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Blood. 2003 Feb 1;101(3):977-82. Epub 2002 Sep 19.

Induction of myeloma-specific cytotoxic T cells using dendritic cells transfected with tumor-derived RNA.

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  • 1Department of Hematology, Oncology, Immunology, and Rheumatology, University of Tübingen, Germany.


Current immunotherapeutic trials for patients with multiple myeloma (MM) focus on the idiotype (Id) as a tumor-specific antigen for active immunization. To bypass the need for the identification of shared MM-associated antigens and the characterization of possible immunogenic T-cell epitopes in a human leukocyte antigen (HLA) type-restricted manner, we focused on myeloma RNA transfection of dendritic cells (DCs). Total RNA encodes the whole antigen content of tumor cells, therefore allowing the transfected DCs to process and present the most relevant peptides and to induce a possible polyclonal cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response against different immunogenic antigens. We transfected monocyte-derived DCs with total RNA from the myeloma cell lines LP-1 and U266 by electroporation and investigated the potential of these DCs to induce myeloma-specific CTLs. We show that RNA-transfected DCs induce CTLs that lyse the LP-1 and U266 myeloma cells in an antigen-specific and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I-restricted manner, as demonstrated by cold-target inhibition and antibody-blocking studies. Interestingly, LP-1-specific CTLs showed no specificity for the idiotype. Consistent with studies demonstrating mucin 1 (MUC1) as a myeloma-associated antigen, we found MUC1 specificity of the CTLs induced with U266-derived RNA. As corresponding epitopes, we tested the described peptides M1.1 and M1.2 and found a striking fine specificity for M1.2, assuming a possible immunodominance of this peptide. This is the first report on the induction of myeloma-specific CTLs by RNA transfection of DCs.

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