The development of peptide-based vaccines that are useful in the therapeutic treatment of melanoma and other cancers ultimately requires the identification of a sufficient number of antigenic peptides so that most individuals, regardless of their major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-encoded class I molecule phenotype, can develop a cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response against one or more peptide components of the vaccine. While it is relatively easy to identify antigenic peptides that are presented by the most prevalent MHC class I molecules in the population, it is problematic to identify antigenic peptides that are presented by MHC class I molecules that have less frequent expression in the population. One manner in which this problem can be overcome is by taking advantage of known MHC class I supertypes, which are groupings of MHC class I molecules that bind peptides sharing a common motif. We have developed a mass spectrometric approach which can be used to determine if an antigenic peptide is naturally processed and presented by any given MHC class I molecule. This approach has been applied to the A3 supertype, and the results demonstrate that some, but not all, A3 supertype family-associated peptides can associate with all A3 supertype family members. The approach also demonstrates the shared nature of several newly identified peptide antigens. The use of this technology negates the need to test peptides for their ability to stimulate CTL responses in those cases where the peptide is not naturally processed and bound to the target MHC class I molecule of interest, thus allowing resources to be focused on the most promising vaccine candidates.
- Major histocompatibility complex class I molecule
- Mass spectrometry
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Cancer Research