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MELOE-1 Antigen Contains Multiple HLA Class II T Cell Epitopes Recognized by Th1 CD4+ T Cells from Melanoma Patients

Abstract : MELOE-1 is an overexpressed melanoma antigen containing a HLA-A2 restricted epitope, involved in melanoma immunosurveillance of patients adoptively transferred with tumour infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL). The use of the full-length antigen (46 aa) for anti-melanoma vaccination could be considered, subject to the presence of Th epitopes all along MELOE-1 sequence. Thus, in this study we evaluated in vitro the immunoprevalence of the different regions of MELOE-1 (i.e. their ability to induce CD4 T cell responses in vitro from PBMC). Stimulation of PBMC from healthy subjects with MELOE-1 induced the amplification of CD4 T cells specific for various regions of the protein in multiple HLA contexts, for each tested donor. We confirmed these results in a panel of melanoma patients, and documented that MELOE-1 specific CD4 T cells, were mainly Th1 cells, presumably favourable to the amplification of CD8 specific T cells. Using autologous DC, we further showed that these class II epitopes could be naturally processed from MELOE-1 whole protein and identified minimal epitopes derived from each region of MELOE-1, and presented in four distinct HLA contexts. In conclusion, vaccination with MELOE-1 whole polypeptide should induce specific Th1 CD4 responses in a majority of melanoma patients, stimulating the amplification of CD8 effector cells, reactive against melanoma cells.
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Mathilde Bobinet, Virginie Vignard, Anne Rogel, Amir Khammari, Brigitte Dréno, et al.. MELOE-1 Antigen Contains Multiple HLA Class II T Cell Epitopes Recognized by Th1 CD4+ T Cells from Melanoma Patients. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2012, 7 (12), pp.e51716. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0051716⟩. ⟨inserm-02481104⟩

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