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Immunogenicity in mice and rhesus monkeys vaccinated with recombinant vaccinia virus expressing bivalent E7E6 fusion proteins from human papillomavirus types 16 and 18

Author(s): Zhao Li | Liu Binlei | Ren Jiao | Feng Jing | Pang Zheng | Gao Jian | Zhang Hui | Tan Wenjie | Tian Houwen | Ruan Li

Journal: Virology Journal
ISSN 1743-422X

Volume: 8;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 302;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Abstract Background Persistent infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) is a predominant cause of cervical cancer, and HPV16 and HPV18 occur in 50% and 20% of cervical cancer cases, respectively. The viral oncogenes E6 and E7 are constitutively expressed by HPV-associated tumour cells and can therefore be used as target antigens for immunotherapy. In this study, we constructed a recombinant vaccinia virus co-expressing the HPV16/18 E7E6 fusion proteins (rVVJ16/18E7E6) for use as a therapeutic vaccine for the treatment of HPV16+ and HPV18+ cancers. Methods We constructed a bivalent recombinant vaccinia virus expressing modified E7E6 fusion proteins of HPV type 16 and 18 (rVVJ16/18E7E6) based on the vaccinia virus Tiantan strain. We then defined the cellular immune responses to the virus in mice and rhesus monkeys and assessed antitumour efficacy of these responses in mice using the TC-1 tumour challenge model. Results Our data demonstrated that rVVJ16/18E7E6 was able to elicit varying levels of CD8+ T cell immune responses and lysis of target cells in mice in response to peptides HPV16E749-57 and HPV18E667-75. Furthermore, the virus was also able to induce anti-tumour responses in the HPV16+ TC-1 tumour challenge model, including partial protection (30-40%) and delayed tumour appearance. In addition, the virus was able to induce immune responses in rhesus monkeys. Conclusions The recombinant vaccinia virus rVVJ16/18E7E6 can generate clear and significant cellular immunity in both mice and rhesus monkeys. These data provide a basis for the use of this recombinant virus as a potential vaccine candidate for further study.

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