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Major histocompatibility complex class II+ invariant chain negative breast cancer cells present unique peptides that activate tumor-specific T cells from breast cancer patients.

ABSTRACT: The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II-associated Invariant chain (Ii) is present in professional antigen presenting cells where it regulates peptide loading onto MHC class II molecules and the peptidome presented to CD4+ T lymphocytes. Because Ii prevents peptide loading in neutral subcellular compartments, we reasoned that Ii- cells may present peptides not presented by Ii+ cells. Based on the hypothesis that patients are tolerant to MHC II-restricted tumor peptides presented by Ii+ cells, but will not be tolerant to novel peptides presented by Ii- cells, we generated MHC II vaccines to activate cancer patients' T cells. The vaccines are Ii- tumor cells expressing syngeneic HLA-DR and the costimulatory molecule CD80. We used liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry to sequence MHC II-restricted peptides from Ii+ and Ii- MCF10 human breast cancer cells transfected with HLA-DR7 or the MHC Class II transactivator CIITA to determine if Ii- cells present novel peptides. Ii expression was induced in the HLA-DR7 transfectants by transfection of Ii, and inhibited in the CIITA transfectants by RNA interference. Peptides were analyzed and binding affinity predicted by artificial neural net analysis. HLA-DR7-restricted peptides from Ii- and Ii+ cells do not differ in size or in subcellular location of their source proteins; however, a subset of HLA-DR7-restricted peptides of Ii- cells are not presented by Ii+ cells, and are derived from source proteins not used by Ii+ cells. Peptides from Ii- cells with the highest predicted HLA-DR7 binding affinity were synthesized, and activated tumor-specific HLA-DR7+ human T cells from healthy donors and breast cancer patients, demonstrating that the MS-identified peptides are bonafide tumor antigens. These results demonstrate that Ii regulates the repertoire of tumor peptides presented by MHC class II+ breast cancer cells and identify novel immunogenic MHC II-restricted peptides that are potential therapeutic reagents for cancer patients.

SUBMITTER: Chornoguz O 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3494186 | BioStudies | 2012-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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