Th2-dominated antitumor immunity induced by DNA immunization with the genes coding for a basal core peptide PDTRP and GM-CSF

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Our previous study showed that DNA vaccination with a plasmid vector encoding a core peptide of mucin1 (PDTRP) provided modest protection against challenge with tumor cells that expressed mucin1 protein. We report here that a DNA vaccine comprising a modified PDTRP plasmid and GM-CSF coding sequence at the C-terminus induced better protection against tumor challenge. The increased protection was directly correlated with a stronger PDTRP-specific immune response induced by the GM-CSF fusion plasmid. The plasmid encoding GM-CSF and the target PDTRP antigen induced a greater PDTRP-specific Th proliferation, antibodies, and cytotoxicity. Interestingly, the modified plasmid vaccine predominantely enhanced the type 2 immune responses manifested by an increased IgG1 to IgG2a antibody ratio and a greater induction of GATA-3 and IL-4 mRNA than that of T-bet and IFN-γ mRNA in spleen cells from vaccinated mice. In addition, protection against tumor challenge in vaccinated mice showed that there was no significant change in mice survival after in vivo CD8+CTL depletion, indicating that antitumor immunity augmented by plasmid encoding GM-CSF and target PDTRP gene vaccine was dominated by Th2 immune response.

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