Enhanced Immunogenicity of Engineered HER2 Antigens Potentiates Antitumor Immune Responses release_elv546gyf5gxhpodkyfugppwfy

by Insu Jeon, Jeong-Mi Lee, Kwang-Soo Shin, Taeseung Kang, Myung Hwan Park, Hyungseok Seo, Boyeong Song, Choong-Hyun Koh, Jeongwon Choi, Young Kee Shin, BYUNG-SEOK KIM, Chang-Yuil Kang

Published in Vaccines by MDPI AG.

2020   Volume 8, Issue 3, p403

Abstract

For cancer vaccines, the selection of optimal tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) that can maximize the immunogenicity of the vaccine without causing unwanted adverse effects is challenging. In this study, we developed two engineered Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) antigens, K965 and K1117, and compared their immunogenicity to a previously reported truncated HER2 antigen, K684, within a B cell and monocyte-based vaccine (BVAC). We found that BVAC-K965 and BVAC-K1117 induced comparable antigen-specific antibody responses and antigen-specific T cell responses to BVAC-K684. Interestingly, BVAC-K1117 induced more potent antitumor activity than the other vaccines in murine CT26-HER2 tumor models. In addition, BVAC-K1117 showed enhanced antitumor effects against truncated p95HER2-expressing CT26 tumors compared to BVAC-K965 and BVAC-K684 based on the survival analysis by inducing T cell responses against intracellular domain (ICD) epitopes. The increased ICD epitope-specific T cell responses induced by BVAC-K1117 compared to BVAC-K965 and BVAC-K684 were recapitulated in human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-untyped human PBMCs and HLA-A*0201 PBMCs. Furthermore, we also observed synergistic antitumor effects between BVAC-K1117 and anti-PD-L1 antibody treatment against CT26-HER2 tumors. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that inclusion of a sufficient number of ICD epitopes of HER2 in cellular vaccines can improve the antitumor activity of the vaccine and provide a way to optimize the efficacy of anticancer cellular vaccines targeting HER2.
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