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Anti-tumor effects of a human VEGFR-2-based DNA vaccine in mouse models

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Author(s): Xie Ke | Bai Rui-Zhen | Wu Yang | Liu Quan | Liu Kang | Wei Yu-Quan

Journal: Genetic Vaccines and Therapy
ISSN 1479-0556

Volume: 7;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 10;
Date: 2009;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptor, VEGFR-2 (Flk-1/KDR), play a key role in tumor angiogenesis. Blocking the VEGF-VEGFR-2 pathway may inhibit tumor growth. Here, we used human VEGFR-2 as a model antigen to explore the feasibility of immunotherapy with a plasmid DNA vaccine based on a xenogeneic homologue of this receptor. Methods The protective effects and therapeutic anti-tumor immunity mediated by the DNA vaccine were investigated in mouse models. Anti-angiogenesis effects were detected by immunohistochemical staining and the alginate-encapsulate tumor cell assay. The mechanism of action of the DNA vaccine was primarily explored by detection of auto-antibodies and CTL activity. Results The DNA vaccine elicited a strong, protective and therapeutic anti-tumor immunity through an anti-angiogenesis mechanism in mouse models, mediated by the stimulation of an antigen-specific response against mFlk-1. Conclusion Our study shows that a DNA vaccine based on a xenogeneic homologue plasmid DNA induced autoimmunity against VEGFR-2, resulting in inhibition of tumor growth. Such vaccines may be clinically relevant for cancer immunotherapy.
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