Chemical conjugates comprising synthetic Toll-like receptor ligands (TLR-L) covalently bound to antigenic synthetic long peptides (SLP) are attractive vaccine modalities, which can induce robust CD8+ T-cell immune responses. Previously, we have shown that the mechanism underlying the power of TLR-L SLP conjugates is improved delivery of the antigen together with a dendritic cell activation signal. In the present study, we have expanded the approach to tumor-specific CD4+ as well as CD8+ T-cell responses and in vivo studies in two nonrelated aggressive tumor models. We show that TLR2-L SLP conjugates have superior mouse CD8+ and CD4+ T-cell priming capacity compared with free SLPs injected together with a free TLR2-L. Vaccination with TLR2-L SLP conjugates leads to efficient induction of antitumor immunity in mice challenged with aggressive transplantable melanoma or lymphoma. Our data indicate that TLR2-L SLP conjugates are suitable to promote integrated antigen-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T-cell responses required for the antitumor effects. Collectively, these data show that TLR2-L SLP conjugates are promising synthetic vaccine candidates for active immunotherapy against cancer. Cancer Immunol Res; 2(8); 1–9. ©2014 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Cancer Immunology Research Online (http://cancerimmunolres.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received December 13, 2013.
- Revision received February 28, 2014.
- Accepted April 11, 2014.
- ©2014 American Association for Cancer Research.