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J Immunol. 2002 Jan 15;168(2):951-6.

Pre-existing immunity to tyrosinase-related protein (TRP)-2, a new TRP-2 isoform, and the NY-ESO-1 melanoma antigen in a patient with a dramatic response to immunotherapy.

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Surgery Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA


We have performed a detailed analysis of the recognition of melanoma Ags by the tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) 1790, isolated from a patient who experienced a dramatic tumor regression following immunization with peptides from the gp100, MART-1, and tyrosinase Ags. This TIL was found to recognize HLA-A2-restricted CTL epitopes in tyrosinase-related protein (TRP)-2 (clone MR7) and NY-ESO-1 (clone M8). These epitopes were the same as the previously identified nonapeptide TRP-2: 180-188, and the overlapping NY-ESO-1 peptides, obtained by using lymphocytes from in vitro stimulation. We also cloned a previously unknown TRP-2 mRNA isoform (TRP-2-6b) that contained two novel exons alternatively spliced from the sixth intron between exons 6 and 7 of TRP-2 mRNA. The isoform encoded an HLA-A2-restricted antigenic epitope recognized by TIL clone MB4. An immunologic analysis of the patient's PBMC obtained before treatment showed the presence of high reactivity against NY-ESO-1 and both TRP-2 Ags, but not the Ags used for immunization. Because immune response against these Ags was less pronounced, it is possible that NY-ESO-1, TRP-2, and TRP-2-6b may be of importance in the generation of CTL-mediated tumor destruction and may have played a role in the dramatic tumor regression seen in this patient.

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