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New York City, NY, United States

Ragupathi G.,Laboratory of Tumor Vaccinology | Damani P.,Laboratory of Tumor Vaccinology | Deng K.,Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | Adams M.M.,Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | And 4 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2010

The saponin fraction QS-21 from Quillaja saponaria has been demonstrated to be a potent immunological adjuvant when mixed with keyhole limpet hemocyanin conjugate vaccines, as well as with other classes of subunit antigen vaccines. QS-21 adjuvant is composed of two isomers that include the apiose and xylose forms in a ratio of 65:35, respectively. The chemical syntheses of these two isomers in pure form have recently been disclosed. Herein we describe detailed in vivo immunological evaluations of these synthetic QS-21 isomeric constituents, employing the GD3-KLH melanoma antigen. With this vaccine construct, high antibody titers against GD3 ganglioside and KLH were elicited when GD3-KLH was co-administered with adjuvant, either as the individual separate synthetic QS-21 isomers (SQS-21-Api or SQS-21-Xyl), or as its reconstituted 65:35 isomeric mixture (SQS-21). These antibody titer levels were comparable to that elicited by vaccinations employing naturally derived QS-21 (PQS-21). Moreover, toxicities of the synthetic saponin adjuvants were also found to be comparable to that of naturally derived PQS-21. These findings demonstrate unequivocally that the adjuvant activity of QS-21 resides in these two principal isomeric forms, and not in trace contaminants within the natural extracts. This lays the foundation for future exploration of structure-function correlations to enable the discovery of novel saponins with increased potency, enhanced stability, and attenuated toxicity. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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