MPG-based nanoparticle: An efficient delivery system for enhancing the potency of DNA vaccine expressing HPV16E7.

Abstract

DNA vaccines against human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 have not been successful in clinical trials, due to the lack of an appropriate delivery system. In this study, a peptide-based gene delivery system, MPG, which forms stable non-covalent nanoparticles with nucleic acids, was used for in vitro and in vivo delivery of HPV16 E7 DNA as a model antigen. The results demonstrated that at Nitrogen/Phosphate (N/P) ratio over 10:1, this peptide can effectively condense plasmid DNA into stable nanoparticles with an average size of 180-210nm and a positive surface charge. The transfection efficiency of MPG-based nanoparticles was shown to be comparable with Polyethyleneimine (PEI). The efficient protein expression detected by western blotting and flow cytometry supports the potential of MPG-based nanoparticles as a potent delivery system in DNA vaccine formulations. Immunization with MPG/E7DNA nanoparticles at an N/P ratio of 10:1 induced a stronger Th1 cellular immune response with a predominant interferon-γ (IFN-γ) profile than those induced by E7DNA alone in a murine tumor model. These findings suggest that MPG peptide as a novel gene delivery system could have promising applications in improving HPV therapeutic vaccines.

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