Immune Netw.  2016 Feb;16(1):33-43. 10.4110/in.2016.16.1.33.

Use of Cell-Penetrating Peptides in Dendritic Cell-Based Vaccination

  • 1Department of Life Science, College of Natural Sciences, Hanyang University, Seoul 04763, Korea.
  • 2Research Institute for Natural Sciences, Hanyang University, Seoul 04763, Korea.


Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) are short amino acids that have been widely used to deliver macromolecules such as proteins, peptides, DNA, or RNA, to control cellular behavior for therapeutic purposes. CPPs have been used to treat immunological diseases through the delivery of immune modulatory molecules in vivo. Their intracellular delivery efficiency is highly synergistic with the cellular characteristics of the dendritic cells (DCs), which actively uptake foreign antigens. DC-based vaccines are primarily generated by pulsing DCs ex vivo with various immunomodulatory antigens. CPP conjugation to antigens would increase DC uptake as well as antigen processing and presentation on both MHC class II and MHC class I molecules, leading to antigen specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses. CPP-antigen based DC vaccination is considered a promising tool for cancer immunotherapy due to the enhanced CTL response. In this review, we discuss the various applications of CPPs in immune modulation and DC vaccination, and highlight the advantages and limitations of the current CPP-based DC vaccination.


Cell-penetrating peptide; Dendritic cell; Vaccination; Immune modulation
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