Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Vol.112, No.6, 1102-1110, 2015
Influenza Virus-Like Particles Engineered by Protein Transfer With Tumor-Associated Antigens Induces Protective Antitumor Immunity
Delivery of antigen in particulate form using either synthetic or natural particles induces stronger immunity than soluble forms of the antigen. Among naturally occurring particles, virus-like particles (VLPs) have been genetically engineered to express tumor-associated antigens (TAA) and have shown to induce strong TAA-specific immune responses due to their nanoparticulate size and ability to bind and activate antigen-presenting cells. In this report, we demonstrate that influenza VLPs can be modified by a protein transfer technology to express TAAs for induction of effective antitumor immune responses. We converted the breast cancer HER-2 antigen to a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored form and incorporated GPI-HER-2 onto VLPs by a rapid protein transfer process. Expression levels on VLPs depended on the GPI-HER-2 concentration added during protein transfer. Vaccination of mice with protein transferred GPI-HER-2-VLPs induced a strong Th I and Th2-type anti-HER-2 antibody response and protected mice against a HER-2-expressing tumor challenge. The Soluble form of GPI-HER-2 induced only a weak Th2 response under similar conditions. These results suggest that influenza VLPs can be enriched with TAAs by protein transfer to develop effective VLP-based subunit vaccines against cancer without chemical or genetic modifications and thus preserve the immune stimulating properties of VLPs for easier production of antigen-specific therapeutic cancer vaccines. (C) 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.