Dendritic cells (DCs) are the most potent professional antigen-presenting cells (APCs), which play a vital role in primary immune responses. Introducing genes into DCs will allow constitutive expression of the encoded proteins and thus prolong the presentation of the antigens derived therefrom. In addition, multiple and unidentified epitopes encoded by the entire tumor-associated antigen (TAA) gene may enhance T cell activation. This study demonstrated that an HIV-1-based lentiviral vector conferred efficient gene transfer to DCs. The transgene, murine tyrosinase-related protein 2 (mTRP-2), encodes a clinically relevant melanoma-associated antigen (MAA), which has been found to be a tumor rejection antigen for B16 melanoma. The transfer and proper processing of mTRP-2 in DCs, in terms of RNA transcription activity and protein expression, were verified by RT-PCR and specific antibody, respectively. Administration of mTRP-2 gene-modified DCs (DC-HR' CmT2) to C57BL/6 mice evoked strong protection against tumor challenge, for which the presence of CD4+ and CD8+ cells during both the priming and challenge phase was essential. In a therapy model, our results showed that four of seven mice with preestablished tumor remained tumor free for 80 days after therapeutic vaccination. Given the results shown in this study, mTRP-2 gene transfer to DCs provides a potential therapeutic strategy for the management of melanoma, especially in the early stage of the disease.