Intradermal DNA electroporation induces survivin-specific CTLs, suppresses angiogenesis and confers protection against mouse melanoma

Alvaro Lladser, Karl Ljungberg, Helena Tufvesson, Marcella Tazzari, Anna Karin Roos, Andrew F G Quest, Rolf Kiessling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Survivin is an intracellular tumor-associated antigen that is broadly expressed in a large variety of tumors and also in tumor associated endothelial cells but mostly absent in differentiated tissues. Naked DNA vaccines targeting survivin have been shown to induce T cell as well as humoral immune responses in mice. However, the lack of epitope-specific CD8+ T cell detection and modest tumor protection observed highlight the need for further improvements to develop effective survivin DNA vaccination approaches. Here, the efficacy of a human survivin DNA vaccine delivered by intradermal electroporation (EP) was tested. The CD8+ T cell epitope surv20-28 restricted to H-2 Db was identified based on in-silico epitope prediction algorithms and binding to MHC class I molecules. Intradermal DNA EP of mice with a human survivin encoding plasmid generated CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses cross-reactive with the mouse epitope surv20-28, as determined by intracellular IFN-γ staining, suggesting that self-tolerance has been broken. Survivin-specific CTLs displayed an activated effector phenotype as determined by CD44 and CD107 up-regulation. Vaccinated mice displayed specific cytotoxic activity against B16 and peptide-pulsed RMA-S cells in vitro as well as against surv20-28 peptide-pulsed target cells in vivo. Importantly, intradermal EP with a survivin DNA vaccine suppressed angiogenesis in vivo and elicited protection against highly aggressive syngeneic B16 melanoma tumor challenge. We conclude that intradermal EP is an attractive method for delivering a survivin DNA vaccine that should be explored also in clinical studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-92
Number of pages12
JournalCancer Immunology, Immunotherapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


  • Angiogenesis
  • CTL
  • DNA vaccine
  • Intradermal electroporation
  • Survivin
  • Tumor immunology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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