Translation of a retained intron in tyrosinase-related protein (TRP) 2 mRNA generates a new cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL)-defined and shared human melanoma antigen not expressed in normal cells of the melanocytic lineage.
ABSTRACT: We report here the identification of a new shared human melanoma antigen recognized by a human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A*68011-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocyte clone (CTL 128). The cDNA encoding this antigen is composed of a partially spliced form of the melanocyte differentiation antigen tyrosinase-related protein (TRP)-2, containing exons 1-4 with retention of intron 2 and part of intron 4 (TRP-2-INT2). The sequence coding for the antigenic epitope is located at the 5' end of intron 2 and is available for translation in the same open reading frame of the fully spliced TRP-2 mRNA. This peptide is also recognized by CTL 128 when presented by the HLA-A*3301, a member of the HLA-A3-like supertype that includes the HLA-A*68011. Quantitative reverse transcription PCR analysis carried out on total and/or cytoplasmic mRNA demonstrated that, in contrast to the fully spliced TRP-2 mRNA expressed in melanomas, normal skin melanocytes, and retina, the TRP-2-INT2 mRNA could be detected at significant levels in melanomas but not in normal cells of the melanocytic lineage. Instead, in these normal samples, both the spliced and the unspliced transcript of gp100 were expressed at high levels. Absence of endogenous TRP-2-INT2 expression in melanocytes was also confirmed by lack of recognition of HLA-A*68011-transduced, TRP-2(+) melanocyte lines by CTL 128. These results indicate that a partially spliced form of a differentiation antigen mRNA, present in the cytoplasmic compartment of neoplastic but not normal cells of the melanocytic lineage, can be the source of a melanoma-restricted T cell epitope.
Project description:A cytolytic T lymphocyte (CTL) clone that lyses many HLA-A2 melanomas was derived from a population of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes of an HLA-A2 melanoma patient. The gene coding for the antigen recognized by this CTL was identified by transfection of a cDNA library. It is the gene which has been reported to code for N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase V (GnT-V). Remarkably, the antigenic peptide recognized by the CTL is encoded by a sequence located in an intron. In contrast to the fully spliced GnT-V mRNA, which was found in a wide range of normal and tumoral tissues, the mRNA containing the intron region coding for the antigen was not found at a significant level in normal tissues. This mRNA was observed to be present in about 50% of melanomas. Our results suggest that a promoter located near the end of the relevant intron is activated in melanoma cells, resulting in the production of an mRNA coding for the antigen.
Project description:X-box binding protein 1 (XBP1), CD138 (Syndecan-1) and CS1 (SLAMF7) are highly expressed antigens in cancers including multiple myeloma (MM). Here, we identify and characterize immunogenic HLA-A24 peptides derived from these antigens for potential vaccination therapy of HLA-A24+ patients with MM. The identified immunogenic HLA-A24-specific XBP1 unspliced (UN)185-193 (I S P W I L A V L), XBP1 spliced (SP)223-231 (V Y P E G P S S L), CD138265-273 (I F A V C L V G F) and CS1240-248 (L F V L G L F L W) peptides induced antigen-specific CTL with anti-MM activity in an HLA-A24 restricted manner. Furthermore, a cocktail containing the four HLA-A24 peptides evoked MM-specific CTL with distinct phenotypic profiles (CD28, CD40L, 41BB, CD38, CD69) and anti-tumor activities, evidenced by perforin upregulation, CD107a degranulation (cytotoxicity) and Th1-type cytokines (IFN-?/IL-2/TNF-?) production in response to HLA-A24+ MM cells. The multipeptide-specific CTL included antigen-specific memory CD8+ T cells expressing both T-cell activation (CD38, CD69) and immune checkpoints antigens (CTLA, PD-1, LAG-3, TIM-3). These results provide the framework for a multipeptide vaccination therapy to induce tumor-specific CTL in HLA-A24-positive patients with myeloma and other cancers expressing these antigens.
Project description:Noncoding regions of the genome play an important role in tumorigenesis of cancer. Using expression cloning, we have identified a cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL)-defined antigen that recognizes a protein sequence derived from an open reading frame transcribed from the reverse strand in the 3' untranslated region of tRNA isopentenyltransferase 1 (TRIT1). A peptide derived from this open reading frame (ORF) sequence and predicted to bind to HLA-B57, sensitized HLA-B57(+) tumor cells to lysis by CTL793. The peptide also induced a CTL response in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of patient 793 and in two other melanoma patients. The CTL lysed peptide-pulsed HLA-B57(+) target cells and melanoma cells with endogenous antigen expression. The recognition of this antigen is not limited to HLA-B57-restricted CTLs. An HLA-A2 peptide derived from the ORF was able to induce CTLs in PBMC of 2 HLA-A2(+) patients. This study describes for the first time a CTL-defined melanoma antigen that is derived from an ORF on the reverse strand of the putative tumor suppressor gene TRIT1. This antigen has potential use as a vaccine or its ability to induce CTLs in vitro could be used as a predictive biomarker.
Project description:Activation of CD8<sup>+</sup> Tax-specific CTL is a new therapeutic concept for adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) caused by HTLV-1. A recent clinical study of the dendritic cell vaccine pulsed with Tax peptides corresponding to CTL epitopes showed promising outcomes in ATL patients possessing limited human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles. In this study, we aimed to develop another immunotherapy to activate Tax-specific CTL without HLA limitation by using patients' own HTLV-1-infected cells as a vaccine. To examine the potential of HTLV-1-infected T-cells to activate CTL via antigen presenting cells, we established a unique co-culture system. We demonstrated that mitomycin C-treated HLA-A2-negative HTLV-1-infected T-cell lines or short-term cultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) derived from ATL patients induced cross-presentation of Tax antigen in co-cultured HLA-A2-positive antigen presenting cells, resulting in activation of HLA-A2-restricted CD8<sup>+</sup> Tax-specific CTL. This effect was not inhibited by a reverse transcriptase inhibitor. IL-12 production and CD86 expression were also induced in antigen presenting cells co-cultured with HTLV-1-infected cells at various levels, which were improved by pre-treatment of the infected cells with histone deacetylase inhibitors. Furthermore, monocyte-derived dendritic cells induced from PBMC of a chronic ATL patient produced IL-12 and expressed enhanced levels of CD86 when co-cultured with autologous lymphocytes that had been isolated from the same PBMC and cultured for several days. These findings suggest that short-term cultured autologous PBMC from ATL patients could potentially serve as a vaccine to evoke Tax-specific CTL responses.
Project description:Durable responses in metastatic melanoma patients remain generally difficult to achieve. Adoptive cell therapy (ACT) with ex vivo engineered lymphocytes expressing high affinity T-cell receptors (TCR?/?) for the melanoma antigen MART-1?????/HLA-A*0201 [recognized by F5 cytotoxic T lymphocytes (F5 CTL)] has been found to benefit certain patients. However, many other patients are inherently unresponsive and/or relapse for unknown reasons. To analyze the basis for the acquired resistance and strategies to reverse it, we established F5 CTL-resistant (R) human melanoma clones from relatively sensitive parental lines under selective F5 CTL pressure. Surface MART-1?????/HLA-A*0201 in these clones was unaltered and F5 CTLs recognized and interacted with them similar to the parental lines. Nevertheless, the R clones were resistant to F5 CTL killing, exhibited hyperactivation of the NF-?B survival pathway, and overexpression of the antiapoptotic genes B cell lymphoma protein 2 (Bcl-2), Bcl-2 related gene (long alternatively spliced variant of Bcl-x gene; Bcl-(xL)), and myeloid cell differentiation 1 (Mcl-1). Sensitivity to F5 CTL-killing could be increased by pharmacological inhibition of the NF-?B pathway, Bcl-2 family members, or the proteasome, the latter of which reduced NF-?B activity and diminished antiapoptotic gene expression. Specific gene-silencing (by siRNA) confirmed the protective role of antiapoptotic factors by reversing R clone resistance. Together, our findings suggest that long-term immunotherapy may impose a selection for the development of resistant cells that are unresponsive to highly avid and specific melanoma-reactive CTLs, despite maintaining expression of functional peptide:MHC complexes, due to activation of antiapoptotic signaling pathways. Though unresponsive to CTL, our results argue that resistant cells can be resensitized to immunotherapy with coadministration of targeted inhibitors to antiapoptotic survival pathways.
Project description:Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I molecules are ligands for antigen receptors of cytotoxic T cells (CTL) and inhibitory receptors of natural killer (NK) cells. The high degree of HLA class I polymorphism allows for the selection of distinct and diverse sets of antigenic peptide ligands for presentation to CTL. The extensive polymorphisms of the HLA class I genes also result in large variations in their intracellular folding and assembly characteristics. Recent findings indicate that North American HLA-B variants differ significantly in the stabilities of their peptide-deficient forms and in the requirements for the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident factor tapasin for proper assembly. In HIV-infected individuals, the presence of tapasin-independent HLA-B allotypes links to more rapid progression to death. Further studies are important to better understand how the intrinsic structural characteristics of HLA class I folding intermediates affect immune responses mediated by CTL and NK cells.
Project description:To determine whether T-cell-receptor (TCR) usage by T cells recognizing a defined human tumor antigen in the context of the same HLA molecule is conserved, we analyzed the TCR diversity of autologous HLA-A2-restricted cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) clones derived from five patients with metastatic melanoma and specific for the common melanoma antigen Melan-A/MART-1. These clones were first identified among HLA-A2-restricted anti-melanoma CTL clones by their ability to specifically release tumor necrosis factor in response to HLA-A2.1+ COS-7 cells expressing this tumor antigen. A PCR with variable (V)-region gene subfamily-specific primers was performed on cDNA from each clone followed by DNA sequencing. TCRAV2S1 was the predominant alpha-chain V region, being transcribed in 6 out of 9 Melan-A/MART-1-specific CTL clones obtained from the five patients. beta-chain V-region usage was also restricted, with either TCRBV14 or TCRBV7 expressed by all but one clone. In addition, a conserved TCRAV2S1/TCRBV14 combination was expressed in four CTL clones from three patients. None of these V-region genes was found in a group of four HLA-A2-restricted CTL clones recognizing different antigens (e.g., tyrosinase) on the autologous tumor. TCR joining regions were heterogeneous, although conserved structural features were observed in the complementarity-determining region 3 sequences. These results indicate that a selective repertoire of TCR genes is used in anti-melanoma responses when the response is narrowed to major histocompatibility complex-restricted antigen-specific interactions.
Project description:Length variants within a CA-repeat-rich region of intron 4 of the human SP-B (pulmonary surfactant protein-B) gene are associated with several lung diseases. The hypothesis that SP-B intron 4 affects mRNA splicing was studied. SP-B minigenes containing exons 1-6 with a normal-sized intron 4 (pBi4normal) or intron 4 containing deletions (pBi4del) of 193, 211, 264 or 340 bp were expressed in CHO (Chinese hamster ovary) cells by transient transfection. Two forms of SP-B transcripts, normal and incompletely spliced, were detected. With pBi4normal, normal-sized SP-B mRNA was the predominant form and a very low amount of incompletely spliced mRNA was present, whereas with the pBi4del variants the amount of normal SP-B mRNAs was lower and the amount of incompletely spliced mRNA was relatively high. Reverse transcription-PCR results and sequencing data indicated that the incompletely spliced SP-B RNA contained intron 4 sequence, and this incompletely spliced RNA was also observed in normal lung. Lung cancer tissues with intron 4 deletions exhibited a larger amount of abnormally spliced RNAs compared with normal lung tissue or cancerous tissue with normal-sized intron 4. The results indicate that intron 4 length variants affect SP-B mRNA splicing, and that this may contribute to lung disease.
Project description:The rapid occurrence of emerging infectious diseases demonstrates an urgent need for a new preclinical experimental model that reliably replicates human immune responses. Here, a new homozygous humanized human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A11/DR1 transgenic mouse (HLA-A11(+/+)/DR01(+/+)/H-2-?2m(-/-)/IA?(-/-)) was generated by crossing HLA-A11 transgenic (Tg) mice with HLA-A2(+/+)/DR01(+/+)/H-2-?2m(-/-)/IA?(-/-) mice. The HLA-A11-restricted immune response of this mouse model was then examined. HLA-A11 Tg mice expressing a chimeric major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecule comprising the ?1, ?2, and ?2m domains of human HLA-A11 and the ?3 transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains of murine H-2D(b) were generated. The correct integration of HLA-A11 and HLA-DR1 into the genome of the HLA-A11/DR1 Tg mice (which lacked the expression of endogenous H-2-I/II molecules) was then confirmed. Immunizing mice with a recombinant HBV vaccine or a recombinant HIV-1 protein resulted in the generation of IFN-?-producing cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) and antigen-specific antibodies. The HLA-A11-restricted CTL response was directed at HLA immunodominant epitopes. These mice represent a versatile animal model for studying the immunogenicity of HLA CTL epitopes in the absence of a murine MHC response. The established animal model will also be useful for evaluating and optimizing T cell-based vaccines and for studying differences in antigen processing between mice and humans.
Project description:Human leukocyte antigen HLA-B alleles have better protective activity against HIV-1 than HLA-A alleles, possibly due to differences in HLA-restricted HIV-1-specific CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) function, but the mechanism is unknown. HIV-1 negative regulatory factor (Nef) mediates down-regulation of surface expression of class I HLA (HLA-I) and may therefore impair immune recognition by CTL. Because of sequence differences in the cytoplasmic domains, HLA-A and -B are down-regulated by Nef but HLA-C and -E are not affected. However, the latter are expressed at low levels and are not of major importance in the CTL responses to HIV-1. Here, we compared the role of the cytoplasmic domains of HLA-A and -B in Nef-mediated escape from CTL. We found HLA-B cytoplasmic domains were more resistant to Nef-mediated down-regulation than HLA-A cytoplasmic domains and demonstrated that these differences affect CTL recognition of virus-infected cells in vitro. We propose that the relative resistance to Nef-mediated down-regulation by the cytoplasmic domains of HLA-B compared with HLA-A contributes to the better control of HIV-1 infection associated with HLA-B-restricted CTLs.