Melanoma inhibitor of apoptosis protein (ML-IAP) specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes cross-react with an epitope from the auto-antigen SS56

J Invest Dermatol. 2009 Aug;129(8):1992-9. doi: 10.1038/jid.2009.10. Epub 2009 Feb 12.


A large proportion of melanoma patients host a spontaneous T-cell response specifically against ML-IAP-derived peptides. In this study, we describe that some ML-IAP-specific cytotoxic T cells isolated from melanoma patients cross react with an epitope from the auto-antigen SS56. SS56 is a recently described target of autoantibody responses in Sjögren's syndrome (SS) as well as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Here, we describe that SS56 is also an auto-antigen for T cells in SS and SLE. Hence, SS56-specific T cells could readily be detected in circulation and among the infiltrating cells of SLE skin lesions. SS56-specific T cells were able to lyse target cells presenting the peptide epitope on the surface. Notably, SS56-specific CD8 T cells isolated from an SS patient cross reacted with the ML-IAP epitope. This early evidence of a target for auto-reactive CTL in SS and SLE patients; it is to our knowledge previously unreported and underscores the important role of CD8 T cells in autoimmune disorders. Furthermore, the cross-reactivity against the auto-antigen SS56 and the tumor-antigen ML-IAP confirms the link between autoimmunity and anti-cancer cellular immune responses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / immunology*
  • Autoantigens / immunology*
  • Cross Reactions
  • Epitopes
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins / immunology*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Neoplasm Proteins / immunology*
  • Peptide Fragments / immunology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / physiology
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*
  • Tripartite Motif Proteins
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / immunology*


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Autoantigens
  • BIRC7 protein, human
  • Epitopes
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Tripartite Motif Proteins
  • TRIM68 protein, human
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases