Tumor immune escape has been a major problem for developing effective immunotherapy. The human leukocyte antigen G (HLA-G) is a non-classical MHC class I molecule whose primary function is to protect the fetus from the mother's immune system. While HLA-G is hardly found in normal adult tissues, various tumor cells are known to express it, aiding their escape from the immune system. Thus, HLA-G is an attractive immunotherapy target. CD4+ helper T lymphocytes (HTLs) play an important role in the immune reaction against tumors by assisting in the generation and persistence of CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) or by displaying direct antitumor effects. We report here that HLA-G expression in breast cancer significantly correlates with a poor prognosis. Also, we describe that the MHC class II-binding peptide HLA-G26–40 was effective in eliciting tumor-reactive CD4+ T cell responses. Furthermore, treatment with the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine increased HLA-G expression in tumors and subsequently enhanced recognition by HLA-G26–40-specific HTLs. These findings predict that a combination immunotherapy targeting HLA-G together with a DNA methyltransferase inhibitor could be useful against some cancers.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - Jun 2 2016|
- Human leukocyte antigen G
- immune escape
- peptide vaccine
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy