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Chirality of TLR-2 ligand Pam3CysSK4 in fully synthetic peptide conjugates critically influences the induction of specific CD8+ T-cells.

journal article

Khan S, Weterings JJ, Britten CM, de Jong AR, Graafland D, Melief CJ, van der Burg SH, van der Marel G, Overkleeft HS, Filippov DV, Ossendorp F.
Mol Immunol. 2009 Mar;46(6):1084-91. Epub 2008 Nov 22.

Covalent conjugation of synthetic Toll-like receptor ligands (TLR-L) to synthetic antigenic peptides provides well-defined constructs that have significantly improved capacity to induce efficient priming of CD8(+) T lymphocytes in vivo. We have recently explored the cellular mechanisms underlying the efficient induction of a CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocyte response by such synthetic model vaccines [Khan, S., Bijker, M.S., Weterings, J.J., Tanke, H.J., Adema, G.J., van, H.T., Drijfhout, J.W., Melief, C.J., Overkleeft, H.S., van der Marel, G.A., Filippov, D.V., van der Burg, S.H., Ossendorp, F., 2007. Distinct uptake mechanisms but similar intracellular processing of two different toll-like receptor ligand-peptide conjugates in dendritic cells. J. Biol. Chem. 282, 21145-21159.]. In the current study we have investigated the behaviour of two diastereomers of the TLR-2 ligand Pam(3)CSK(4) (Pam) derivatives, namely the R- and S-epimers at C-2 of the glycerol moiety. Other studies have shown that the Pam(3)Cys based lipopeptides of R-configuration (Pam(R)) in the glycerol moiety enhanced macrophage and B-cell activation compared to those with S-configuration (Pam(S)). Here we report that Pam(R)-conjugates lead to better activation of dendritic cells than the Pam(S)-conjugates as judged by higher IL-12 secretion, upregulation of relevant markers for dendritic cell maturation. In contrast both epimers were internalized equally efficient in a clathrin-dependent manner indicating no qualitative difference in the uptake of the two stereoisomeric Pam-conjugates. We conclude that the enhanced DC activation is due to enhanced TLR-2 triggering by the Pam(R)-conjugate in contrast to the Pam(S)-conjugate. Importantly, induction of specific CD8(+) T-cells was significantly higher in mice injected with the Pam(R)-conjugates compared to mice injected with the Pam(S)-conjugate. In summary we show that the favourable effects of the Pam(R)-configuration of TLR-2 ligand can be attributed to direct effects on dendritic cells resulting in enhancement of CD8(+) T-cell responses.


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