Alpha-N-acetyl-neuraminide alpha-2,8-sialyltransferase 1 can support immune responses toward tumors overexpressing ganglioside D3 in mice

Jonathan M. Eby, Levi Barse, Steven W. Henning, Martijn J W E Rabelink, Jared Klarquist, Emily R. Gilbert, Adam M. Hammer, Manuel F. Fernandez, Nathan Yung, Safia Khan, Hannah G. Miller, Edward R. Kessler, Elizabeth Garrett-Mayer, Daniel F. Dilling, Rob C. Hoeben, I. Caroline Le Poole*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


An immunotherapeutic strategy is discussed supporting anti-tumor activity toward malignancies overexpressing ganglioside D3. GD3 can be targeted by NKT cells when derived moieties are presented in the context of CD1d. NKT cells can support anti-tumor responses by secreting inflammatory cytokines and through cytotoxicity toward CD1d+GD3+ tumors. To overexpress GD3, we generated expression vector DNA and an adenoviral vector encoding the enzyme responsible for generating GD3 from its ubiquitous precursor GM3. We show that DNA encoding α-N-acetyl-neuraminide α-2,8-sialyltransferase 1 (SIAT8) introduced by gene gun vaccination in vivo leads to overexpression of GD3 and delays tumor growth. Delayed tumor growth is dependent on CD1d expression by host immune cells, as shown in experiments engaging CD1d knockout mice. A trend toward greater NKT cell populations among tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes is associated with SIAT8 vaccination. A single adenoviral vaccination introduces anti-tumor activity similarly to repeated vaccination with naked DNA. Here, greater NKT tumor infiltrates were accompanied by marked overexpression of IL-17 in the tumor, later switching to IL-4. Our results suggest that a single intramuscular adenoviral vaccination introduces overexpression of GD3 by antigen-presenting cells at the injection site, recruiting NKT cells that provide an inflammatory anti-tumor environment. We propose adenoviral SIAT8 (AdV-SIAT8) can slow the growth of GD3 expressing tumors in patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-75
Number of pages13
JournalCancer Immunology, Immunotherapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Adenovirus
  • Ganglioside D3
  • Neuroendocrine tumors
  • Sialyltransferase
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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