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Immunity. 2005 Jan;22(1):117-29.

Cooperation of human tumor-reactive CD4+ and CD8+ T cells after redirection of their specificity by a high-affinity p53A2.1-specific TCR.

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  • 1Department of Hematology and Oncology, Johannes Gutenberg University, 55101 Mainz, Germany.


Efficient immune attack of malignant disease requires the concerted action of both CD8+ CTL and CD4+ Th cells. We used human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A*0201 (A2.1) transgenic mice, in which the mouse CD8 molecule cannot efficiently interact with the alpha3 domain of A2.1, to generate a high-affinity, CD8-independent T cell receptor (TCR) specific for a commonly expressed, tumor-associated cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) epitope derived from the human p53 tumor suppressor protein. Retroviral expression of this CD8-independent, p53-specific TCR into human T cells imparted the CD8+ T lymphocytes with broad tumor-specific CTL activity and turned CD4+ T cells into potent tumor-reactive, p53A2.1-specific Th cells. Both T cell subsets were cooperative and interacted synergistically with dendritic cell intermediates and tumor targets. The intentional redirection of both CD4+ Th cells and CD8+ CTL by the same high-affinity, CD8-independent, tumor-specific TCR could provide the basis for novel broad-spectrum cancer immunotherapeutics.

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