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J Exp Med. 2004 Apr 5;199(7):885-94. Epub 2004 Mar 29.

Reprogramming of virus-specific T cells into leukemia-reactive T cells using T cell receptor gene transfer.

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Department of Hematology, Leiden University Medical Center, C2-R, P.O. Box 9600, 2300 RC, Netherlands.


T cells directed against minor histocompatibility antigens (mHags) might be responsible for eradication of hematological malignancies after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. We investigated whether transfer of T cell receptors (TCRs) directed against mHags, exclusively expressed on hematopoietic cells, could redirect virus-specific T cells toward antileukemic reactivity, without the loss of their original specificity. Generation of T cells with dual specificity may lead to survival of these TCR-transferred T cells for prolonged periods of time in vivo due to transactivation of the endogenous TCR of the tumor-reactive T cells by the latent presence of viral antigens. Furthermore, TCR transfer into restricted T cell populations, which are nonself reactive, will minimize the risk of autoimmunity. We demonstrate that cytomegalovirus (CMV)-specific T cells can be efficiently reprogrammed into leukemia-reactive T cells by transfer of TCRs directed against the mHag HA-2. HA-2-TCR-transferred CMV-specific T cells derived from human histocompatibility leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A2+ or HLA-A2- individuals exerted potent antileukemic as well as CMV reactivity, without signs of anti-HLA-A2 alloreactivity. The dual specificity of these mHag-specific, TCR-redirected virus-specific T cells opens new possibilities for the treatment of hematological malignancies of HLA-A2+ HA-2-expressing patients transplanted with HLA-A2-matched or -mismatched donors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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