Scientific publications

Critical Role of Autophagy in the Processing of Adenovirus Capsid-Incorporated Cancer-Specific Antigens

Apr 19, 2016 | Magazine: PLoS One

Sarah R Klein  1   2 , Hong Jiang  1 , Mohammad B Hossain  1 , Xuejun Fan  1 , Joy Gumin  3 , Andrew Dong  1 , Marta M Alonso  4 , Candelaria Gomez-Manzano  1   2   5 , Juan Fueyo  1   2   3


Adenoviruses are highly immunogenic and are being examined as potential vectors for immunotherapy. Infection by oncolytic adenovirus is followed by massive autophagy in cancer cells.

Here, we hypothesize that autophagy regulates the processing of adenoviral proteins for antigen presentation. To test this hypothesis, we first examined the presentation of viral antigens by infected cells using an antibody cocktail of viral capsid proteins.

We found that viral antigens were processed by JNK-mediated autophagy, and that autophagy was required for their presentation. Consistent with these results, splenocytes isolated from virus-immunized mice were activated by infected cells in an MHC II-dependent manner.

We then hypothesize that this mechanism can be utilized to generate an efficient cancer vaccine. To this end, we constructed an oncolytic virus encompassing an EGFRvIII cancer-specific epitope in the adenoviral fiber. Infection of cancer cells with this fiber-modified adenovirus resulted in recognition of infected cancer cells by a specific anti-EGFRvIII antibody. However, inhibition of autophagy drastically decreased the capability of the specific antibody to detect the cancer-related epitope in infected cells.

Our data suggest that combination of adenoviruses with autophagy inducers may enhance the processing and presentation of cancer-specific antigens incorporated into capsid proteins.

CITA DEL ARTÍCULO  PLoS One. 2016 Apr 19;11(4):e0153814.  doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153814