The process of dendritic cell (DC) maturation, critical for effective DC-based immunotherapy, also alters the proteasome such that peptides presented in the context of HLA class I are generated not by the constitutive proteasome, but by the immunoproteasome. Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) induced by such DCs might not optimally recognize tumor cells normally expressing the constitutive proteasome. Using small interfering RNA (siRNA) transfection of DCs to inhibit expression of the 3 inducible immunoproteasome subunits in mature DCs, we found that such DCs expressed increased intracellular levels of constitutive proteasomes and presented an altered repertoire of tumor-antigenic peptides. When DCs generated from the monocytes of 3 patients with melanoma were transfected with immunoproteasome siRNA, induced to mature, and then transfected with RNA encoding defined melanoma antigens, these DCs were superior inducers of antigen-specific CTLs against autologous melanoma cells. This alteration of DC proteasome composition, which enhances the ability of mature antigen-loaded DCs to stimulate antitumor immune responses, may lead to more effective DC-based tumor immunotherapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology