Research Papers:

Recombinant heat shock protein 70 functional peptide and alpha-fetoprotein epitope peptide vaccine elicits specific anti-tumor immunity

Xiao-Ping Wang _, Qiao-Xia Wang, Huan-Ping Lin, Bing Xu, Qian Zhao and Kun Chen

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:71274-71284. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12464

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Xiao-Ping Wang1, Qiao-Xia Wang2, Huan-Ping Lin1, Bing Xu1, Qian Zhao1 and Kun Chen1

1 Laboratory of Molecular Biology & Pathology, Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine, Xianyang, PR China

2 Department of Infectious Disease, Xi’an Central Hospital, School of Medicine, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, PR China

Correspondence to:

Xiao-Ping Wang, email:

Keywords: alpha-fetoprotein, antigen epitope, heat shock protein 70, functional peptide, immunity

Received: May 28, 2016 Accepted: September 28, 2016 Published: October 04, 2016


Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is a marker of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and serves as a target for immunotherapy. However, current treatments targeting AFP are not reproducible and do not provide complete protection against cancer. This issue may be solved by developing novel therapeutic vaccines with enhanced immunogenicity that could effectively target AFP-expressing tumors. In this study, we report construction of a therapeutic peptide vaccine by linking heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) functional peptide to the AFP epitope to obtain HSP70-P/AFP-P. This novel peptide was administered into BALB/c mice to observe the effects. Quantification of AFP-specific CD8 + T cells that secrete IFN-γ in these mice via ELISPOT revealed the synergistic effects of HSP70-P/AFP-P with increased numbers of AFP-specific CD8 + T cells. Similarly, ELISA analysis showed increased granzyme B and perforin released by natural killer cells. Moreover, in vitro cytotoxic T-lymphocyte assays and in vivo tumor preventive experiments clearly showed the higher antitumor effects of HSP70-P/AFP-P against AFP-expressing tumors. These results show that treatment of BALB/c mice with HSP70-P/AFP-P induced stronger T-cells responses and improved protective immunity. Our data suggest that HSP70-P/AFP-P may be used as a therapeutic approach in the treatment of AFP-expressing cancers.

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