The present study attempted to identify a useful tumor-associated antigen (TAA) for lung cancer immunotherapy and potential immunogenic peptides derived from the TAA. We focused on cell division cycle 45-like (CDC45L), which has a critical role in the initiation and elongation steps of DNA replication, as a novel candidate TAA for immunotherapy based on a genome-wide cDNA microarray analysis of lung cancer. The CDC45L was overexpressed in the majority of lung cancer tissues, but not in the adjacent non-cancerous tissues or in many normal adult tissues. We examined the in vitro and in vivo anti-tumor effects of cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTL) specific to CDC45L-derived peptides induced from HLA-A24 (A*24:02)-positive donors. We identified three CDC45L-derived peptides that could reproducibly induce CDC45L-specific and HLA-A24-restricted CTL from both healthy donors and lung cancer patients. The CTL could effectively lyse lung cancer cells that endogenously expressed both CDC45L and HLA-A24. In addition, we found that CDC45L (556) KFLDALISL(564) was eminent in that it induced not only HLA-A24 but also HLA-A2 (A*02:01)-restricted antigen specific CTL. Furthermore, the adoptive transfer of the CDC45L-specific CTL inhibited the growth of human cancer cells engrafted into immunocompromised mice. These results suggest that these three CDC45L-derived peptides are highly immunogenic epitopes and CDC45L is a novel TAA that might be a useful target for lung cancer immunotherapy.
© 2011 Japanese Cancer Association.