“Double hit” strategy: Removal of sialic acid from the dendritic cell surface and loading with CD44+/CD24-/low cell lysate inhibits tumor growth and metastasis by targeting breast cancer stem cells

Açıkgöz E., Duzagac F., Guven U., Yigitturk G., Kose T., Oktem G.

International Immunopharmacology, vol.107, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 107
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.intimp.2022.108684
  • Journal Name: International Immunopharmacology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: Breast cancer, Cancer stem cell, Dendritic cell, Metastasis, Sialic acid, Tumor lysate
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022 Elsevier B.V.Cancer stem cells (CSCs), which represent the root cause of resistance to conventional treatments, recurrence, and metastasis, constitute the critical point of failure in cancer treatments. Targeting CSCs with dendritic cell (DC)-based vaccines have been an effective strategy, but sialic acids on the surface of DCs limit the interaction with loaded antigens. We hypothesized that removal of sialic acid moieties on immature DCs (iDCs) could significantly affect DC-CSC-antigen loading, thereby leading to DC maturation and improving immune recognition and activity. The lysate of CD44+/CD24-/low breast CSCs (BCSCs) was pulsed with sialidase-treated DCs to obtain mature dendritic cells (mDCs). The roles of cytoskeletal elements in antigen uptake and dendritic cell maturation were determined by immunofluorescence staining, flow cytometry, and cytokine measurement, respectively. To test the efficacy of the vaccine in vivo, CSCs tumor-bearing mice were immunized with iDC or mDC. Pulsing DCs with antigen increased the expression levels of actin, gelsolin, talin, WASp, and Arp2, especially in podosome-like regions. Compared with iDCs, mDCs expressed high levels of CD40, CD80, CD86 costimulatory molecules and increased IL-12 production. Vaccination with mDC: i) increased CD8+ and CD4 + T-cell numbers, ii) prevented tumor growth with anti-mitotic activity and apoptotic induction, iii) suppressed metastasis by decreasing Snail, Slug, and Twist expressions. This study reveals for the first time that sialic acid removal and loading with CSC antigens induces significant molecular, morphological, and functional changes in DCs and that this new DC identity may be considered for future combined immunotherapy strategies against breast tumors.