We examined the activity of human T cells engineered to express variants of a single TCR (1G4) specific for the cancer/testis Ag NY-ESO-1, generated by bacteriophage display with a wide range of affinities (from 4 μM to 26 pM). CD8+ T cells expressing intermediate- and high-affinity 1G4 TCR variants bound NY-ESO-1/HLA-A2 tetramers with high avidity and Ag specificity, but increased affinity was associated with a loss of target cell specificity of the TCR gene-modified cells. T cells expressing the highest affinity TCR (K D value of 26 pM) completely lost Ag specificity. The TCRs with affinities in the midrange, KD 5 and 85 nM, showed specificity only when CD8 was absent or blocked, while the variant TCRs with affinities in the intermediate range - with KD values of 450 nM and 4 μM-demonstrated Ag-specific recognition. Although the biological activity of these two relatively low-affinity TCRs was comparable to wild-type reactivity in CD8+ T cells, introduction of these TCR dramatically increased the reactivity of CD4+ T cells to tumor cell lines.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy