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Cancer Res. 2006 Apr 15;66(8):4434-42.

Characterization of a novel human tumor antigen interleukin-13 receptor alpha2 chain.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Tumor Biology, Division of Cellular and Gene Therapies, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.


The interleukin (IL)-13 receptor alpha2 (IL-13Ralpha2) chain is a primary binding and internalization subunit for a Th2-derived immune regulatory cytokine, IL-13. Although extremely high levels of IL-13Ralpha2 chain are expressed on a variety of human tumor cells and specimens, its precise role in tumor immunology has not been defined. To investigate the role of IL-13Ralpha2 in tumor immunity, we used D5 melanoma cells stably transfected with the human IL-13Ralpha2 gene (D5alpha2) to assess the effect of an IL-13Ralpha2 DNA vaccine in immunocompetent animals. Prophylactic immunization of mice with the IL-13Ralpha2 DNA vaccine resulted in protection against D5alpha2 tumor development. In vivo depletion experiments in C57BL/6 and RAG-2 knockout mice indicated that both T and B cells, but not natural killer cells, were required for the tumor protection. In addition, antibody induced by the IL-13Ralpha2 DNA vaccine showed a modest but significant inhibitory effect on D5alpha2 cells in vitro, suggesting that the antibody is biologically functional. The IL-13Ralpha2 DNA vaccine also exhibited antitumor activity against established D5alpha2 tumors in mice. Histologic analysis of regressing tumors identified infiltration of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and the expression of CXCL9 chemokine in tumors. Taken together, our results identify the human IL-13Ralpha2 chain as a novel tumor rejection antigen.

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