CD4+ T-cell responses against human tumor antigens are a potentially critical component of the antitumor immune response. Molecular methods have been devised for rapidly identifying MHC class II-restricted tumor antigens and elucidating the recognized epitopes. We describe here the identification of neo-poly(A) polymerase (neo-PAP), a novel RNA processing enzyme overexpressed in a variety of human cancers, by screening a melanoma-derived invariant chain fusion cDNA library with tumor-reactive CD4+ T lymphocytes. A cryptic nonmutated HLA-DRβ1*0701-restricted neo-PAP epitope was processed through the endogenous MHC class II pathway. A unique point mutation effected a nonconservative substitution of a leucine for a proline residue at a structurally important site in neo-PAP that was remote from the recognized peptide, revealing a normally silent epitope for immune recognition. Genetic aberrations such as the described point mutation can have unexpected immunological consequences, in this case leading to immune recognition of a distant normal self epitope.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|State||Published - Oct 1 2002|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research