CD4+ T cell responses to SSX-4 in melanoma patients

Maha Ayyoub, Andrea Merlo, Charles S. Hesdorffer, Donata Rimoldi, Daniel Speiser, Jean Charles Cerottini, Yao Tseng Chen, Lloyd J. Old, Stefan Stevanovic, Danila Valmori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Genes of the synovial sarcoma X breakpoint (SSX) family are expressed in different human tumors, including melanomas, but not in adult somatic tissues. Because of their specific expression at the tumor site, SSX-encoded Ags are potential targets for anticancer immunotherapy. In this study, we have analyzed CD4+ T cell responses directed against the Ag encoded by SSX-4. Upon in vitro stimulation of PBMC from four melanoma patients bearing Ag-expressing tumors with a pool of long peptides spanning the protein sequence, we detected and isolated SSX-4-specific CD4+ T cells recognizing several distinct antigenic sequences, mostly restricted by frequently expressed HLA class II alleles. The majority of the identified sequences were located within the Krüppel-associated box domain in the N-terminal region of the protein, indicating a high potential immunogenicity of this region. Together our data document the existence of CD4+ T cells specific for multiple SSX-4 derived sequences in circulating lymphocytes from melanoma patients and encourage further studies to assess the impact of SSX-4-specific T cell responses on disease evolution in cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5092-5099
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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