Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 17202335
J. Immunol. 2007 Jan;178(2):748-56
Vaccination strategies based on the in vivo targeting of Ags to dendritic cells (DCs) are needed to improve the induction of specific T cell immunity against tumors and infectious agents. In this study, we have used a recombinant protein encompassing the extra domain A from fibronectin (EDA), an endogenous ligand for TLR4, to deliver Ags to TLR4-expressing DC. The purified EDA protein was shown to bind to TLR4-expressing HEK293 cells and to activate the TLR4 signaling pathway. EDA also stimulated the production by DC of proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-12 or TNF-alpha and induced their maturation in vitro and in vivo. A fusion protein between EDA and a cytotoxic T cell epitope from OVA efficiently presented this epitope to specific T cells and induced the in vivo activation of a strong and specific CTL response. Moreover, a fusion protein containing EDA and the full OVA also improved OVA presentation by DC and induced CTL responses in vivo. These EDA recombinant proteins protected mice from a challenge with tumor cells expressing OVA. These results strongly suggest that the fibronectin extra domain A may serve as a suitable Ag carrier for the development of antiviral or antitumoral vaccines.