Cd4+ T cell recognition of MHC class II-restricted epitopes from NY-ESO-1 presented by a prevalent HLA DP4 allele: Association with NY-ESO-1 antibody production
Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
NY-ESO-1 is a tumor-specific shared antigen with distinctive immunogenicity. Both CD8(+) T cells and class-switched Ab responses have been detected from patients with cancer. In this study, a CD4(+) T cell line was generated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of a melanoma patient and was shown to recognize NY-ESO-1 peptides presented by HLA-DP4, a dominant MHC class II allele expressed in 43--70% of Caucasians. The ESO p157--170 peptide containing the core region of DP4-restricted T cell epitope was present in a number of tumor cell lines tested and found to be recognized by both CD4(+) T cells as well as HLA-A2-restricted CD8(+) T cells. Thus, the ESO p157--170 epitope represents a potential candidate for cancer vaccines aimed at generating both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell responses. More importantly, 16 of 17 melanoma patients who developed Ab against NY-ESO-1 were found to be HLA-DP4-positive. CD4(+) T cells specific for the NY-ESO-1 epitopes were generated from 5 of 6 melanoma patients with NY-ESO-1 Ab. In contrast, no specific DP4-restricted T cells were generated from two patients without detectable NY-ESO-1 Ab. These results suggested that NY-ESO-1-specific DP4-restricted CD4(+) T cells were closely associated with NY-ESO-1 Ab observed in melanoma patients and might play an important role in providing help for activating B cells for NY-ESO-1-specific Ab production.