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Oncol Lett. 2018 Apr;15(4):6050-6056. doi: 10.3892/ol.2018.8085. Epub 2018 Feb 16.

Identification of an HLA-A2-restricted CD147 epitope that can induce specific CTL cytotoxicity against drug resistant MCF-7/Adr cells.

Qu C1,2, Gao S1,2, Shao H1,2,3, Zhang W1,2,3, Bo H1,2,3, Lu X1,2, Chen T1,2, Kou J1,2, Wang Y1,2, Chen GS1,2, Huang S1,2,3, Shen H1,2,3.

Author information

1
Guangdong Province Key Laboratory of Biotechnology Drug Candidates, Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510006, P.R. China.
2
School of Life Sciences and Biopharmaceutics, Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510006, P.R. China.
3
Institute of Bio-Pharmaceuticals, Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510006, P.R. China.

Abstract

Cluster of differentiation (CD)147 is highly expressed in drug-resistant tumor cell lines and is involved in the formation of tumor drug resistance. Therefore, immunotherapy utilizing CD147 epitope peptides is a promising approach for the elimination of drug-resistant tumor cells. However, like most tumor-associated antigens (TAAs), CD147 belongs to the autoantigen category, and T cells that recognize high affinity, immunodominant epitopes from autoantigens are deleted though thymic negative selection. Furthermore, wild-type autoantigen peptides cannot effectively activate and expand T lymphocytes with lower affinity T cell receptors in vivo. However, mutations of TAA peptides have been demonstrated to increase the affinity of major histocompatibility complex molecules and their binding to T cell receptor molecules, leading to activation of T lymphocytes in vitro. In the present study, a high-affinity point mutation peptide, CD147126-134L2, was predicted by the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) binding prediction algorithm and its affinity was testified using a T2 binding assay. In addition, when peptide-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) were stimulated with dendritic cells loaded with the CD147126-134L2 peptide under HLA-A*02:01 restriction, interferon-γ release and cytotoxicity assays showed that peptide-specific CTLs effectively cross-recognized and lysed T2 target cells loaded either with the wild-type (CD147126-134) or mutated peptide (CD147126-134L2). Moreover, the CD147126-134L2 peptide-specific CTLs exerted strong cytotoxic activity against drug-resistant MCF-7/Adr cells, which express a high level of CD147 and are HLA-A*02:01-positive, but not against normal MCF-7 cells. Thus, this suggests that the wild-type peptide (CD147126-134) is naturally presented on HLA-A*02:01 of CD147-expressing MCF-7/Adr cells and is cross-recognized by CTLs. In conclusion, an HLA-A*02:01-restricted CD147-point mutant epitope peptide was identified that induces CTLs to efficiently lyse drug-resistant MCF-7 cells that highly express CD147. Therefore, this immunotherapeutic approach should be explored as a potential treatment for drug-resistant tumors.

KEYWORDS:

CD147; cross-recognition; drug-resistance; epitope; immunotherapy; tumor-associated antigen

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