HSP70iQ435A to subdue autoimmunity and support anti-tumor responses

Dinesh Jaishankar*, Patrick Gerard Cormac Cosgrove, Prathyaya Ramesh, James Mahon, Rohan Shivde, Emilia R. Dellacecca, Shiayin F. Yang, Jeffrey Mosenson, José A. Guevara-Patiño, I. Caroline Le Poole

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Developing immunosuppressive therapies for autoimmune diseases comes with a caveat that immunosuppression may promote the risk of developing other conditions or diseases. We have previously shown that biolistic delivery of an expression construct encoding inducible HSP70 (HSP70i) with one amino acid modification in the dendritic cell (DC) activating moiety 435–445 (HSP70iQ435A) to mouse skin resulted in significant immunosuppressive activity of autoimmune vitiligo, associated with fewer tissue infiltrating T cells. To prepare HSP70iQ435A as a potential therapeutic for autoimmune vitiligo, in this study we evaluated whether and how biolistic delivery of HSP70iQ435A in mice affects anti-tumor responses. We found that HSP70iQ435A in fact supports anti-tumor responses in melanoma-challenged C57BL/6 mice. Biolistic delivery of the HSP70iQ435A-encoding construct to mice elicited significant anti-HSP70 titers, and anti-HSP70 IgG and IgM antibodies recognize surface-expressed and cytoplasmic HSP70i in human and mouse melanoma cells. A peptide scan revealed that the anti-HSP70 antibodies recognize a specific C-terminal motif within the HSP70i protein. The antibodies elicited surface CD107A expression among mouse NK cells, representative of antibody-mediated cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), supporting the concept, that HSP70iQ435A-encoding DNA elicits a humoral response to the stress protein expressed selectively on the surface of melanoma cells. Thus, besides limiting autoimmunity and inflammation, HSP70iQ435A elicits humoral responses that limit tumor growth and may be used in conjunction with immune checkpoint inhibitors to not only control tumor but to also limit adverse events following tumor immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)845-857
Number of pages13
JournalCell Stress and Chaperones
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • ADCC
  • Anti-tumor
  • Dendritic cell
  • Gene gun
  • Melanoma
  • Vitiligo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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