Send to

Choose Destination
J Immunol. 2001 Apr 15;166(8):5300-8.

T cell responses to HLA-A*0201-restricted peptides derived from human alpha fetoprotein.

Author information

Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California Los Angeles Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


alpha fetoprotein (AFP)-derived peptide epitopes can be recognized by human T cells in the context of MHC class I. We determined the identity of AFP-derived peptides, presented in the context of HLA-A*0201, that could be recognized by the human (h) T cell repertoire. We screened 74 peptides and identified 3 new AFP epitopes, hAFP(137-145), hAFP(158-166), and hAFP(325-334), in addition to the previously reported hAFP(542-550.) Each possesses two anchor residues and stabilized HLA-A*0201 on T2 cells in a concentration-dependent class I binding assay. The peptides were stable for 2-4 h in an off-kinetics assay. Each peptide induced peptide-specific T cells in vitro from several normal HLA-A*0201 donors. Importantly, these hAFP peptide-specific T cells also were capable of recognizing HLA-A*0201(+)/AFP(+) tumor cells in both cytotoxicity assays and IFN-gamma enzyme-linked immunospot assays. The immunogenicity of each peptide was tested in vivo with HLA-A*0201/K(b)-transgenic mice. After immunization with each peptide emulsified in CFA, draining lymph node cells produced IFN-gamma on recognition of cells stably transfected with hAFP. Furthermore, AFP peptide-specific T cells could be identified in the spleens of mice immunized with dendritic cells transduced with an AFP-expressing adenovirus (AdVhAFP). Three of four AFP peptides could be identified by mass spectrometric analysis of surface peptides from an HLA-A*0201 human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell line. Thus, compelling immunological and physiochemical evidence is presented that at least four hAFP-derived epitopes are naturally processed and presented in the context of class I, are immunogenic, and represent potential targets for hepatocellular carcinoma immunotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center