A polymeric conjugate foreignizing tumor cells for targeted immunotherapy in vivo

Young Ho Lee, Hong Yeol Yoon, Jung Min Shin, G. Saravanakumar, Kyung Hee Noh, Kwon Ho Song, Ju Hong Jeon, Dong Wan Kim, Kyung Mi Lee, Kwangmeyung Kim, Ick Chan Kwon, Jae Hyung Park, Tae Woo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Antigen-specific CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) are key elements of immunological rejection in transplantation as well as cancer immunotherapy. Most tumors, however, are not immunologically rejected because they have self antigens, which are not recognized as the foreigner by CTLs. In this study, we hypothesized that "foreignizing" tumor cells by delivering non-self foreign antigens into the tumors would result in rejection by foreign antigen-reactive CTLs. As the model system to foreignize the tumors, we prepared a polymeric conjugate consisting of hyaluronic acid as the CD44+ tumor-targeting ligand and ovalbumin (OVA) as a foreign antigen. When the conjugate was treated with CD44high TC-1 tumor cells, it was effectively taken up and allowed for displaying of antigenic OVA257-264 peptide at MHC class I on the surface of the cells. In addition, the conjugate was effectively accumulated into tumor tissue after its systemic administration to mice which are immunized with a vaccine for a vaccinia virus expressing OVA to generate OVA257-264 specific CTLs, resulting in substantial inhibition of tumor growth. Overall, these results suggest that the polymeric conjugates bearing foreign antigens may be innovative and promising cancer immunotherapeutic agents by foreignizing tumor cells, leading to immunological rejection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-105
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Feb 10

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


  • Antigen delivery
  • Cancer immunotherapy
  • Foreignization
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Polymeric conjugate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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