Fumagillin is an antiangiogenic and antineoplastic fungal natural product, and TNP-470 is one of its most potent analogs. Decades of studies revealed that TNP-470 has potent anticancer activities via destruction of neovasculature. In stark contrast, TNP-470 has been reported to suppress lymphocyte proliferation, thereby limiting its clinical potentials. In an attempt to investigate whether the similar or opposite immunomodulatory effect of TNP-470 could act on myeloid cells, we found that TNP-470 potentiates the immunogenicity of dendritic cells (DCs) toward a phenotype with T helper cell type 1 (Th1)-stimulatory features. Using DC vaccine on a murine melanoma cancer model, the TNP-470-treated DC vaccine could significantly induce tumor-specific immunogenicity and substantially enhance tumor eradication when compared with vehicle-treated DC vaccine in a prophylactic setting. Enhanced tumor-specific immunogenicity and delayed tumor progression were observed in a therapeutic setting upon the TNP-470-treated DC vaccine. Our data showed that TNP-470 potentiates Toll-like receptor signaling, including NF-kB activation, in DCs to transcriptionally activate interleukin-12 production, thus inducing a Th1-immune response. Our current study uncovers a novel immune function of TNP-470 in DCs and redefines its role as a novel class of small molecule immune adjuvant in DC-based cancer vaccine given potentiation of DC immunogenicity is a major roadblock in DC vaccine development. Our study not only provides a novel adjuvant for ex vivo-cultured patient-specific DC vaccines for cancer treatment but also discovers the distinct immunostimulatory function of TNP-470 in DCs of myeloid lineage that differs from its immunosuppressive function in lymphoid cells.
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