Antigenicity of fusion proteins from sarcoma-associated chromosomal translocations

B. Scott Worley, Leon T. Van den Broeke, Theresa J. Goletz, C. David Pendleton, Emily M. Daschbach, Elaine K. Thomas, Francesco M. Marincola, Lee J. Helman, Jay A. Berzofsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Synovial sarcoma (SS), clear cell sarcoma (CCS), and desmoplastic small round cell tumor (DSRCT) are soft-tissue malignancies occurring primarily in adolescents and young adults. These tumors contain specific chromosomal translocations that fuse the 5′ region of one gene with the 3′ region of another, resulting in the formation of characteristic fusion proteins. These translocations are unique to tumor cells and may be required for persistence, thereby serving as targets for immunotherapy. It was hypothesized that the fusion breakpoint sequences associated with SS, CCS, and DSRCT can serve as tumor-specific neoantigens. To test this, peptides corresponding to the fusion breakpoints were designed and assessed for ability to bind to various class I HLA molecules. Two peptides derived from the SS breakpoint specifically bind the HLA-B7 antigen, and a 10-amino acid minimal epitope was identified for this interaction. Specific binding of a SS peptide and a CCS peptide to HLA-B27 molecule was also observed. Finally, a peptide designed from the DSRCT breakpoint specifically binds the HLA-A3 molecule, and a 9-amino acid optimal epitope was identified for this interaction. The physiological/immunological relevance of these peptide/MHC interactions was demonstrated by the induction of SS-specific CTLs from normal donor lymphocytes using in vitro stimulation with autologous, peptide-pulsed dendritic cells and by the ability of these CTLs to lyse human SS tumor cells endogenously expressing the full-length fusion protein. These results suggest that sequences in the fusion region of sarcoma-associated chimeras can bind class I HLA molecules and serve as neoantigens. These may be useful for the development of novel immunotherapies for sarcoma patients with appropriate HLA molecules and tumors hearing these translocations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6868-6875
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Research
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 15 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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