Retroviral transduction of human dendritic cells with a tumor-associated antigen gene

Mark E. Reeves, Richard E. Royal, John S. Lam, Steven A. Rosenberg, Patrick Hwu

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205 Scopus citations


Dendritic cells (DCs) are potent antigen-presenting cells that can activate quiescent T lymphocytes. When pulsed with tumor-associated antigen (TAA) peptide or protein, murine DCs can provide antitumor immunity. We reasoned that DCs retrovirally transduced with TAA genes might have important advantages over peptide- or protein-pulsed DCs, including long-term TAA presentation in vivo, and presentation of important but undefined epitopes. Therefore, we attempted to retrovirally transduce human DCs with a melanoma TAA gene (MART-1) and determine whether these transduced DCs could raise a specific antitumor response from quiescent autologous T lymphocytes. After retroviral transduction, human CD34+ cells were differentiated into DCs in vitro using granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor, tumor necrosis factor α, and stem cell factor. This method consistently yielded a population of DCs as analyzed by morphology, phenotype, and MLR. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that 22-28% of cells expressing the DC phenotype also expressed a transduced marker gene. When DCs were transduced with the gene encoding MART-1, they stimulated much higher levels of cytokine release by MART-1-specific tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes than control DCs transduced with an irrelevant gene. In vitro stimulation using MART-1-transduced DCs but not control-transduced DCs raised specific antitumor CTLs from autologous quiescent T cells. These results provide evidence that human DCs can be retrovirally transduced with a TAA gene and that these transduced cells can raise a specific antitumor immune response in vitro. Transduced DCs may be useful for in vivo immunization against TAA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5672-5677
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 15 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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