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Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2007 Mar;56(3):319-29. Epub 2006 Aug 12.

An altered peptide ligand for naïve cytotoxic T lymphocyte epitope of TRP-2(180-188) enhanced immunogenicity.

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Institute of Immunology PLA, Third Military Medical University, Shapingba, Chongqing 400038, China.


Tyrosinase-related protein-2 (TRP-2) is a non-mutated melanocyte differentiation antigen. The TRP-2-recognizing CD8(+) T cells can evoke immune responses to melanoma in both humans and mice. Developing epitopes with amino acid replacements in their sequences might improve the low immunogenicity against this 'self' tumor antigen. We designed altered peptide ligands (APLs) of TRP-2((180-188)) (SVYDFFVWL) with preferred primary and auxiliary HLA-A*0201 molecule anchor residue replacement. These APLs were screened for MHC-affinity by affinity prediction plots and molecular dynamics simulation, and analyzed in vitro for stability and binding-affinity to molecular HLA-A*0201. We also investigated the CTLs activities induced by TRP-2 wild-type epitope and the APLs both in vitro in human PBMCs and HLA-A2.1/K(b) transgenic mice. The results indicate that TRP-2 2M analog simultaneously had stronger binding-affinity and a lower dissociation rate to HLA-A*0201, than wild-type peptide. In addition, the analog 2M was superior to other APLs and wild-type epitope in terms of immunological efficacy ex vivo as measured by the ELISPOT assays of IFN-gamma and granzyme B. These results demonstrate that TRP-2 2M is an agonist epitope that can induce anti-tumor immunity superior to its wild-type epitope, and has potential application in peptide-mediated immunotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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