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For a successful anti-cancer vaccine, antigen presentation on the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I is a requirement. To accomplish this, an antigen must be delivered to the cytoplasm by overcoming the endosome/lysosome. We previously reported that a lipid nanoparticle modified with a KALA peptide (WEAKLAKALAKALAKHLAKALAKALKA), an α-helical cationic peptide, permits the encapsulated pDNA to be efficiently delivered to the cytoplasm in bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs). Herein, we report on the use of KALA-modified liposomes as an antigen carrier, in an attempt to induce potent antigen-specific cellular immunity. The subcutaneous injection of KALA-modified ovalbumin (OVA)-encapsulating liposomes (KALA-OVA-LPs) elicited a much more potent OVA-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte activity and anti-tumor effect in comparison with particles that were modified with octa-arginine (R8), a cell-penetrating peptide (R8-OVA-LPs). In addition, the numbers of OVA-specific CD8+ T cells were increased by immunization the KALA-OVA-LPs. The treatment of BMDCs with KALA-OVA-LPs induced a substantial MHC class I antigen presentation. Furthermore, the acidic pH-dependent membrane destabilization activity of KALA-OVA-LPs strongly suggests that they are able to escape from endosomes/lysosomes and thereby deliver their cargos to the cytoplasm. Collectively, the KALA-modified liposome is a potential antigen delivery platform for use as a protein vaccine. Copyright © 2017 The American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Naoya Miura, Hidetaka Akita, Naho Tateshita, Takashi Nakamura, Hideyoshi Harashima. Modifying Antigen-Encapsulating Liposomes with KALA Facilitates MHC Class I Antigen Presentation and Enhances Anti-tumor Effects. Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy. 2017 Apr 05;25(4):1003-1013

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PMID: 28236573

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