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

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

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1
Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California Los Angeles Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.

Abstract

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.

PMID:
11290817
DOI:
10.4049/jimmunol.166.8.5300
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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