Image_1_Generation of an Oncolytic Herpes Simplex Virus 1 Expressing Human MelanA.pdf (139.78 kB)

Image_1_Generation of an Oncolytic Herpes Simplex Virus 1 Expressing Human MelanA.pdf

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posted on 22.01.2019 by Jan B. Boscheinen, Sabrina Thomann, David M. Knipe, Neal DeLuca, Beatrice Schuler-Thurner, Stefanie Gross, Jan Dörrie, Niels Schaft, Christian Bach, Anette Rohrhofer, Melanie Werner-Klein, Barbara Schmidt, Philipp Schuster

Robust anti-tumor immunity requires innate as well as adaptive immune responses. We have shown that plasmacytoid dendritic cells develop killer cell-like activity in melanoma cell cocultures after exposure to the infectious but replication-deficient herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) d106S. To combine this innate effect with an enhanced adaptive immune response, the gene encoding human MelanA/MART-1 was inserted into HSV-1 d106S via homologous recombination to increase direct expression of this tumor antigen. Infection of Vero cells using this recombinant virus confirmed MelanA expression by Western blotting, flow cytometry, and immunofluorescence. HSV-1 d106S-MelanA induced expression of the transgene in fibroblast and melanoma cell lines not naturally expressing MelanA. Infection of a melanoma cell line with CRISPR-Cas9-mediated knockout of MelanA confirmed de novo expression of the transgene in the viral context. Dependent on MelanA expression, infected fibroblast and melanoma cell lines induced degranulation of HLA-matched MelanA-specific CD8+ T cells, followed by killing of infected cells. To study infection of immune cells, we exposed peripheral blood mononuclear cells and in vitro-differentiated macrophages to the parental HSV-1 d106S, resulting in expression of the transgene GFP in CD11c+ cells and macrophages. These data provide evidence that the application of MelanA-encoding HSV-1 d106S could enhance adaptive immune responses and re-direct MelanA-specific CD8+ T cells to tumor lesions, which have escaped adaptive immune responses via downregulation of their tumor antigen. Hence, HSV-1 d106S-MelanA harbors the potential to induce innate immune responses in conjunction with adaptive anti-tumor responses by CD8+ T cells, which should be evaluated in further studies.