Vaccination with a DNA vaccine encoding herpes simplex virus type 1 VP22 linked to antigen generates long-term antigen-specific CD8-positive memory T cells and protective immunity

Hum Gene Ther. 2004 Feb;15(2):167-77. doi: 10.1089/104303404772679977.


Intradermal vaccination with DNA encoding herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) VP22 linked to antigen leads to spread of antigen within the epithelium and results in enhanced antigen-specific CD8+ T cell immune responses in vaccinated mice. In this study, we characterized the number of antigen-expressing dendritic cells (DCs) in the draining lymph nodes of vaccinated mice and determined whether the linkage of VP22 to antigen would influence the ability of antigen-expressing DCs to activate antigen-specific CD8+ T cells in vivo. Vaccination with DNA encoding HSV-1 VP22 linked to human papillomavirus type 16 E7 antigen generated more antigen-expressing DCs in the draining lymph nodes of vaccinated mice than E7 alone. In addition, the linkage of VP22 to E7 improved the MHC class I presentation of E7 in transfected DCs and led to enhanced activation of E7-specific CD8+ T cells. We also observed that vaccination with DNA encoding VP22 linked to E7 generated more E7-specific CD8+ memory T cells, and enhanced long-term protective antitumor immunity against an E7-expressing tumor in vaccinated mice compared with vaccination with DNA encoding E7 alone. Thus, administration of DNA encoding VP22 linked to antigen represents a plausible approach for the development of protective DNA vaccines.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Viral / chemistry
  • Antigens, Viral / genetics
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cancer Vaccines* / administration & dosage
  • Cancer Vaccines* / genetics
  • Cancer Vaccines* / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Female
  • Genetic Vectors / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intradermal
  • Lymph Nodes / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral / genetics
  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral / immunology*
  • Papillomavirus E7 Proteins
  • Plasmids / administration & dosage
  • Vaccines, DNA / administration & dosage
  • Vaccines, DNA / immunology
  • Viral Structural Proteins / genetics*


  • Antigens, Viral
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral
  • Papillomavirus E7 Proteins
  • Vaccines, DNA
  • Viral Structural Proteins
  • herpes simplex virus type 1 protein VP22
  • oncogene protein E7, Human papillomavirus type 16