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J Immunol. 2005 Feb 1;174(3):1751-9.

One NY-ESO-1-derived epitope that promiscuously binds to multiple HLA-DR and HLA-DP4 molecules and stimulates autologous CD4+ T cells from patients with NY-ESO-1-expressing melanoma.

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  • 1Department of Medicine and The Melanoma Center, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


NY-ESO-1 is expressed by a broad range of human tumors and is often recognized by Abs in the sera of cancer patients with NY-ESO-1-expressing tumors. The NY-ESO-1 gene also encodes several MHC class I- and class II-restricted tumor epitopes recognized by T lymphocytes. In this study we report one novel pan-MHC class II-restricted peptide sequence, NY-ESO-1 87-111, that is capable of binding to multiple HLA-DR and HLA-DP4 molecules, including HLA-DRB1*0101, 0401, 0701, and 1101 and HLA-DPB1*0401 and 0402 molecules. We also demonstrate that peptide NY-ESO-1 87-111 stimulates Th1-type and Th-2/Th0-type CD4(+) T cells and clones when presented in the context of these HLA-DR and HLA-DP4 molecules. Both bulk CD4(+) T cells and CD4(+) T cell clones were capable of recognizing not only peptide-pulsed APCs, but also autologous dendritic cells, either loaded with the NY-ESO-1 protein or transfected with NY-ESO-1 cDNAs. Using IFN-gamma and IL-5 ELISPOT assays and PBL from patients with NY-ESO-1-expressing tumors, we observed the existence of Th1-type circulating CD4(+) T cells recognizing peptide NY-ESO-1 87-111 in the context of HLA-DP4 molecules. Taken together, these data represent the first report of an HLA-DR- and HLA-DP-restricted epitope from a tumor Ag. They also support the relevance of cancer vaccine trials with peptides NY-ESO-1 87-111 in the large number of cancer patients with NY-ESO-1-expressing tumors.

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