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Cancer Immun. 2013;13:4. Epub 2013 Jan 22.

Hsp72 mediates stronger antigen-dependent non-classical MHC class Ib anti-tumor responses than hsc73 in Xenopus laevis.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


The heat shock proteins (HSPs) gp96 and HSP70 mediate potent antigen-dependent anti-tumor T cell responses in both mammals and Xenopus laevis. We have shown that frogs immunized with total HSP70 generate CD8+ T cell responses against the Xenopus thymic lymphoid tumor 15/0 that expresses several non-classical MHC class Ib (class Ib) genes, but no classical MHC class Ia (class Ia). In the absence of class Ia, we hypothesized that hsp72 can prime class Ib-mediated anti-tumor unconventional CD8+ T cells in an antigen-dependent manner. To test this, we produced Xenopus recombinant HSP70 proteins (both the cognate hsc73 and the inducible hsp72) from stable 15/0 tumor transfectants. We used an in vivo cross-presentation assay to prime animals by adoptive transfer of HSP-pulsed antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and showed that both hsp72-and hsc73-Ag complexes have a similar potential to elicit class Ia-mediated T cell responses against minor histocompatibility (H) Ag skin grafts. In contrast, our in vivo cross-presentation assay revealed that hsp72 was more potent than hsc73 in generating protective immune responses against the class Ia-negative 15/0 tumors in an Ag-dependent and class Ib-mediated manner. These results suggest that hsp72 can stimulate class Ib-mediated immune responses and represents a promising candidate for immunotherapy against malignancies with downregulated class Ia expression.


Xenopus laevis; comparative immunology; heat shock proteins; tumor immunity

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