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Clin Cancer Res. 2001 Mar;7(3 Suppl):761s-765s.

WT1-specific serum antibodies in patients with leukemia.

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1
Corixa Corporation, Seattle, Washington 98104, USA.

Abstract

WT1 is an oncogenic protein expressed by the Wilms' tumor gene and overexpressed in the majority of acute myelogenous leukemias (AMLs) and chronic myelogenous leukemias (CMLs). The current study analyzed the sera of patients with AML and CML for the presence of antibodies to full-length and truncated WT1 proteins. Sixteen of 63 patients (25%) with AML had serum antibodies reactive with WT1/full-length protein. Serum antibodies from all 16 were also reactive with WT1/NH2-terminal protein. By marked contrast, only 2 had reactivity to WT1/COOH-terminal protein. Thus, the level of immunological tolerance to the COOH terminus may be higher than to the NH2 terminus. The WT1/COOH-terminal protein contains four zinc finger domains with homology to other self-proteins. By implication, these homologies may be related to the increased immunological tolerance. Results in patients with CML were similar with antibodies reactive to WT1/full-length protein detectable in serum of 15 of 81 patients (19%). Antibodies reactive with WT1/NH2-terminal protein were present in the serum of all 15, whereas antibodies reactive with WT1/COOH-terminal protein were present in only 3. By contrast to results in leukemia patients, antibodies reactive with WT1/full-length protein were detected in only 2 of 96 normal individuals. The greater incidence of antibody in leukemia patients provides strong evidence that immunization to the WT1 protein occurred as a result of patients bearing malignancy that expresses WT1. These data provide further stimulus to test therapeutic vaccines directed against WT1 with increased expectation that the vaccines will be able to elicit and/or boost an immune response to WT1.

PMID:
11300470
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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