Purpose: T cell - based immunotherapy via the in vitro or in vivo expansion of prostate tumor-associated antigen (TAA) - specific T lymphocytes is one of the most promising therapeutic approaches to treat prostate cancer. T-cell alternate reading frame protein (TARP) is a mitochondrial protein that is specifically expressed in prostate epithelial cells. We have done experiments aimed at identifying helper T lymphocyte (HTL) epitopes for TARP for the design of T cell - based immunotherapy for prostate cancer. Experimental Design: Dendritic cells from normal donors were pulsed with synthetic peptides derived from TARP, which were predicted to serve as HTL epitopes. These dendritic cells were used to stimulate CD4+ T cells in vitro to trigger HTL responses against TARP. T-cell responses to these peptides were also studied with lymphocytes from prostate cancer patients. Results: The two peptides, TARP 1-14 and TARP14-27, were shown to elicit effective in vitro HTL responses using lymphocytes from both normal volunteers and prostate cancer patients. Peptide TARP1-14-reactive HTLs were found restricted by HLA-DR53 and could recognize naturally processed protein antigen derived from tumor cells, which was presented by autologous dendritic cells. Most significantly, stimulation with peptide TARP14-27 generated four HTL lines restricted by HLA-DR1, HLA-DR9, HLA-DR13, and HLA-DR15, some of which capable of recognizing naturally processed antigens presented by dendritic cell or directly by TARP-positive tumor cells. Conclusions: Our results show that TARP constitutes a TAA that can be recognized by tumor-reactive HTL. The newly described TARP epitopes could be used to optimize and improve T-cell epitope - based immunotherapy against prostate and other tumors expressing TARP.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research