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Int J Cancer. 2007 Aug 1;121(3):595-605.

Identification of cytotoxic T-lymphocyte epitope(s) and its agonist epitope(s) of a novel target for vaccine therapy (PAGE4).

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  • 1Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD.


PAGE4 is an X chromosome-linked cancer testis antigen and is a potential new tumor-associated antigen that is overexpressed in prostate and uterine cancers. The purpose of this study was to identify a human CTL epitope and a corresponding agonist epitope of PAGE4 to determine if PAGE4 is a potential target for vaccine-mediated immunotherapy against PAGE4-expressing tumors. A class I PAGE4 epitope was identified with a high level of binding to HLA-A2. PAGE4 peptide-pulsed dendritic cells were then used to generate human PAGE4-specific T-cell lines. Further studies demonstrated the generation of an enhancer agonist epitope. Compared with the native peptide, the agonist (i) bound to HLA-A2 molecules at lower peptide concentrations, (ii) demonstrated a higher stability of the peptide HLA-A2 complex, (iii) induced higher levels of production of IFN-gamma, Granzyme B, TNF-alpha, IL-2 and lymphotactin by PAGE4-specific T-cell lines and (iv) T-cell lines generated against the agonist peptide were more efficient to lyse HLA-A2 human tumor cells expressing native PAGE4. The studies reported here are the first to describe a PAGE4 CTL epitope and its agonist epitope, and thus identify PAGE4 as a potentially useful target for vaccine-mediated therapy of prostate cancer.

Copyright (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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