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Immunity. 1995 Jan;2(1):45-59.

A unique tumor antigen produced by a single amino acid substitution.

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Department of Pathology, University of Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


Mice immunized against a cancer recognize antigens unique to that cancer, but the molecular structures of such antigens are unknown. We isolated CD4+ T cell clones recognizing an antigen uniquely expressed on the UV-induced tumor 6132A; some clones inhibited the growth of tumors bearing the specific antigen. A T cell hybridoma was used to purify this antigen from nuclear extracts by RP-HPLC and SDS-PAGE using T cell immunoblot assays. A partial amino acid sequence was nearly identical to a sequence in ribosomal protein L9. The cDNA sequence of L9 from 6132A PRO cells differed from the normal sequence at one nucleotide; this mutation encoded histidine instead of leucine at position 47. A synthetic peptide containing this mutation was over 1000-fold more stimulatory of T cells than was the wild-type peptide. These results indicate that this unique tumor antigen is derived from a single amino acid substitution in a cellular protein.

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