Identification of HER2/neu-derived peptide epitopes recognized by gastric cancer-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes

Koji Kono, Yang Rongcun, Jehad Charo, Fumiko Ichihara, Esteban Celis, Alessandro Sette, Ettore Appella, Takayoshi Sekikawa, Yoshiro Matsumoto, Rolf Kiessung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


We have derived HLA-A2.1-restricted, gastric cancer-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) lines by repetitive in vitro stimulation of tumor- associated lymphocytes (TAL) with autologous tumor cells. The HER2/neu specificity of these gastric cancer-specific CTLs was demonstrated using HER2/neu-transfected cell lines and HER2/neu-expressing tumors, and with a set of HER2/neu-derived peptide epitopes. Gastric cancer-specific CTLs specifically lysed autologous and allogeneic HLA-A2.1 +, HER2/neu+ gastric cancer cells, HER2/neu-transfected CIR/A2 cell lines (HLA-A2.1+, HER2+) and HLA-A2.1-transfected SW626 tumor cell lines (HLA-A2.1+, HER2+). This recognition could be inhibited by anti-HLA-A2 antibody or by cold target HER2/neu-transfected CIR/A2 cells. Our results demonstrate that the HER2/neu- encoded HLA-A2.1-associated epitopes recognized by CTLs are presented as naturally processed peptides on gastric cancer lines. Furthermore, 3 of 19 tested HER2/neu-derived peptide epitopes [HER2(9106), HER2(9369), HER2(9689)], which all bound HLA-A2.1 with high (IC50 < 50 nM) affinity, were able to sensitize HLA-A2+ CIR/A2 cells to be recognized by the gastric cancer-specific CTLs, demonstrating the immunodominance of these epitopes. In conclusion, our findings implicate HER2/neu-derived epitopes as potential candidates for novel immunotherapy and vaccine strategies against gastric cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-208
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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