Human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16) infection is associated with a majority of cervical cancers and a significant proportion of head and neck cancers. Here, we describe a novel-engineered DNA vaccine that encodes a HPV-16 consensus E6/E7 fusion gene (pConE6E7) with the goal of increasing its antitumor cellular immunity. Compared to an early stage HPV-16 E7 DNA vaccine (pE7), this construct was up to five times more potent in driving E7-specific cellular immune responses. Prophylactic administration of this vaccine resulted in 100% protection against HPV E6 and E7-expressing tumors. Therapeutic studies indicated that vaccination with pConE6E7 prevented or delayed the growth of tumors. Moreover, immunization with pConE6E7 could also partially overcome immune tolerance in E6/E7 transgenic mice. Such DNA immunogens are interesting candidates for further study to investigate mechanisms of tumor immune rejection in vivo.
- DNA vaccine
- E6 and E7 protein