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      Lactobacillus plantarum displaying CCL3 chemokine in fusion with HIV-1 Gag derived antigen causes increased recruitment of T cells

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          Chemokines are attractive candidates for vaccine adjuvants due to their ability to recruit the immune cells. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB)-based delivery vehicles have potential to be used as a cheap and safe option for vaccination. Chemokine produced on the surface of LAB may potentially enhance the immune response to an antigen and this approach can be considered in development of future mucosal vaccines.


          We have constructed strains of Lactobacillus plantarum displaying a chemokine on their surface. L. plantarum was genetically engineered to express and anchor to the surface a protein called CCL3Gag. CCL3Gag is a fusion protein comprising of truncated HIV-1 Gag antigen and the murine chemokine CCL3, also known as MIP-1α. Various surface anchoring strategies were explored: (1) a lipobox-based covalent membrane anchor, (2) sortase-mediated covalent cell wall anchoring, (3) LysM-based non-covalent cell wall anchoring, and (4) an N-terminal signal peptide-based transmembrane anchor. Protein production and correct localization were confirmed using Western blotting, flow cytometry and immunofluorescence microscopy. Using a chemotaxis assay, we demonstrated that CCL3Gag-producing L. plantarum strains are able to recruit immune cells in vitro.


          The results show the ability of engineered L. plantarum to produce a functional chemotactic protein immobilized on the bacterial surface. We observed that the activity of surface-displayed CCL3Gag differed depending on the type of anchor used. The chemokine which is a part of the bacteria-based vaccine may increase the recruitment of immune cells and, thereby, enhance the reaction of the immune system to the vaccine.

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          The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12934-015-0360-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Most cited references 50

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          Chemokines enhance immunity by guiding naive CD8+ T cells to sites of CD4+ T cell-dendritic cell interaction.

          CD8+ T cells have a crucial role in resistance to pathogens and can kill malignant cells; however, some critical functions of these lymphocytes depend on helper activity provided by a distinct population of CD4+ T cells. Cooperation between these lymphocyte subsets involves recognition of antigens co-presented by the same dendritic cell, but the frequencies of such antigen-bearing cells early in an infection and of the relevant naive T cells are both low. This suggests that an active mechanism facilitates the necessary cell-cell associations. Here we demonstrate that after immunization but before antigen recognition, naive CD8+ T cells in immunogen-draining lymph nodes upregulate the chemokine receptor CCR5, permitting these cells to be attracted to sites of antigen-specific dendritic cell-CD4+ T cell interaction where the cognate chemokines CCL3 and CCL4 (also known as MIP-1alpha and MIP-1beta) are produced. Interference with this actively guided recruitment markedly reduces the ability of CD4+ T cells to promote memory CD8+ T-cell generation, indicating that an orchestrated series of differentiation events drives nonrandom cell-cell interactions within lymph nodes, optimizing CD8+ T-cell immune responses involving the few antigen-specific precursors present in the naive repertoire.
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            International union of pharmacology. XXII. Nomenclature for chemokine receptors.

            Chemokine receptors comprise a large family of seven transmembrane domain G protein-coupled receptors differentially expressed in diverse cell types. Biological activities have been most clearly defined in leukocytes, where chemokines coordinate development, differentiation, anatomic distribution, trafficking, and effector functions and thereby regulate innate and adaptive immune responses. Pharmacological analysis of chemokine receptors is at an early stage of development. Disease indications have been established in human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome and in Plasmodium vivax malaria, due to exploitation of CCR5 and Duffy, respectively, by the pathogen for cell entry. Additional indications are emerging among inflammatory and immunologically mediated diseases, but selection of targets in this area still remains somewhat speculative. Small molecule antagonists with nanomolar affinity have been reported for 7 of the 18 known chemokine receptors but have not yet been studied in clinical trials. Virally encoded chemokine receptors, as well as chemokine agonists and antagonists, and chemokine scavengers have been identified in medically important poxviruses and herpesviruses, again underscoring the importance of the chemokine system in microbial pathogenesis and possibly identifying specific strategies for modulating chemokine action therapeutically. The purpose of this review is to update current concepts of the biology and pharmacology of the chemokine system, to summarize key information about each chemokine receptor, and to describe a widely accepted receptor nomenclature system, ratified by the International Union of Pharmacology, that is facilitating clear communication in this area.
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              Tetanus toxoid and CCL3 improve DC vaccines in mice and glioblastoma patients

              Upon stimulation, dendritic cells (DCs) mature and migrate to draining lymph nodes to induce immune responses 1 . As such, autologous DCs generated ex vivo have been pulsed with tumor antigens and injected back into patients as immunotherapy. While DC vaccines have shown limited promise in the treatment of patients with advanced cancers 2–4 including glioblastoma (GBM), 5–7 the factors dictating DC vaccine efficacy remain poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that pre-conditioning the vaccine site with a potent recall antigen such as tetanus/diphtheria (Td) toxoid can significantly improve the lymph node homing and efficacy of tumor antigen-specific DCs. To assess the impact of vaccine site pre-conditioning in humans, we randomized patients with GBM to pre-conditioning with mature DCs 8 or Td unilaterally before bilateral vaccination with Cytomegalovirus pp65 RNA-pulsed DCs. We and other laboratories have shown that pp65 is expressed in > 90% of GBM specimens but not surrounding normal brain 9–12 , providing an unparalleled opportunity to subvert this viral protein as a tumor-specific target. Patients given Td had enhanced DC migration bilaterally and significantly improved survival. In mice, Td pre-conditioning also enhanced bilateral DC migration and suppressed tumor growth in a manner dependent on the chemokine CCL3. Our clinical studies and corroborating investigations in mice suggest that pre-conditioning with a potent recall antigen may represent a viable strategy to improve antitumor immunotherapy.

                Author and article information

                Microb Cell Fact
                Microb. Cell Fact
                Microbial Cell Factories
                BioMed Central (London )
                22 October 2015
                22 October 2015
                : 14
                [ ]Department of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), P.O. Box 5003, 1432 Ås, Norway
                [ ]Department of Pathology and Centre for Immune Regulation, Oslo University Hospital-Rikshospitalet, and University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
                © Kuczkowska et al. 2015

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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                chemokine, ccl3, mip-1α, chemotaxis, hiv, lactic acid bacteria, lactobacillus, mucosal vaccine


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