Entwicklung einer Proteasomen-basierten Polyepitop-Plasmid-Vakzine am Beispiel des Tumor-assoziierten Antigens MUC1
Peptides from intracellular pathogens as well as tumor antigens from mutated or overexpressed proteins are presented in an MHC class I restricted manner on the surface of mammalian cells and are thereby recognized by cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Peptide generation is mainly carried out by the ubiquitin/26S proteasome system which plays a crucial role in the antitumor immune response. In the present study, a polyepitope vaccine was generated in the form of plasmid DNA and analyzed for its efficiency. As model antigen MUC1, a glycoprotein overexpressed in various adenocarcinomas and hematological tumors, was used. A known HLA-A2.1 restricted epitope from the MUC1 protein was synthesized as a polyepitope in different variations, subjected to a 20S proteasomal in vitro degradation, and its digestion products were analyzed by means of mass spectrometry. The optimal sequence for the processing of the polyepitope into the desired single epitopes was shown to be their simple conjunction without spacer sequences. Different strategies of linear fusion of ubiquitin to the polyepitope within a plasmid were subsequently tested to analyze the effect of ubiquitin fusion on the stability of the MUC1 polyepitope. After transient transfection of the plasmids, the stability of their translation products was quantified by means of immunoblot analyses. The results demonstrate that the polyepitope is degraded most efficiently through N-terminal fusion of wild type ubiquitin, while a polyubiquitination does not seem to occur. The evaluation of the subsequent in vitro cytotoxicity assays and immunization studies was impaired by the low affinity of the selected subdominant MUC1 epitope to the HLA-A2.1 complex. The present study emphasizes the importance of an extensive analysis of intra- and extracellular processes when generating a plasmid vaccine using subdominant epitopes.
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School:Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:05/31/2006