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Dendritic cell-specific antigen delivery by coronavirus vaccine vectors induces long-lasting protective antiviral and antitumor immunity.
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Efficient vaccination against infectious agents and tumors depends on specific antigen targeting to dendritic cells (DCs). We report here that biosafe coronavirus-based vaccine vectors facilitate delivery of multiple antigens and immunostimulatory cytokines to professional antigen-presenting cells in vitro and in vivo. Vaccine vectors based on heavily attenuated murine coronavirus genomes were generated to express epitopes from the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus glycoprotein, or human Melan-A, in combination with the immunostimulatory cytokine granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). These vectors selectively targeted DCs in vitro and in vivo resulting in vector-mediated antigen expression and efficient maturation of DCs. Single application of only low vector doses elicited strong and long-lasting cytotoxic T-cell responses, providing protective antiviral and antitumor immunity. Furthermore, human DCs transduced with Melan-A-recombinant human coronavirus 229E efficiently activated tumor-specific CD8(+) T cells. Taken together, this novel vaccine platform is well suited to deliver antigens and immunostimulatory cytokines to DCs and to initiate and maintain protective immunity.
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