Single and dual amino acid substitution variants were generated in the TCR CDRs of three TCRs that recognize tumor-associated Ags. Substitutions that enhance the reactivity of TCR gene-modified T cells to the cognate Ag complex were identified using a rapid RNA-based transfection system. The screening of a panel of variants of the 1G4 TCR, that recognizes a peptide corresponding to amino acid residues 157-165 of the human cancer testis Ag NY-ESO-1 (SLLMWITQC) in the context of the HLA-A*02 class I allele, resulted in the identification of single and dual CDR3α and CDR2β amino acid substitutions that dramatically enhanced the specific recognition of NY-ESO-1+/HLA-A*02+ tumor cell lines by TCR gene-modified CD4+ T cells. Within this group of improved TCRs, a dual substitution in the 1G4 TCR CDR3α chain was identified that enhanced Ag-specific reactivity in gene-modified CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Separate experiments on two distinct TCRs that recognize the MART-1 27-35 (AAGIGILTV) peptide/HLA-A*02 Ag complex characterized single amino acid substitutions in both TCRs that enhanced CD4+ T cell Ag-specific reactivity. These results indicate that simple TCR substitution variants that enhance T cell function can be identified by rapid transfection and assay techniques, providing the means for generating potent Ag complex-specific TCR genes for use in the study of T cell interactions and in T cell adoptive immunotherapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy