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1.  CD34-derived dendritic cells transfected ex vivo with HIV-Gag mRNA induce polyfunctional T-cell responses in nonhuman primates 
European journal of immunology  2012;42(8):2019-2030.
The pivotal role of DCs in initiating the immune responses led to their use as vaccine vectors. However, the relationship between DC subsets involved in antigen presentation and the type of elicited immune responses underlined the need for the characterization of the DCs generated in vitro. The phenotypes of tissue-derived APCs from a cynomolgus macaque model for human vaccine development were compared with ex vivo-derived DCs. Monocyte/macrophages predominated in bone marrow (BM) and blood. Myeloid DCs (mDCs) were present in all tested tissues and were more highly represented than plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs). As in human skin, Langerhans cells (LCs) resided exclusively in the macaque epidermis, expressing CD11c, high levels of CD1a and Langerin (CD207). Most DC subsets were endowed with tissue-specific combinations of PRRs. DCs generated from CD34+ BM cells (CD34-DCs) were heterogeneous in phenotype. CD34-DCs shared properties (differentiation and PRR) of dermal and epidermal DCs. After injection into macaques, CD34-DCs expressing HIV-Gag induced Gag-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells producing IFN-γ, TNF-α, MIP-1β or IL-2. In high responding animals, the numbers of polyfunctional CD8+ T cells increased with the number of booster injections. This DC-based vaccine strategy elicited immune responses relevant to the DC subsets generated in vitro.
PMCID: PMC3649569  PMID: 22585548
Dendritic cells; Vaccination; Immune responses; Antigen presenting cells
2.  Optimal epitope composition after antigen screening using a live bacterial delivery vector 
Bioengineered Bugs  2010;1(1):51-60.
Immunotherapeutic approaches, based on the generation of tumor-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTL), are currently emerging as promising strategies of anti-tumor therapy. The potential use of attenuated bacteria as engineered vectors for vaccine development offers several advantages, including the stimulation of innate immunity. We developed an attenuated live bacterial vector using the type III secretion system (TTSS) of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to deliver in vivo tumor antigens. Using an inducible and rapid expression plasmid, vaccination with several antigens of different length and epitope composition, including TRp-2, gp100 and MUC18, was evaluated against glioma tumor cells. We observed similar CTL immunity and T-cell receptor (TCR) repertoire diversity with the vaccines, TRP2125–243, TRP2L125–376 and TRP2S291–376. However, only immunization with TRP2L125–376 induced significant anti-tumor immunity. Taken together, our data indicate the importance of the epitopes composition and/or peptide length of these peptides for inducing cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) mediated immunity. Characteristics that consistently improved anti-tumor immunity include: long peptides with immunodominant and cryptic CD8+ epitopes, and strong CD4+ Th epitopes. Our bacterial vector is versatile, easy-to-use and quick to produce. This vector is suitable for rapid screening and evaluation of antigens of varying length and epitope composition.
PMCID: PMC3035149  PMID: 21327126
antigen delivery system; bacteria; TTSS; cancer immunotherapy; epitope; TRP-2
3.  Optimization of a Type III Secretion System-Based Pseudomonas aeruginosa Live Vector for Antigen Delivery▿  
During the last few years, the use of type III secretion system-based bacterial vectors for immunotherapy purposes has been assessed in various applications. We showed that a type III secretion-based Pseudomonas aeruginosa vector delivering the ovalbumin (OVA) antigen induced an efficient specific CD8+ T-lymphocyte immune response against OVA-expressing cells. Because of the intrinsic toxicity of the vector, further virulence attenuation was needed. Therefore, we explored the effects of the deletion of quorum-sensing genes and the aroA gene toward toxicity and efficiency of the vector strain. The aroA mutation in our strain (making the strain auxotrophic for aromatic amino acids) conferred a strikingly reduced toxicity, with the bacterial lethal dose being more than 100 times higher than that of the parental strain. The quorum-sensing gene mutation alone was associated with a slightly reduced toxicity. In a prophylactic OVA-expressing melanoma mouse model, an OVA-delivering aroA-deficient mutant was the most efficient at a low dose (105), but dose enhancement was not associated with a greater immune response. The quorum-sensing-deficient strain was the most efficient at a mild dose (106), but this dose was close to the toxic dose. Combination of both mutations conferred the highest efficiency at an elevated dose (107), in agreement with the known negative effects of quorum-sensing molecules upon T-cell activation. In conclusion, we have obtained a promising immunotherapy vector regarding toxicity and efficiency for further developments in both antitumor and anti-infectious strategies.
PMCID: PMC2238056  PMID: 18094108
4.  Activation of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa Type III Secretion System Requires an Intact Pyruvate Dehydrogenase aceAB Operon  
Infection and Immunity  2002;70(7):3973-3977.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical cystic fibrosis isolate CHA was mutagenized with Tn5Tc to identify new genes involved in type III secretion system (TTSS)-dependent cytotoxicity toward human polymorphonuclear neutrophils. Among 25 mutants affected in TTSS function, 14 contained the insertion at different positions in the aceAB operon encoding the PDH-E1 and -E2 subunits of pyruvate dehydrogenase. In PDH mutants, no transcriptional activation of TTSS genes in response to calcium depletion occurred. Expression in trans of ExsA restored TTSS function and cytotoxicity.
PMCID: PMC128050  PMID: 12065547

Results 1-4 (4)