Skip to content


  • Poster presentation
  • Open Access

Particulate antigenic structures: highly immunogenic carriers for T cell epitopes derived from tumour antigens

Cancer Cell International20044 (Suppl 1) :S37

  • Received: 28 April 2004
  • Published:


  • Cell Epitope
  • Cell Tolerance
  • Subcutaneous Vaccination
  • High Immunogenicity
  • Particulate Antigen

Polyomavirus-like-particles (PLPs) are empty, non-replicative, non-infectious particles that represent a potent antigen-delivery system [1]. Due to the high immunogenicity of heterologous PLPs consisting of the major polyomavirus coat protein VP1 and a foreign CD8 T cell epitope at its C-terminus it is possible to protect mice against B16-OVA melanoma [2]. Here we show that in mice protective anti-tumour immunity can be already induced by means of subcutaneous vaccination with particulate antigens, heterologous VP1-pentamers (8–9 nm in size). These VP1-pentamers carrying an immunodominant H-2Kb ovalbumin (OVA)257–264 epitope evoked full protection in C57BL/6 mice against lethal B16-OVA melanoma challenge upon twice subcutaneous immunisations in a weekly interval. Furthermore, 60 % of mice vaccinated with VP1-pentamers carrying an immunodominant H-2Kb-restricted self-epitope of tyrosinase-related protein 2 (TRP2)180–188 survived to lethal B16-OVA challenge. This experiment additionally underlines the capacity of PLPs to break T cell tolerance against a differentially expressed self-antigen. More importantly, heterologous capsoids of VP1- OVA252–270 (~45 nm in size) cured mice from B16-OVA melanoma cells that had been administered 5 days prior to the first therapeutic treatment. As correlate for protection the number of OVA257–264-specific CD8 T cells were significantly increased within the splenocyte population of treated mice even in the absence of an adjuvant (QuilA) as measured by H-2Kb-OVA257–264-PE tetramers. The weekly treatment intervals appeared to be crucial for vaccine efficacy due to VP1-specific antibody interference. These results reveal that heterologous PLPs and even chimerical polyomavirus-specific pentamers represent highly efficient antigen carriers for inducing cell-mediated immunity against malignant diseases underlining their potency in the fight against cancer.

Authors’ Affiliations

Responsif GmbH, Schallershofer Str. 84, D-91056 Erlangen, Germany and November AG, Ulrich-Schalk-Str. 3, D-91056 Erlangen, Germany


  1. Beyer : Bacterial carriers and virus-like-particles as antigen delivery devices: role of dendritic cells in antigen presentation. Current Drug Targets – Infectious Disorders. 2001, 1: 287-302.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Brinkman : Recombinant murine polyomavirus-like-particles induce protective anti-tumour immunity. Letters in Drug Design & Discovery. 2004,Google Scholar


© Author(s); licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2004