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Int Rev Immunol. 1997;14(2-3):173-92.

Immunobiology of human melanoma antigens MART-1 and gp100 and their use for immuno-gene therapy.

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Surgery Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Two genes encoding human melanoma antigens MART-1 and gp100 recognized by HLA-A2 restricted melanoma reactive CTL derived from tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) were isolated by cDNA expression cloning methods. Multiple unmutated self peptides were identified as T cell epitopes in these melanocyte/melanoma specific proteins (2 from MART-1 and 5 from gp100). Most of these melanoma epitopes contain non-dominant anchor amino acids at the primary anchor positions and have intermediate binding affinity to HLA-A2.1. Melanoma reactive CTL were efficiently induced from PBL and TIL of patients by in vitro stimulation with PBMC pulsed with these epitopes. There is a significant correlation between vitiligo development and clinical response to IL2 based immunotherapy, suggesting that autoreactive T cells are involved in melanoma regression in vivo. These results have implications for understanding the nature of tumor antigens recognized by T cells and for the development of new cancer immunotherapies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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