Protein transfer of glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol-B7-1 into tumor cell membranes: a novel approach to tumor immunotherapy

Cancer Res. 1999 May 15;59(10):2433-7.


Modification of tumor cells with one or more costimulatory adhesion molecules has been proposed as a means to develop therapeutic cancer vaccines for use in human immunotherapy. Expression of B7-1 (CD80) in tumors by gene transfer creates an immunogenic tumor cell that induces antitumor immunity and protects mice from further challenge with wild-type tumor cells. In this report, we demonstrate that protein transfer of glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored costimulatory molecules into tumor cell membranes could be used as an alternative to gene transfer for tumor immunotherapy. Incubation of isolated tumor membranes with purified GPI-anchored B7-1 results in stable incorporation of B7-1 on tumor cell membranes within a few hours. Immunization of C57BL/6 mice with EG7 tumor membranes modified to express GPI-B7-1 by protein transfer induces tumor-specific T-cell proliferation and CTLs. In addition, immunization with these EG7 membranes protects mice from parental tumor challenge. The protein transfer approach used here does not require foreign vectors or live tumor cells and is completed within a matter of hours. Irradiated cells or membrane preparations from fresh or frozen tumor tissue can be used. Therefore, protein transfer of glycolipid-anchored molecules provides an efficient and novel approach to modify tumor membranes for human immunotherapy. This approach is not limited to costimulatory molecules because any cell surface protein can be converted to a GPI-anchored form by recombinant techniques.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B7-1 Antigen / immunology
  • B7-1 Antigen / metabolism*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Epitopes / immunology
  • Female
  • Glycosylphosphatidylinositols / metabolism*
  • H-2 Antigens / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunization
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell / pathology
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell / therapy*
  • Membrane Proteins / immunology
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Ovalbumin / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*


  • B7-1 Antigen
  • Epitopes
  • Glycosylphosphatidylinositols
  • H-2 Antigens
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Ovalbumin