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J Immunol. 1991 Mar 1;146(5):1692-9.

MHC-restricted recognition of autologous melanoma by tumor-specific cytotoxic T cells. Evidence for restriction by a dominant HLA-A allele.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710.


Autologous melanoma-specific CTL recognize a common tumor-associated Ag (TAA) in the context of HLA class I antigens. We have demonstrated that HLA-A2 can be a restricting Ag and, in T cell lines homozygous for HLA-A2, that CTL can be generated by stimulation with HLA-A2 allogeneic melanomas. In the current study, we have investigated T cell lines from patients who are heterozygous at HLA-A region locus, to determine the relative importance of each A-region allele in this MHC-restricted recognition of tumor. We have shown that HLA-A1 can be a restricting Ag, and that allogeneic melanomas expressing HLA-A1 can substitute for the autologous tumor in the generation of HLA-A1-restricted CTL. However, when T cell lines express both HLA-A1 and HLA-A2, the HLA-A2 allele governed restriction of the melanoma TAA. Three autologous-stimulated HLA-A1, A2 CTL lines all demonstrated restriction by the HLA-A2 allele, when examined in cytotoxicity assays, cold-competition assays, and proliferation assays. There was no evidence of restriction by the second HLA-allele, HLA-A1. Although the autologous-stimulated CTL use a single A-region allele for tumor recognition, the autologous HLA-A1, A2 tumors are lysed by both HLA-A1-restricted and HLA-A2-restricted CTL. The dominance of restricting alleles was further demonstrated when HLA-matched allogeneic melanomas were used as the stimulating tumor to generate tumor-specific CTL. Stimulation of the heterozygous (HLA-A1, A2) lymphocytes with HLA-A2-matched allogeneic melanomas resulted in CTL specific for the autologous tumor, and restricted by the HLA-A2 Ag. However, stimulation with an HLA-A1-matched allogeneic melanoma failed to induce tumor-specific CTL restricted by the HLA-A1 Ag. The data suggest there is a dominance of HLA-A region Ag at the level of the T cell, such that only one is restricting in the recognition of the autologous melanoma. At the level of the tumor, however, the TAA is expressed in the context of both HLA-A region alleles. We can generate specific CTL from lymph node cells or PBL and HLA-A region matched allogeneic melanomas; however, because most patients are heterozygous at the HLA-A region locus, an understanding of the dominant restricting alleles must be obtained so that an appropriately matched allogeneic melanoma can be selected.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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