Targeting the nuclear antigen 1 of Epstein-Barr virus to the human endocytic receptor DEC-205 stimulates protective T-cell responses

Blood. 2008 Aug 15;112(4):1231-9. doi: 10.1182/blood-2008-03-148072. Epub 2008 Jun 2.


Dendritic cells (DCs) express many endocytic receptors that deliver antigens for major histocompatibility class (MHC) I and II presentation to CD8(+) and CD4(+) T cells, respectively. Here, we show that targeting Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1) to one of them, the human multilectin DEC-205 receptor, in the presence of the DC maturation stimulus poly(I:C), expanded EBNA1-specific CD4(+) and CD8(+) memory T cells, and these lymphocytes could control the outgrowth of autologous EBV-infected B cells in vitro. In addition, using a novel mouse model with reconstituted human immune system components, we demonstrated that vaccination with alphaDEC-205-EBNA1 antibodies primed EBNA1-specific IFN-gamma-secreting T cells and also induced anti-EBNA1 antibodies in a subset of immunized mice. Because EBNA1 is the one EBV antigen that is expressed in all proliferating cells infected with this virus, our data suggest that DEC-205 targeting should be explored as a vaccination approach against symptomatic primary EBV infection and against EBV-associated malignancies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Antigens, CD / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / virology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigens / immunology*
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Lectins, C-Type / immunology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Minor Histocompatibility Antigens
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Vaccination


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Antigens, CD
  • DEC-205 receptor
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigens
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • Minor Histocompatibility Antigens
  • Receptors, Cell Surface