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Vaccine strategies that target dendritic cells to elicit potent cellular immunity are the subject of intense research. Here we report that the genetically engineered yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, expressing the full-length tumour-associated antigen NY-ESO-1, is a versatile host for protein production. Exposing dendritic cells (DCs) to soluble NY-ESO-1 protein linked to the yeast a-agglutinin 2 protein (Aga2p) protein resulted in protein uptake, processing and MHC class I cross-presentation of NY-ESO-1-derived peptides. The process of antigen uptake and cross-presentation was dependent on the glycosylation pattern of NY-ESO-1-Aga2p protein and the presence of accessible mannose receptors. In addition, NY-ESO-1-Aga2p protein uptake by dendritic cells resulted in recognition by HLA-DP4 NY-ESO-1-specific CD4(+) T cells, indicating MHC class II presentation. Finally, vaccination of mice with yeast-derived NY-ESO-1-Aga2p protein led to an enhanced humoral and cellular immune response, when compared to the bacterially expressed NY-ESO-1 protein. Together, these data demonstrate that yeast-derived full-length NY-ESO-1-Aga2p protein is processed and presented efficiently by MHC class I and II complexes and warrants clinical trials to determine the potential value of S. cerevisiae as a host for cancer vaccine development.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





919 - 931


Animals, Antibodies, Antigen Presentation, Antigens, Neoplasm, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cancer Vaccines, Cell Adhesion Molecules, Cells, Cultured, Dendritic Cells, Female, Glycosylation, Humans, Membrane Proteins, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Recombinant Fusion Proteins, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins