Expression of MAGE and GAGE in high-grade brain tumors: a potential target for specific immunotherapy and diagnostic markers.
The mRNA expression of the tumor-associated antigens MAGE and GAGE was examined in 60 high-grade brain tumors. This analysis was performed by using reverse transcription-PCR, Southern blotting, and sequencing. It was demonstrated that, of the eight GAGE genes, GAGE-2 and -7 were expressed in five of seven normal brains. Four groups of tumors--adult glioblastoma multiforme (n = 20), pediatric glioblastoma multiforme (n = 9), medulloblastomas (n = 15), and ependymomas (n = 14)--were analyzed for mRNA expression. The following frequencies were observed: MAGE-1, 0, 0, 13, and 0%, respectively; MAGE-2, 5, 11, 60, and 57%; MAGE-3 & -6, 0, 0, 13, and 0%; GAGE-1, 65, 11, 13, and 43%; and GAGE-3-6 and -8: 75, 78, 47, and 93%, respectively. Two unclassified tumors expressed GAGE-3-6 and -8 only. The absence of GAGE-1 expression in normal brain, its relatively high frequency of expression in high-grade brain tumors, and its unique 3' sequence, suggest it may represent a useful target for specific immunotherapy. The detection method of reverse transcription-PCR and Southern blotting may also be useful for rapid screening of biopsy specimens both for diagnostic purposes and to determine a patient's eligibility for specific immunotherapy. (+info)
Natural variation of the expression of HLA and endogenous antigen modulates CTL recognition in an in vitro melanoma model.
Increasing attention has been devoted to elucidating the mechanism of lost or decreased expression of MHC or melanoma-associated antigens (MAAs), which may lead to tumor escape from immune recognition. Loss of expression of HLA class I or MAA has, as an undisputed consequence, loss of recognition by HLA class I-restricted cytotoxic T cells (CTLs). However, the relevance of down-regulation remains in question in terms of frequency of occurrence. Moreover the functional significance of epitope down-regulation, defining the relationship between MHC/epitope density and CTL interactions, is a matter of controversy, particularly with regard to whether the noted variability of expression of MHC/epitope occurs within a range likely to affect target recognition by CTLs. In this study, bulk metastatic melanoma cell lines originated from 25 HLA-A*0201 patients were analyzed for expression of HLA-A2 and MAAs. HLA-A2 expression was heterogeneous and correlated with lysis by CTLs. Sensitivity to lysis was also independently affected by the amount of ligand available for binding at concentrations of 0.001 to 1 mM. Natural expression of MAA was variable, independent from the expression of HLA-A*0201, and a significant co-factor determining recognition of melanoma targets. Thus, the naturally occurring variation in the expression of MAA and/or HLA documented by our in vitro results modulates recognition of melanoma targets and may (i) partially explain CTL-target interactions in vitro and (ii) elucidate potential mechanisms for progressive escape of tumor cells from immune recognition in vivo. (+info)
Flow cytometry isolation and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction characterization of human round spermatids in infertile patients.
Flow cytometry coupled to cell sorting is proposed as a method to isolate round spermatids from testicular biopsies in obstructive azoospermic patients. The cells were separated on the basis of their size and density only. We obtained homogenous populations of alive round spermatids free of lymphocytes and diploid germ cells. The detection of protamine 1 gene (PRM1) and PRM2 expression in the sorted cells proves that these cells are round spermatids. On the contrary, neither the expression of CD3-delta, which is specific to lymphoid cells, nor that of MAGE1, which has been demonstrated in diploid germ cells, could be observed in the round spermatid population even after using a nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. The flow cytometry procedure failed to isolate round spermatids from ejaculates in non-obstructive azoospermic patients. In > 39 ejaculates tested by reverse transcriptase-PCR, only nine revealed the presence of some round spermatids, as demonstrated by the expression of PRM1. However, these round spermatids did not express PRM2. (+info)
A structure-based approach to designing non-natural peptides that can activate anti-melanoma cytotoxic T cells.
Tumor antigens presented by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules and recognized by CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) may generate an efficient antitumor immune response after appropriate immunization. Antigenic peptides can be used in vivo to induce antitumor or antiviral immunity. The efficiency of naked peptides may be greatly limited by their degradation in the biological fluids. We present a rational, structure-based approach to design structurally modified, peptidase-resistant and biologically active analogues of human tumor antigen MAGE-1.A1. This approach is based on our understanding of the peptide interaction with the MHC and the T cell receptor and its precise degradation pathway. Knowledge of these mechanisms led to the design of a non-natural, minimally modified analogue of MAGE-1.A1, [Aib2, NMe-Ser8]MAGE-1.A1, which was highly peptidase-resistant and bound to MHC and activated MAGE-1.A1-specific anti-melanoma CTLs. Thus, we showed that it is possible to structurally modify peptide epitopes to obtain analogues that are still specifically recognized by CTLs. Such analogues may represent interesting leads for antitumor synthetic vaccines. (+info)
Heterogeneity of HLA-G gene transcription and protein expression in malignant melanoma biopsies.
Nonclassical MHC class I HLA-G antigen expression is tissue specific and is thought to play a role in tolerance of the semiallogeneic fetus by the maternal immune system. Ectopic expression of HLA-G by tumor cells provides them with an additional mechanism of escape from immunosurveillance by host cytotoxic effector mechanisms. The aim of this study was to assess the expression of nonclassical HLA-G antigens in ex vivo human melanoma biopsies. HLA-G mRNA levels corresponding to both membrane-bound and soluble protein isoforms were analyzed in tumor specimens obtained from primary or metastatic melanomas of 23 patients. High levels of HLA-G transcription were detected in tumor specimens in 5 of 23 patients and found to be comparable in both lymph node and skin metastases. HLA-G mRNA transcript levels at tumor sites in 18 of these patients were compared with those in samples of their own healthy skin and were higher in the tumor tissue in 12 patients. Differential expression of mRNA transcripts corresponding to soluble and membrane-bound HLA-G was also observed in some tumor biopsies. HLA-G protein expression was detected in tumors that exhibited high levels of HLA-G transcription by immunofluorescence of frozen sections and Western blot analysis of both tumor and healthy skin biopsies, using anti-HLA-G-specific monoclonal antibodies. This work provides evidence that HLA-G gene transcription and protein expression can be up-regulated ex vivo in melanoma. Our finding that several of the tumors studied expressed high levels of HLA-G provides additional clues as to how a tumor can be selected in vivo to escape from cytotoxic antitumor responses, constituting a new parameter to be considered in the design of therapeutic approaches aimed at enhancing antitumor immune responses. (+info)
Specific lysis of melanoma cells by receptor grafted T cells is enhanced by anti-idiotypic monoclonal antibodies directed to the scFv domain of the receptor.
Malignant transformation of melanocytes is frequently associated with abnormalities in antigen processing and in human leukocyte antigen class I antigen expression. Here, we evaluated a human leukocyte antigen class I antigen-independent approach to target cytotoxic T lymphocytes to melanoma cells by grafting cytotoxic T lymphocytes with a chimeric receptor that consists of both a domain binding to high molecular weight-melanoma associated antigen and a cellular activation domain. The binding domain is a single-chain antibody fragment (scFv) derived from the monoclonal anti-high molecular weight-melanoma associated antigen antibody 763.74 by phage display techniques. The cellular activation domain is the signaling unit of the FcepsilonRI receptor gamma chain. Both domains constitute the chimeric receptor scFv763.74-gammaR. Cytotoxic MD45 T cells grafted with the scFv763.74-gammaR receptor bind specifically to high molecular weight-melanoma associated antigen-positive melanoma cells and lyse melanoma cells in a human leukocyte antigen class I independent fashion. Pre-incubation of receptor grafted T cells with immobilized anti-idiotypic (id) monoclonal antibody MK2-23 binding to the scFv domain of the receptor enhanced the lysis of melanoma cells indicating that the specific cytolytic activity of receptor grafted T cells can be increased by costimulation with cross-linked anti-idiotypic monoclonal antibodies that recognize the antigen binding domain of the chimeric receptor. (+info)
Construction and binding analysis of recombinant single-chain TCR derived from tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and a cytotoxic T lymphocyte clone directed against MAGE-1.
The TCR is responsible for the specificity of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) by recognizing peptides presented in the context of MHC. By producing recombinant soluble TCR, it is possible to study this interaction at the molecular level. We generated single-chain TCR (scTCR) from tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) and one CTL clone directed against melanoma-associated antigen (MAGE)-1. Sixty-eight day anti-MAGE-1 TIL and one cloned anti-MAGE-1 CTL were analyzed by PCR for their Valpha and Vbeta gene usage. The TIL population showed a restriction in Valpha and Vbeta usage with only Valpha4 and Valpha9 and Vbeta2 and Vbeta7 expressed. The anti-MAGE-1 CTL clone demonstrated absolute restriction with only Valpha12 and Vbeta1 expressed. DNA sequence analysis was performed on all V regions. For the TIL, each possible Valpha-Vbeta combination (i.e. Valpha4-Vbeta2, Valpha9-Vbeta2, Valpha4-Vbeta7 and Valpha9-Vbeta7) was constructed as a distinct scTCR and the recombinant proteins expressed in bacteria. From the anti-MAGE-1 TIL, Valpha4-Vbeta2 scTCR demonstrated binding activity to HLA-A1(+) cells pulsed with MAGE-1 peptide. Results obtained from screening a panel of our scTCR constructs on HLA-A1(+) cells pulsed with MAGE-1 peptide or irrelevant peptide demonstrated that Vbeta2 plays a significant role in binding to the MAGE-1 peptide. Amino acid alignment analysis showed that each Vbeta sequence is distinctly different from the others. These findings demonstrate that soluble TCR in single-chain format have binding activity. Furthermore, the results indicate that in TCR, like antibodies, one chain may contribute a dominant portion of the binding activity. (+info)
Identification of a promiscuous T-cell epitope encoded by multiple members of the MAGE family.
One of the major limitations of tumor-specific vaccination is the generation of antigen-loss variants that are able to escape the immune response elicited by a monoantigenic peptide epitope. Here, we report the identification of a new HLA-B*3701-restricted epitope shared by four different members of the MAGE family. Peripheral blood lymphocytes isolated from a melanoma patient were stimulated in vitro with the autologous HLA-negative melanoma line transfected with autologous HLA B*3701 molecule. This protocol led to the induction of tumor-specific, B*3701-restricted CTLs specific for a peptide epitope encoded by codons 127-136 of the gene MAGE-1. The same epitope is also encoded by the homologous region of three other members of the MAGE family, MAGE-2, -3, and -6. Consistent with the notion that the peptide encoded by MAGE-1 codons 127-136 is, indeed, processed from the proteins encoded by all four MAGE family members, the CTLs were able to specifically recognize Cos-7 cells cotransfected with HLA-B*3701 and any of these MAGE genes. Moreover, the CTLs also recognized a MAGE-6-positive melanoma line transfected with the B*3701 molecule. These findings allow the inclusion of a new set of tumor patients into clinical cancer vaccination trials. Furthermore, they suggest that some promiscuous peptide epitopes shared by different members of the MAGE family might be less prone to escape the immune response by generation of MAGE antigen loss variants. (+info)