DC-based vaccines that initiate T cell responses are well tolerated and have demonstrated efficacy for tumor immunotherapy, with the potential to be combined with other therapies. Targeting vaccine antigens (Ag) directly to the DCs in vivo is more effective than cell-based therapies in mouse models and is therefore a promising strategy to translate to humans. The human CD141+ DCs are considered the most clinically relevant for initiating CD8+ T cell responses critical for killing tumors or infected cells, and they specifically express the C-type lectin-like receptor CLEC9A that facilitates presentation of Ag by these DCs. We have therefore developed a human chimeric Ab that specifically targets CLEC9A on CD141+ DCs in vitro and in vivo. These human chimeric Abs are highly effective at delivering Ag to DCs for recognition by both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Given the importance of these cellular responses for antitumor or antiviral immunity, and the superior specificity of anti-CLEC9A Abs for this DC subset, this approach warrants further development for vaccines.
Kirsteen M. Tullett, Ingrid M. Leal Rojas, Yoshihito Minoda, Peck S. Tan, Jian-Guo Zhang, Corey Smith, Rajiv Khanna, Ken Shortman, Irina Caminschi, Mireille H. Lahoud, Kristen J. Radford