Virus-like particles and α-galactosylceramide form a self-adjuvanting composite particle that elicits anti-tumor responses

J Control Release. 2012 May 10;159(3):338-45. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2012.02.015. Epub 2012 Feb 22.


Virus-like particles (VLP) are effective vehicles for delivery of heterologous antigen to antigen-presenting cells. However VLP alone are insufficiently stimulatory to generate the signals required to facilitate effective priming of naïve T cells. We show that the VLP derived from rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus can bind the galactose-containing adjuvant α-galactosylceramide to form a composite particle for co-delivery of antigen and adjuvant to the same antigen-presenting cell. Vaccination with VLP and α-galactosylceramide activated splenic iNKT cells to produce IFN-γ and IL-4, led to the generation of antigen-specific T cells that protected prophylactically against subcutaneous tumor challenge, and was more effective at generating anti-tumor immune responses than either component individually. These data demonstrate a novel method for immunopotentiating VLP to increase their efficacy in the generation of anti-tumor responses via the innate ligand recognition properties of calicivirus-derived nanoparticles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic* / administration & dosage
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic* / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Cancer Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Cancer Vaccines / immunology*
  • Cancer Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Galactosylceramides / administration & dosage
  • Galactosylceramides / immunology*
  • Galactosylceramides / therapeutic use
  • Hemorrhagic Disease Virus, Rabbit / genetics
  • Hemorrhagic Disease Virus, Rabbit / immunology*
  • Male
  • Melanoma, Experimental / immunology
  • Melanoma, Experimental / therapy
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Virion / genetics
  • Virion / immunology


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Galactosylceramides
  • alpha-galactosylceramide