Tumor antigen processing and presentation depend critically on dendritic cell type and the mode of antigen delivery

Max Schnurr, Qiyuan Chen, Amanda Shin, Weisan Chen, Tracey Toy, Corinna Jenderek, Simon Green, Lena Miloradovic, Debbie Drane, Ian D. Davis, Jose Villadangos, Ken Shortman, Eugene Maraskovsky, Jonathan Cebon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

164 Citations (Scopus)


Dendritic cells (DCs) are being evaluated for cancer immunotherapy due to their unique ability to induce tumor-directed T-cell responses. Here we report that the type of human DC, the mode of activation, and the strategy for delivery of antigen are 3 critical factors for efficient stimulation of tumor-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cells. Only CD1c+ blood DCs and monocyte-derived DCs (MoDCs) were capable of presenting epitopes of the full-length tumor antigen NY-ESO-1 on both major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I (cross-presentation) and MHC II, whereas plasmacytoid DCs were limited to MHC II presentation. Cross-presentation was inefficient for soluble protein, but highly efficient for antigen-antibody immune complexes (NY-ESO-1/IC) and for protein formulated with ISCOMATRIX adjuvant (NY-ESO-1/IMX). DC activation with CD40L further enhanced cross-presentation efficiency. The mode of antigen delivery was found to be a determining factor for cytosolic proteolysis by DCs. Immune complexes (ICs) targeted a slow, proteasome-dependent cross-presentation pathway, whereas ISCOMATRIX (IMX) targeted a fast, proteasome-independent pathway. Both cross-presentation pathways resulted in a long-lived, T-cell stimulatory capacity, which was maintained for several days longer than for DCs pulsed with peptide. This may provide DCs with ample opportunities for sensitizing tumor-specific T cells against a broad array of tumor antigen epitopes in lymph nodes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2465-2472
Number of pages8
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2005

Cite this