigens may not necessarily apply when complex antigens, such as live bacteria, challenge the immune system.