Tumors that lack T cell infiltration are less likely to respond to immune checkpoint inhibition and could benefit from cancer vaccination for the initiation of anti-tumor T cell responses. An attractive vaccine strategy is in vivo targeting of dendritic cells (DCs), key initiators of antigen-specific T cell responses. In this study we generated tumor-derived apoptotic extracellular vesicles (ApoEVs), which are potentially an abundant source of tumor-specific neo-antigens and other tumor-associated antigens (TAAs), and which can be manipulated to express DC-targeting ligands for efficient antigen delivery. Our data demonstrates that by specifically modifying the glycocalyx of tumor cells, high-mannose glycans can be expressed on their cell surface and on extracellular vesicles derived after the induction of apoptosis. High-mannose glycans are the natural ligands of dendritic cell-specific intercellular adhesion molecule-3-grabbing non-integrin (DC-SIGN), a dendritic cell associated C-type lectin receptor (CLR), which has the ability to efficiently internalize its cargo and direct it to both major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-I and MHC-II pathways for the induction of CD8+ and CD4+ T cell responses, respectively. Compared to unmodified ApoEVs, ApoEVs carrying DC-SIGN ligands are internalized to a higher extent, resulting in enhanced priming of tumor-specific CD8+ T cells. This approach thus presents a promising vaccination strategy in support of T cell-based immunotherapy of cancer.
Horrevorts, S. K., Stolk, D. A., van de Ven, R.
, Hulst, M., van Het Hof, B., Duinkerken, S., ... van Kooyk, Y.
(2019). Glycan-modified melanoma-derived apoptotic extracellular vesicles as antigen source for anti-tumor vaccination
(9), . https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11091266