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PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e56730. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056730. Epub 2013 Feb 21.

Identification of special AT-rich sequence binding protein 1 as a novel tumor antigen recognized by CD8+ T cells: implication for cancer immunotherapy.

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Center for Inflammation and Epigenetics, The Methodist Hospital Research Institute, Houston, Texas, USA.



A large number of human tumor-associated antigens that are recognized by CD8(+) T cells in a human leukocyte antigen class I (HLA-I)-restricted fashion have been identified. Special AT-rich sequence binding protein 1 (SATB1) is highly expressed in many types of human cancers as part of their neoplastic phenotype, and up-regulation of SATB1 expression is essential for tumor survival and metastasis, thus this protein may serve as a rational target for cancer vaccines.


Twelve SATB1-derived peptides were predicted by an immuno-informatics approach based on the HLA-A*02 binding motif. These peptides were examined for their ability to induce peptide-specific T cell responses in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) obtained from HLA-A*02(+) healthy donors and/or HLA-A*02(+) cancer patients. The recognition of HLA-A*02(+) SATB1-expressing cancer cells was also tested. Among the twelve SATB1-derived peptides, SATB1(565-574) frequently induced peptide-specific T cell responses in PBMCs from both healthy donors and cancer patients. Importantly, SATB1(565-574)-specific T cells recognized and killed HLA-A*02(+) SATB1(+) cancer cells in an HLA-I-restricted manner.


We have identified a novel HLA-A*02-restricted SATB1-derived peptide epitope recognized by CD8(+) T cells, which, in turn, recognizes and kills HLA-A*02(+) SATB1(+) tumor cells. The SATB1-derived epitope identified may be used as a diagnostic marker as well as an immune target for development of cancer vaccines.

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