Processing of Tumor Antigen Differentially Impacts the Development of Helper and Effector CD4+ T-cell Responses
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CD4(+) T cells contribute to the antitumor T-cell response as both effectors that promote tumor rejection and helpers that facilitate the activation of other antitumor effector cells, such as CD8(+) T cells. Maximal engagement of both effector and helper CD4(+) T-cell responses is a desirable attribute of cancer vaccines. We have employed the B16F10 murine melanoma model and a series of recombinant adenovirus (Ad) vaccines expressing mutant forms of the tumor antigen, dopachrome tautomerase, to investigate the relationship between antigen processing and the antitumor CD4(+) T-cell response. Our results have revealed an unexpected dichotomy in the generation of helper and effector CD4(+) T-cell responses where CD4(+) T effector responses are dependent upon protein processing and trafficking, whereas CD4(+) T helper responses are not. The results have important implications for strategies aimed at augmenting antigen immunogenicity by altering intracellular processing and localization.
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