Increased cross-presentation by dendritic cells and enhanced anti-tumour therapy using the Arp2/3 inhibitor CK666

Br J Cancer. 2023 Apr;128(6):982-991. doi: 10.1038/s41416-022-02135-4. Epub 2023 Jan 11.


Background: Dendritic cell (DC) vaccines for cancer therapy offer the possibility to let the patient's own immune system kill cancer cells. However, DC vaccines have shown less efficacy than expected due to failure to induce cancer cell killing and by activating T regulatory cells.

Methods: We tested if inhibition of signalling via WASp and Arp2/3 using the small molecule CK666 would enhance DC-mediated killing of tumour cells in vitro and in vivo.

Results: Using CK666 during the ex vivo phase of antigen processing of ovalbumin (OVA), murine and human DCs showed decreased phagosomal acidification, indicating activation of the cross-presentation pathway. When compared to untreated DCs, DCs treated with CK666 during uptake and processing of OVA-induced increased proliferation of OVA-specific CD8+ OT-I T cells in vitro and in vivo. Using the aggressive B16-mOVA melanoma tumour model, we show that mice injected with CK666-treated DCs and OVA-specific CD8+ OT-I T cells showed higher rejection of B16 melanoma cells when compared to mice receiving non-treated DCs. This resulted in the prolonged survival of tumour-bearing mice receiving CK666-treated DCs. Moreover, combining CK666-treated DCs with the checkpoint inhibitor anti-PD1 further prolonged survival.

Conclusion: Our data suggest that the small molecule inhibitor CK666 is a good candidate to enhance DC cross-presentation for cancer therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes
  • Cross-Priming*
  • Dendritic Cells
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Ovalbumin / metabolism
  • Vaccines* / metabolism


  • Ovalbumin
  • Vaccines