BioMed research international

Designation of a novel DKK1 multiepitope DNA vaccine and inhibition of bone loss in collagen-induced arthritic mice.

PMID 26075259


Dickkopf-1 (DKK1), a secretory inhibitor of canonical Wnt signaling, plays a critical role in certain bone loss diseases. Studies have shown that serum levels of DKK1 are significantly higher in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and are correlated with the severity of the disease, which indicates the possibility that bone erosion in RA may be inhibited by neutralizing the biological activity of DKK1. In this study, we selected a panel of twelve peptides using the software DNASTAR 7.1 and screened high affinity and immunogenicity epitopes in vitro and in vivo assays. Furthermore, we optimized four B cell epitopes to design a novel DKK1 multiepitope DNA vaccine and evaluated its bone protective effects in collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), a mouse model of RA. High level expression of the designed vaccine was measured in supernatant of COS7 cells. In addition, intramuscular immunization of BALB/c mice with this vaccine was also highly expressed and sufficient to induce the production of long-term IgG, which neutralized natural DKK1 in vivo. Importantly, this vaccine significantly attenuated bone erosion in CIA mice compared with positive control mice. These results provide evidence for the development of a DNA vaccine targeted against DKK1 to attenuate bone erosion.