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Int J Cancer. 2004 Mar 1;108(6):863-70.

Inducible Hsp70 as target of anticancer immunotherapy: Identification of HLA-A*0201-restricted epitopes.

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INSERM U487, Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France.


The design of a broad application tumor vaccine requires the identification of tumor antigens expressed in a majority of tumors of various origins. We questioned whether the major stress-inducible heat shock protein Hsp70 (also known as Hsp72), a protein frequently overexpressed in human tumors of various histological origins, but not in most physiological normal tissues, constitutes a tumor antigen. We selected the p391 and p393 peptides from the sequence of the human inducible Hsp70 that had a high affinity for HLA-A*0201. These peptides were able to trigger a CTL response in vivo in HLA-A*0201-transgenic HHD mice and in vitro in HLA-A*0201+ healthy donors. p391- and p393-specific human and murine CTL recognized human tumor cells overexpressing Hsp70 in a HLA-A*0201-restricted manner. Tetramer analysis of TILs showed that these Hsp70 epitopes are targets of an immune response in many HLA-A*0201+ breast cancer patients. Hsp70 is a tumor antigen and the Hsp70-derived peptides p391 and p393 could be used to raise a cytotoxic response against tumors of various origins.

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