Dendritic cells transfected with interleukin-12 and tumor-associated antigen messenger RNA induce high avidity cytotoxic T cells

H. J. Bontkes, D. Kramer, J. J. Ruizendaal, E. W.M. Kueter, V. F.I. van Tendeloo, C. J.L.M. Meijer, E. Hooijberg

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67 Citations (Scopus)


Dendritic cells (DC) transfected with messenger RNA (mRNA) encoding tumor-associated antigens (TAA) are able to induce potent tumor-specific T-cell responses directed to a broad spectrum of tumor-associated epitopes. The in vitro generation of DC possessing all the features crucial for the induction of type 1 immune responses, such as mature state, migratory potential and interleukin-12 (IL-12p70) production is complicated. Particularly migratory potential is inversely correlated with IL-12p70 production after maturation with prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), which is included in maturation cocktails currently used in most vaccination trials. Here, we show that transfection of PGE2 matured DC with a single mRNA strain encoding for ubiquitin followed by a TAA which was linked to IL-12 by a self-cleaving 2A sequence, produced biological active IL-12p70 and were able to present the transfected TAA up to 72h after transfection. Furthermore, use of the anti-reverse cap analog for in vitro transcription of the IL-12 mRNA enabled constitutive IL-12p70 production for up to 5 days. These transfected mature DC migrated efficiently towards lymph node derived chemokines. DCs constitutively expressing IL-12p70, generate TAA-specific cytotoxic T cells with an high functional avidity, independent of CD4+ T-cell help.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-375
Number of pages10
JournalGene therapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2007

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