Successful efforts to activate T cells capable of recognizing weak cancer-associated self-antigens have employed altered peptide antigens to activate T cell responses capable of cross-reacting on native tumor-associated self. A limitation of this approach is the requirement for detailed knowledge about the altered self-peptide ligands used in these vaccines. In the current study we considered allorecognition as an approach for activating CTL capable of recognizing weak or self-antigens in the context of self-MHC. Nonself antigen-presenting molecules typically contain polymorphisms that influence interactions with the bound peptide and TCR interface. Recognition of these nonself structures results in peptide-dependent alloimmunity. Alloreactive T cells target their inducing alloantigens as well as third-party alloantigens but generally fail to target self-antigens. Certain residues located on the alpha-1/2 domains of class I antigen-presenting molecules primarily interface with TCR. These residues are more conserved within and across species than are residues that determine peptide antigen binding properties. Class I variants designed with amino acid substitutions at key positions within the conserved helical structures are shown to provide strong activating signals to alloreactive CD8 T cells while avoiding changes in naturally bound peptide ligands. Importantly, CTL activated in this manner can break self-tolerance by reacting to self-peptides presented by native MHC. The ability to activate self-tolerant T cells capable of cross-reacting on self-peptide-MHC in vivo represents an approach for inducing autoimmunity, with possible application in cancer vaccines.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Feb 19 2019|
- Cancer immunotherapy
- T cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas