Immunomodulatory effect of poly-γ-glutamic acid derived from Bacillus subtilis on natural killer dendritic cells

Sung Won Lee, Hyun Jung Park, Se Ho Park, Nayoung Kim, Seokmann Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Bacillus subtilis-derived poly-γ-glutamic acid (γPGA) stimulates dendritic cells (DCs) to produce IL12, leading to CD4+ T cell differentiation toward the Th1 phenotype, but DCs consist of heterogeneous subpopulations with a variety of immune functions. Among these, natural killer dendritic cells (NKDCs) play an important role in anti-tumor immune responses. Herein, we demonstrate the role of NKDCs in γPGA-meditated anti-tumor immune responses. NK1.1+ CD11c+ NKDCs were stimulated upon γPGA stimulation in vitro and in vivo to up-regulate lymphocyte activation markers, MHC class I and II, and co-stimulatory molecules. In particular, NKDCs were activated by γPGA to produce IFNγ and TNFα, like NK cells, as well as IL12, like DCs, implying that NKDCs have unique and multifunctional roles. Importantly, NKDCs stimulated by γPGA conferred stronger anti-tumor effects in mice and showed increased cytotoxicity against various tumor cell lines in vitro. In conclusion, NKDCs are one of the key players in anti-tumor immunity induced by γPGA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-421
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 10

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the Korean Health Technology R&D Project , Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea ( A090645 ).


  • Anti-tumor immunity
  • IFNγ
  • IL12
  • NKDC
  • TNFα
  • γPGA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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