Peptide-based vaccines for cancer have many advantages however, for optimization these immunogens should incorporate peptide epitopes that induce CD8, as well as CD4 responses, antibody and long term immunity. Cell penetrating peptides (CPP) with a capacity of cytosolic delivery have been used to deliver antigenic peptides and proteins to antigen presenting cells to induce cytotoxic T cell, helper T cell and humoral responses in mice. For this study, a tripartite CPP including a mucin 1 (MUC1) variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) containing multiple T cell epitopes and tetanus toxoid universal T helper epitope peptide (tetCD4) was synthesised (AntpMAPMUC1tet) and immune responses investigated in mice. Mice vaccinated with AntpMAPMUC1tet + CpG show enhanced antigen-specific interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and IL-4 T cell responses compared with AntpMAPMUC1tet vaccination alone and induced a Th1 response, characterised by a higher ratio of IgG2a antibody/IgG1 antibodies. Furthermore, vaccination generated long term MUC1-specific antibody and T cell responses and delayed growth of MUC1(+ve) tumours in mice. This data demonstrates the efficient delivery of branched multiple antigen peptides incorporating CPP and that the addition of CpG augments immune responses.
Link to publisher'’s web site