The six-transmembrane epithelial antigen of prostate (STEAP) protein is an attractive candidate for T cell-based immunotherapy because it is overexpressed in prostate cancer and various other tumor types. Several peptide epitopes capable of stimulating CTLs that killed STEAP-expressing tumor cells have been described. Our goal was the identification of helper T lymphocyte (HTL) epitopes of STEAP for the optimization of T cell-based immunotherapies against STEAP-expressing malignancies. Candidate HTL epitopes for STEAP were predicted using in silico algorithms for HLA class II-binding peptides and were tested for their ability to elicit HTL responses by in vitro peptide vaccination of CD4 T lymphocytes from healthy individuals and prostate cancer patients. Two peptides (STEAP102-116 and STEAP192-206) were effective in stimulating in vitro antitumor HTL responses in both normal individuals and prostate cancer patients. Notably, both STEAP HTL peptides behaved as promiscuous T-cell epitopes because they stimulated T cells in the context of more than one MHC class II allele. These newly described STEAP HTL epitopes could be of value for the design and optimization of T cell-based immunotherapy against STEAP-expressing tumors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research