Generation of an immune response to oncoproteins can lead to a cancer specific protective immunity. Several such oncoproteins are being examined as tumor targets with mixed results. We are evaluating the clinical utility of synthetic peptides that would mimic the antigen immunologically and elicit a tumor specific immune response. HER-2/neu, an oncoprotein whose expression in breast cancer is associated with poor prognosis, lower disease free-survival and a propensity for metastases was chosen as a model. Antibodies, Ab2, Ab4 and Ab5 directed towards the extracellular domain of HER-2/neu were reacted to peptides from two synthetic phage display peptide libraries, LX-8 (12-mer peptide library containing disulfide bridge) and X-15 (linear 15-mer). The isolated peptides were sequenced and characterized for ability to produce high titer antibodies and cross-reactivity. The peptides isolated did not show any sequence homology to protein databases but did show a hierarchy of immunogenic epitopes. Antibodies generated against peptides selected against the same antibody Ab2 or Ab4 showed affinity variation. Phages selected against Ab2 were also able to compete with binding of Ab2 to HER-2/neu. These results validate our hypothesis that synthetic peptides that mimic the antigenic epitope of oncoprotein can be generated and their clinical utility rests on devising a screening mechanism to identify peptides that can elicit an immune response directed to the oncoprotein and if possible its antigenic variants.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||International journal of molecular medicine|
|State||Published - Apr 2003|
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