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Clin Cancer Res. 2004 Oct 1;10(19):6544-50.

The spermatozoa protein, SLLP1, is a novel cancer-testis antigen in hematologic malignancies.

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Division of Hematology and Oncology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Amarillo, Texas 79106, USA.



Neoplastic cells often aberrantly express normal testicular proteins. Because these proteins have a very restricted normal tissue expression, they may be suitable targets for immunotherapy. SLLP1 is an intra-acrosomal, nonbacteriolytic, c lysozyme-like protein recently isolated from human spermatozoa. In this study, we determined whether SLLP1 is a novel cancer-testis antigen in hematologic malignancies


SLLP1 expression in hematologic tumor cells and normal tissues was determined using a combination of reverse transcription-PCR, real-time PCR, and Western blot analysis. The presence of antibodies against SLLP1 was determined by ELISA analysis.


SLLP1 was aberrantly expressed in the tumor cells from 2 of 9 acute myeloid leukemia, 3 of 11 chronic lymphocytic leukemia, 4 of 14 chronic myeloid leukemia, and 6 of 17 multiple myeloma. In contrast, they were not detected in corresponding specimens from any healthy donors. SLLP1 exhibited a very restricted normal tissue expression, being found only in testis/spermatozoa. SLLP1 was expressed in some tumor cells at a level of >25%. High titer IgG antibodies against SLLP1 were also detected in the sera of some of these patients.


SLLP1 is a novel cancer-testis antigen in hematologic malignancies and is capable of eliciting B-cell immune responses in vivo in cancer-bearing individuals. Our results, therefore, support SLLP1 as a protein target appropriate for additional in vitro study to define its suitability for immunotherapy.

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