A novel DNA vaccine based on ubiquitin-proteasome pathway targeting 'self'-antigens expressed in melanoma/melanocyte

M. Zhang, C. Obata, H. Hisaeda, K. Ishii, S. Murata, T. Chiba, K. Tanaka, Y. Li., M. Furue, B. Chou, T. Imai, X. Duan, K. Himeno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Cancer vaccine that targets 'self'-antigens expressed at high levels in tumor cells is a potentially useful immunotherapy, but immunological tolerance often defeats this strategy. Here, we describe the use of a naked DNA vaccine encoding a self tumor antigen, tyrosinase-related protein 2, to whose N-terminus ubiquitin is fused in a 'nonremovable' fashion. Unlike conventional DNA vaccines, this vaccine broke the tolerance and induced protective immunity to melanoma in C57BL/6 mice, as evaluated by tumor growth, survival rate and lung metastasis. The protective immunity was cancelled in the proteasome activator PA28α/β knockout mice. Moreover, this vaccination exhibited therapeutic effects on melanoma implanted before vaccination. Our findings provide evidence for the first time that naked DNA vaccines encoding a ubiquitin-fused self-antigen preferentially induce the main effector CD8+ T cells through efficient proteolysis mediated by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, and lead the way to strategies aimed at targeting tissue differentiation antigens expressed by tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1049-1057
Number of pages9
JournalGene Therapy
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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