Dendritic cell (DC)-based vaccines are being developed for treatment of patients with cancer, in part because DC are potent induces of CD8+ CTL. DC MHC class I: antigenic peptide complexes that are required for CTL elicitation are most often generated by incubating DC with peptides or by transfecting (or transuding) DC with candies (or viral vectors) that encode protein Ags. The former approach is feasible when MHC class I Ags and relevant peptides are known. The latter approach may be hampered by inefficient DC transfection (transduction) and/or difficulties associated with preparation and use of viral vectors. Herein we demonstrate that a bacterial recombinant model tumor-associated Ag (OVA) that contains the HIV TAT protein transudation domain (PTD) was readily engineered and purified, efficiently transduced murine lymphocytes and DC, and was processed by proteasomes for MHC class I-restricted presentation to CTL. In addition, PTD-containing rOVA was processed and presented by DC to CD4 T cells as efficiently as native OVA or rOVA lacking the PTD. PTD-OVA-transduced DC induced CTL in vivo in a Th cell-independent fashion and vaccinated against OVA-expressing tumors. In contrast, rOVA lacking the PTD did not enter the DC MHC class I presentation pathway and DC treated with this protein did not prime OVA-specific CTL in vivo. Treatment of mice harboring clinically apparent OVA-expressing tumors with PTD-OVA-transduced DC resulted in tumor regression in some animals. This straightforward vaccination strategy may translate into DC-based treatments for patients with cancer and other serious diseases.