Immune responses contribute to the success of radiotherapy of solid tumors; however, the mechanism of triggering CD8+ T-cell responses is poorly understood. Antigen cross-presentation from tumor cells by dendritic cells (DC) is a likely dominant mechanism to achieve CD8+ T-cell stimulation. We established a cross-presentation model in which DCs present a naturally expressed oncofetal tumor antigen (5T4) from irradiated DU145 prostate cancer cells to 5T4-specific T cells. The aim was to establish which immunogenic signals are important in radiation-induced cross-presentation. Radiation (12 Gy) caused G2–M cell-cycle arrest and cell death, increased cellular 5T4 levels, high-mobility protein group-B1 (HMGB1) release, and surface calreticulin and heat-shock protein-70 (Hsp70) expression in DU145 cells. DCs phagocytosed irradiated tumor cells efficiently, followed by upregulation of CD86 on phagocytic DCs. CD8+ 5T4-specific T cells, stimulated with these DCs, proliferated and produced IFNγ. Inhibition of HMGB1 or the TRIF/MyD88 pathway only had a partial effect on T-cell stimulation. Unlike previous investigators, we found no evidence that DCs carrying Asp299Gly Toll-like receptor-4 (TLR4) single-nucleotide polymorphism had impaired ability to cross-present tumor antigen. However, pretreatment of tumor cells with Hsp70 inhibitors resulted in a highly statistically significant and robust prevention of antigen cross-presentation and CD86 upregulation on DCs cocultured with irradiated tumor cells. Blocking the Hsp70 receptor CD91 also abolished cross-presentation. Together, the results from our study demonstrate that irradiation induces immunologically relevant changes in tumor cells, which can trigger CD8+ T-cell responses via a predominantly Hsp70-dependent antigen cross-presentation process. Cancer Immunol Res; 3(6); 1–11. ©2015 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Cancer Immunology Research Online (http://cancerimmunolres.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received April 24, 2014.
- Revision received February 5, 2015.
- Accepted February 5, 2015.
- ©2015 American Association for Cancer Research.