Molecular and chemical neuropathology

, Volume 21, Issue 2–3, pp 299–309 | Cite as

Ganglioside conjugate vaccines

Immunotherapy against tumors of neuroectodermal origin
  • Friedhelm Helling
  • Philip O. Livingston


Gangliosides are known to be suitable targets for immune attack against cancer but they are poorly immunogenic. Active immunization with ganglioside/BCG or liposome vaccines results in moderate titer IgM antibody responses of short duration. Covalent attachment of poorly immunogenic antigens to immunogenic proteins is a potent method for inducing an IgG antibody response. GD3, a dominant ganglioside on malignant melanoma, was modified by ozone cleavage of the double bond in the ceramide backbone, an aldehyde group introduced and used for coupling via reductive amination to ε-aminolysyl groups of proteins. Utilizing this method, GD3 conjugates were constructed with:
  1. 1.

    Synthetic multiple antigenic peptide (MAP) constructs expressing 4 repeats of a malaria T-cell epitope;

  2. 2.

    Outer membrane proteins (OMP) ofNeisseria meningitidis;

  3. 3.

    Cationized bovine serum albumin;

  4. 4.

    Keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH); and

  5. 5.



In addition, conjugates containing only the GD3 oligosaccharide were synthesized. All constructs were tested for antigenicity using anti-GD3 antibody R24, and for immunogenicity in mice. Serum antibody levels were analyzed by ELISA and immune thin-layer chromatography. Results in the mouse show a significant improvement in the IgM antibody response and a consistent IgG response against GD3 using GD3-KLH conjugates. Other carrier proteins and the use of GD3 oligosaccharide were significantly less effective. If improved immunogenicity and clinical benefit with conjugate vaccines can be demonstrated in patients with melanoma, this approach may be applicable to patients with other tumors of neuroectodermal origin, including gliomas, glioblastomas, astrocytomas, and neuroblastomas.

Index Entries

Gangliosides cancer vaccines immunotherapy glycoconjugates neuroectodermal tumors melanomas gliomas glioblastomas astrocytomas neuroblastomas 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Friedhelm Helling
    • 1
  • Philip O. Livingston
    • 1
  1. 1.Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterNew York

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