Vaccine therapy for prostate and breast cancer may have potential for treating these major causes of death in males and females, respectively. Critical to the development of tumor-specific vaccines is finding and characterizing novel antigens to be recognized by CD8+ T cells. To define new CD8+ T-cell tumor antigens, we determined two wild-type HLA-A2 epitopes from a recently found tumor-associated protein, TARP (T-cell receptor γ alternate reading frame protein), expressed in prostate and breast cancer cells. We were also able to engineer epitope-enhanced peptides by sequence modifications. Both wild-type and enhanced epitopes induced peptide-specific CD8+ T-cell responses in A2Kb transgenic mice. In vitro restimulation of human CD8+ T cells from a prostate cancer patient resulted in CD8+ T cells reactive to the peptide epitopes that could lyse HLA-A2+ human breast cancer cells (MCF-7) expressing TARP. Epitope-specific human CD8+ T cells were also enumerated in patients' peripheral blood by tetramer staining. Our data suggest that HLA-A2-binding TARP epitopes and enhanced epitopes discovered in this study could be incorporated into a potential vaccine for both breast and prostate cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research