Investigation of factors influencing the immunogenicity of hCG as a potential cancer vaccine

Kvirkvelia, Nino, Chikadze, Nino, Makinde, Julia, McBride, Jeffrey D., Porakishvili, Nino, Hills, Frank ORCID logoORCID:, Martensen, Pia M., Justesen, Just, Delves, Peter J., Lund, Torben and Roitt, Ivan (2018) Investigation of factors influencing the immunogenicity of hCG as a potential cancer vaccine. Clinical and Experimental Immunology, 193 (1) . pp. 73-83. ISSN 0009-9104 [Article] (doi:10.1111/cei.13131)

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Human hCG and its β‐subunit (hCGβ) are tumour autocrine growth factors whose presence in the serum of cancer patients has been linked to poorer prognosis. Previous studies have shown that vaccines, which target these molecules and/or the 37 amino acid C‐terminal hCGβ peptide (hCGβCTP), induce antibody responses in a majority of human recipients. Here we explored whether the immunogenicity of vaccines containing an hCGβ mutant (hCGβR68E, designed to eliminate cross‐reactivity with luteinizing hormone) or hCGβCTP could be enhanced by coupling the immunogen to different carriers (KLH or Hsp70) using different cross‐linkers (EDC or GAD) and formulated with different adjuvants (RIBI or Montanide ISA720).

While there was little to choose between KLH and Hsp70 as carriers, their influence on the effectiveness of a vaccine containing the BAChCGβR68E mutant was less marked, presumably because being a foreign species, this mutant protein itself might provide T‐helper epitopes. The mutant provided a significantly better vaccine than the hCGβCTP peptide irrespective of the carrier used, how it was cross‐linked to the carrier or which adjuvant was used when hCG was the target. Nonetheless, for use in humans where hCG is a tolerated self‐protein, the need for a carrier is of fundamental importance. Highest antibody titres were obtained by linking the BAChCGβR68E to Hsp70 as a carrier by GAD and using RIBI as the adjuvant, which also resulted in antibodies with significantly higher affinity than those elicited by hCGβCTP peptide vaccine. This makes this mutant vaccine a promising candidate for therapeutic studies in hCGβ‐positive cancer patients.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Natural Sciences > Biomarkers for Cancer group
Item ID: 24108
Notes on copyright: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Kvirkvelia, N. , Chikadze, N. , Makinde, J. , McBride, J. D., Porakishvili, N. , Hills, F. A., Martensen, P. M., Justesen, J. , Delves, P. J., Lund, T. and Roitt, I. M. (2018), Investigation of factors influencing the immunogenicity of hCG as a potential cancer vaccine. Clin Exp Immunol, 193: 73-83. doi:10.1111/cei.13131, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
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Depositing User: Frank Hills
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 09:52
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 19:46

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