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Dendritic cell [DC] vaccines can induce durable clinical responses, at least in a fraction of previously treated, late stage cancer patients. Several preclinical studies suggest that shielding programmed death-ligand 1 [PD-L1] on the DC surface may be an attractive strategy to extend such clinical benefits to a larger patient population. In this study, we evaluated the use of single domain antibody [sdAb] K2, a high affinity, antagonistic, PD-L1 specific sdAb, for its ability to enhance DC mediated T-cell activation and benchmarked it against the use of the monoclonal antibodies [mAbs], MIH1, 29E.2A3 and avelumab. Similar to mAbs, sdAb K2 enhanced antigen-specific T-cell receptor signaling in PD-1 positive (PD-1pos) reporter cells activated by DCs. We further showed that the activation and function of antigen-specific CD8 positive (CD8pos) T cells, activated by DCs, was enhanced by inclusion of sdAb K2, but not mAbs. The failure of mAbs to enhance T-cell activation might be explained by their low efficacy to bind PD-L1 on DCs when compared to binding of PD-L1 on non-immune cells, whereas sdAb K2 shows high binding to PD-L1 on immune as well as non-immune cells. These data provide a rationale for the inclusion of sdAb K2 in DC-based immunotherapy strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number85
Pages (from-to)E85-E85
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019


  • human
  • PD-L1
  • dendritic cell
  • vaccination
  • single domain antibody
  • nanobody
  • cancer
  • immunotherapy
  • Human
  • Dendritic cell
  • Nanobody
  • Vaccination
  • Single domain antibody
  • Immunotherapy
  • Cancer

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