Forty-two wild-type and analogue peptides derived from p53, carcinoembryonic Ag, Her2/neu, and MAGE2/3 were screened for their capacity to induce CTLs, in vitro, capable of recognizing tumor target lines. All the peptides bound HLA-A*0201 and two or more additional A2 supertype alleles with an IC50 of 500 nM or less. A total of 20 of 22 wild-type and 9 of 12 single amino acid substitution analogues were found to be immunogenic in primary in vitro CTL induction assays, using normal PBMCs and GM-CSF/IL-4-induced dendritic cells. These results suggest that peripheral T cell tolerance does not prevent, in this system, induction of CTL responses against tumor-associated Ag peptides, and confirm that an HLA class I affinity of 500 nM or less is associated with CTL epitope immunogenicity. CTLs generated by 13 of 20 of the wild-type epitopes, 6 of 9 of the single, and 2 of 5 of the double substitution analogues tested recognized epitopes generated by endogenous processing of tumor-associated Ags and expressed by HLA-matched cancer cell lines. Further analysis revealed that recognition of naturally processed Ag was correlated with high HLA-A2.1-binding affinity (IC50 = 200 nM or less; p = 0.008), suggesting that high binding affinity epitopes are frequently generated and can be recognized as a result of natural Ag processing. These results have implications for the development of cancer vaccines, in particular, and for the process of epitope selection in general.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy