Type I-polarized BRAF-pulsed dendritic cells induce antigen-specific CD8+ T cells that impact BRAF-mutant murine melanoma

Jessica A. Cintolo, Jashodeep Datta, Shuwen Xu, Meera Gupta, Rajasekharan Somasundaram, Brian J. Czerniecki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Existing therapies targeting the mutated BRAF oncodriver (BRAFV600E) successfully treat melanoma but are susceptible to resistance. This study assessed the potential of a dendritic cell-based BRAFV600E vaccine for the treatment of BRAFV600E-mutant melanoma. Type 1-polarized dendritic cells (DC1) pulsed with affinitymodified BRAFV600E peptide were administered to C57Bl/6 mice both before (prevention) and twice weekly after (treatment) the development of established tumor with B16 melanoma transfected to express BRAFV600E (B16V600E). The efficacy of the BRAFV600E-pulsed DC1 vaccine was corroborated in a novel transplantable BRAFV600E-mutant murine melanoma model (BRAFV600E+/; PTEN-/-; CDK2NA-/-). Three-dimensional tumor measurements and survival were determined. Induction of BRAFV600E-specific CD8+ T-cell responses after brief in-vitro sensitization was assessed by interferon-. enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and/or enzyme-linked immunospot. Mice receiving BRAFV600E-pulsed DC1 vaccines before B16V600E tumor challenge demonstrated increased tumor-doubling times (P<0.001) and improved survival (P=0.0186) compared with those that received ovalbumin (control)-pulsed DC1 vaccines. In mice bearing established B16V600E tumors (mean 32mm3), BRAF-pulsed DC1 vaccines delayed tumor growth (P<0.001) and improved survival (P=0.0008), compared with untreated mice. Likewise, in mice bearing BRAFV600E/+; PTEN-/-; CDK2NA-/- tumors, compared with controls, BRAF-DC1 vaccination recapitulated these effects by delaying tumor growth (P<0.001) and improving survival (P=0.002). Vaccination elicited specific CD8+ T-cell recognition of BRAFV600E-pulsed antigen-presenting cells (P<0.05), as well as BRAFV600E-expressing cancer cells (P<0.001), measured by interferon-. release in vitro. BRAFV600E-pulsed DC1 vaccines induce oncogene-specific CD8+ T-cell immune responses that impact tumor growth and survival in preclinical models of BRAFV600E-mutant melanoma. Exploration of BRAFV600E-targeted vaccines, in combination with BRAF-targeted therapies and checkpoint inhibitors, is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalMelanoma Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • BRAF
  • Cancer vaccines
  • Immunotherapy
  • Melanoma
  • Targeted therapies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Dermatology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Type I-polarized BRAF-pulsed dendritic cells induce antigen-specific CD8+ T cells that impact BRAF-mutant murine melanoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this