Identification of new MHC class I-restricted human tumor antigens for immunotherapy


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Thèse: thèse de doctorat.
Identification of new MHC class I-restricted human tumor antigens for immunotherapy
Viatte S.
Cerottini J.-C.
Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine
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REROID:R003929017; 30 cm ill.; Old school value: Université de Lausanne
Cancer is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Western countries (as an example, colorectal cancer accounts for about 300'000 new cases and 200'000 deaths each year in Europe and in the USA). Despite that many patients with cancer have complete macroscopic clearance of their disease after resection, radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy, many of these patients develop fatal recurrence. Vaccination with immunogenic peptide tumor antigens has shown encouraging progresses in the last decade; immunotherapy might therefore constitute a fourth therapeutic option in the future.
We dissect here and critically evaluate the numerous steps of reverse immunology, a forecast procedure to identify antigenic peptides from the sequence of a gene of interest. Bioinformatic algorithms were applied to mine sequence databases for tumor-specific transcripts. A quality assessment of publicly available sequence databanks allowed defining strengths and weaknesses of bioinformatics-based prediction of colon cancer-specific alternative splicing: new splice variants could be identified, however cancer-restricted expression could not be significantly predicted. Other sources of target transcripts were quantitatively investigated by polymerase chain reactions, as cancer-testis genes or reported overexpressed transcripts. Based on the relative expression of a defined set of housekeeping genes in colon cancer tissues, we characterized a precise procedure for accurate normalization and determined a threshold for the definition of significant overexpression of genes in cancers versus normal tissues.
Further steps of reverse immunology were applied on a splice variant of the Melan¬A gene. Since it is known that the C-termini of antigenic peptides are directly produced by the proteasome, longer precursor and overlapping peptides encoded by the target sequence were synthesized chemically and digested in vitro with purified proteasome. The resulting fragments were identified by mass spectroscopy to detect cleavage sites. Using this information and based on the available anchor motifs for defined HLA class I molecules, putative antigenic peptides could be predicted. Their relative affinity for HLA molecules was confirmed experimentally with functional competitive binding assays and they were used to search patients' peripheral blood lymphocytes for the presence of specific cytolytic T lymphocytes (CTL). CTL clones specific for a splice variant of Melan-A could be isolated; although they recognized peptide-pulsed cells, they failed to lyse melanoma cells in functional assays of antigen recognition.
In the conclusion, we discuss advantages and bottlenecks of reverse immunology and compare the technical aspects of this approach with the more classical procedure of direct immunology, a technique introduced by Boon and colleagues more than 10 years ago to successfully clone tumor antigens.
Création de la notice
19/11/2007 13:39
Dernière modification de la notice
03/03/2018 16:39
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