HER2 / neu is a potential antigen candidate for immunotherapy because of its correlation to a poor prognosis and high expressions in many kinds of epithelial tumours. Especially in the colorectal carcinomas, the higher expression of HER2 / neu is recognized in metastatic regions as well as in primary sites. Several CTL epitopes restricted by HLA-A2.1 and -A3 were identified so far, however epitopes restricted by HLA-A24, that is one of the most common allele in Japanese and Caucasians, have not been identified. In this paper, we showed identification of a CTL epitope peptide of HER2 / neu restricted by HLA-A24. HLA-A24 binding peptides selected by an analysis based on HLA-A24 binding motifs were determined for their binding affinities to HLA-A24 molecules. The peptide with a sequence of RWGLLLALL (position 8-16) named HE1 showed the highest affinity. We induced CTLs from CD8(+)cells of HLA-A24 healthy donors by stimulation with HE1-pulsed autologous dendritic cells. The CTLs showed cytotoxic activity against not only the peptide-pulsed target cells but also HLA-A24 colorectal tumour cell lines that endogenously overexpressed HER2 / neu. The antigen-specificity was confirmed by cold target inhibition assay using HE1-pulsed target cells. In summary, HER2 / neu peptide, RWGLLLALL, may contribute to the induction of antitumour immunity with the peptide-based immunotherapy for the colorectal carcinomas.
Copyright 2001 Cancer Research Campaign.