Combined prophylactic and therapeutic cancer vaccine: Enhancing CTL responses to HPV16 E2 using a chimeric VLP in HLA-A2 mice


  • This article is a US Government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.


We identified the strategies to induce a CTL response to human papillomavirus (HPV) 16 E2 in HLA-A2 transgenic mice (AAD). A chimeric HPV16 virus-like particle (VLP) that includes full length HPV16 E7 and E2 (VLP-E7E2) was generated. The combination of E2 and E7 has the advantage that E2 is expressed in early dysplasia and neoplasia lesions, where E7 is expressed in more advance lesions. Since T cell response to E2 is less defined, we first evaluated the strategies to enhancing CD8+ T cell responses to HPV E7, using different combinations of immune-modulators with VLP-E7E2. Data showed that the CTL response to E7 could be significantly enhanced by coinjection of GM-CSF and antiCD40 antibodies with chimeric VLP-E7E2 without adjuvant. However, using the same combination, a low level of CD8+ T cell response to E2 was detected. To enhance the CD8+ T cell response to E2, we analyzed T cell epitopes from E2 sequence. A heterogonous prime-boost with chimeric VLP-E7E2 and E2 peptides was performed. The data showed that the priming with chimeric VLP-E7E2, followed by boosting with E2 peptides, gave a better CTL response than 2 immunizations with E2 peptides. The enhanced immunity is due to the increase of CD11c+ and CD11c+ CD40+ double positive dendritic cells in mice that received immune-modulators, GM-CSF and antiCD40. Furthermore, the level of anti-L1 antibodies remains similar in mice immunized with chimeric VLP with/without immune-modulators. Thus, the data suggested that the chimeric VLP-E7E2 has a therapeutic potential for the treatment of HPV-associated CINs and cancer without diminishing VLPs potential as a prophylactic vaccine by inducing anti-L1 antibodies against free virus. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.