Dendritic cells (DCs) are potent antigen-presenting cells that play a critical role in the activation of T cells. RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated silencing of negative immunoregulatory molecules expressed by DCs may provide a strategy to enhance the potency of DC-based vaccines and immunotherapy. Ablation of suppressor of cytokine signaling-1 (SOCS-1) in antigen-presenting cells has been shown to enhance cellular immune response in mice. Here, we used a previously reported DC-targeting approach to deliver small interfering RNA (siRNA) against SOCS-1 to human myeloid-derived DCs (MDDCs). SOCS1-silencing in MDDCs resulted in enhanced cytokine responses to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and a strong mixed-lymphocyte reaction. Moreover, only DCs treated with SOCS-1 siRNA, and not controls, elicited strong primary in vitro responses to well-characterized HLA-A*0201-restricted Melan-A/MART-1 and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) Gag epitopes in naive CD8(+) T cells from healthy donors. Finally, stimulation of CD8(+) T cells from HIV-seropositive subjects with SOCS1-silenced DCs resulted in an augmented polyfunctional cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) response, suggesting that SOCS-1 silencing can restore functionally compromised T cells in HIV infection. Collectively, these results demonstrate the feasibility of DC3-9dR-mediated manipulation of DC function to enhance DC immunogenicity for potential vaccine or immunotherapeutic applications.