Targeting of MYCN by means of DNA vaccination is effective against neuroblastoma in mice.

The MYCN oncogene is a strong genetic marker associated with poor prognosis in neuroblastoma (NB). Therefore, MYCN gene amplification and subsequent overexpression provide a possible target for new treatment approaches in NB. We first identified an inverse correlation of MYCN expression with CD45 mRNA in 101 NB tumor samples. KEGG mapping further revealed that MYCN expression was associated with immune-suppressive pathways characterized by a down-regulation of T cell activation and up-regulation of T cell inhibitory gene transcripts. We then aimed to investigate whether DNA vaccination against MYCN is effective to induce an antigen-specific and T cell-mediated immune response. For this purpose, we generated a MYCN-expressing syngeneic mouse model by MYCN gene transfer to NXS2 cells. MYCN-DNA vaccines were engineered based on the pCMV-F3Ub plasmid backbone to drive ubiquitinated full-length MYCN-cDNA and minigene expression. Vaccines were delivered orally with attenuated S. typhimurium strain SL7207 as a carrier. Immunization with both MYCN-DNA vaccines significantly reduced primary tumor growth of MYCN-expressing NB cells in contrast to negative controls. The immune response was mediated by tumor-infiltrating T cells in vivo, which revealed MYCN-specific and MHC class I-restricted lysis of inducible MYCN-expressing NB target cells in vitro. Finally, these antigen-specific T cells also killed MYCN-negative mammary carcinoma cells pulsed with MYCN peptides in contrast to controls. In summary, we demonstrate proof of concept that MYCN can be targeted by DNA vaccination, which may provide an approach to overcoming MYCN immune-suppressive activities in patients with MYCN-amplified disease.
AuthorsAlexander Stermann, Nicole Huebener, Diana Seidel, Stefan Fest, Georg Eschenburg, Michael Stauder, Alexander Schramm, Angelika Eggert, Holger N Lode
JournalCancer immunology, immunotherapy : CII (Cancer Immunol Immunother) Vol. 64 Issue 10 Pg. 1215-27 (Oct 2015) ISSN: 1432-0851 [Electronic] Germany
PMID26076666 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)
Chemical References
  • Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte
  • MYCN protein, mouse
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Salmonella Vaccines
  • Vaccines, Attenuated
  • Vaccines, DNA
  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Carcinoma (immunology, microbiology)
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte (genetics, metabolism)
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating (immunology)
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Animal (immunology, microbiology)
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Neoplasms, Experimental
  • Neuroblastoma (genetics, immunology, microbiology)
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins (genetics, metabolism)
  • Salmonella Vaccines (administration & dosage)
  • Salmonella typhimurium (immunology)
  • Transgenes (genetics)
  • Tumor Burden
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccines, Attenuated (administration & dosage)
  • Vaccines, DNA (administration & dosage)

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