Enhanced immunogenicity and antitumour effects with heterologous prime-boost regime using vaccines based on MG7-Ag mimotope of gastric cancer

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MG7-Ag, gastric cancer-associated antigen, has been shown to be immunogenic and has been used as marker molecule for prognosis. In a previous study, we developed an oral DNA vaccine based on MG7-Ag mimotope. However, we failed to detect cellular immune response using the oral MG7-Ag mimotope DNA vaccine. To induce significant T cell response, we developed a recombinant adenovirus vaccine based on MG7-Ag mimotope and evaluated the efficacy and protective effects of heterologous prime-boost immunization protocol with an oral DNA vaccine previously developed. We found that both vaccines were able to elicit a significant humoral response against MG7-Ag, while the highest serum titre MG7 antibody was detected in mice immunized with the heterologous prime-boost immunization protocol. Enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assay demonstrated that the heterologous prime-boost immunization strategy was more efficient in inducing T cell response than the homologous prime-boost strategy. In the tumour challenge assay, 2 of 5 mice immunized with the heterologous prime-boost protocol were tumour free, while none of the mice in homologous prime-boost groups or control groups was tumour free. Those tumour-bearing mice in the heterologous prime-boost regime had smaller tumour masses than their counterparts in the homologous prime-boost groups or control groups. Therefore, our study suggests that vaccines against MG7-Ag induce significant immune response against gastric cancer, and that the heterologous prime-boost protocol using different types of vaccines could achieve better protective effect than the homologous prime-boost protocol.

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