Clec4a has been reported to be an immune suppressor of dendritic cells (DCs), but its potential role in cancer therapy remains to be elucidated. The present study investigated whether downregulating the expression of Clec4a via skin delivery of small hairpin RNA (shRNA) using a gene gun produced stronger host immunity and inhibited tumor progression in animal models. Administration of Clec4a2 shRNA delayed tumor growth in both mouse bladder and lung tumor-bearing mouse models. The result was further confirmed with a compensation experiment showing that the antitumor effects induced by Clec4a2 shRNA were restored by co-injection of a plasmid expressing exogenous Clec4a2. Increased numbers of infiltrating CD4+ and CD8+ T cells at tumor sites were observed in mice treated with Clec4a2 shRNA. Splenocytes from mice with Clec4a2 shRNA administration exhibited stronger cytotoxic activity compared with splenocytes from control mice. CD8-deletion in vivo abrogated the antitumor effects elicited by Clec4a2 shRNA. Additionally, shClec4a enhanced the antitumor effects of the Neu DNA vaccine in the MBT-2 tumor model. In summary, the findings provide evidence that silencing of Clec4a2 expression via skin delivery of shRNA produces an effective antitumor response and that Clec4a2 shRNA may have therapeutic potential as an adjuvant for cancer immunotherapy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Drug Discovery