The surface dominant antigen MUC1 is required for colorectal cancer stem cell vaccine to exert anti-tumor efficacy

Colorectal Cancer

Biomed Pharmacother. 2020 Oct 2;132:110804. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2020.110804. Online ahead of print.


Colorectal cancer (CRC), initiated and maintained by colorectal cancer stem cells (CCSCs), ranks the third most common cancers and has drawn wide attentions worldwide. Therefore, targeting clearance of CCSCs has become an important strategy of CRC immunotherapy. Mucin1 (MUC1) is a tumor-associated cell surface antigen of CRC, but its role in CCSC vaccine remains unclear. In the study, we demonstrated that MUC1 may be a dominant antigen to exert antitumor immunity in CCSC vaccine. First, CCSCs

were enriched from CT26 cell line via a serum-free sphere formation approach, and were identified by detecting expression of CD133, ALDH, and ALCAM. Then, the isolated CCSCs were frozen for 30 min and thawed for 30 min to prepare the cell lysate. The specific anti-MUC1 antibody was added to the cell lysate to neutralize the dominant antigen MUC1. Finally, mice were subcutaneously immunized with the cell lysate, followed by a challenge with CT26 cells at one week after final vaccination. Attractively, CCSC vaccine significantly activated the NK cells, T cells, and B cells, resulting in inhibiting the tumor growth via a target killing of CCSCs as evidenced by a decrease of CD133+cells in tumor compared to CCSC vaccine with specific anti-MUC1 antibody. In addition, CCSC vaccine reduced expression of inflammatory factors in vaccinated mice. As expected, neutralizing antibody against MUC1 significantly impaired the antitumor efficacy of CCSC vaccine. Overall, CCSC vaccine could serve as a potent vaccine for CRC immunotherapy. The surface dominant antigen MUC1 may play a key role in regulating immunogenicity of CCSCs.