Altered decamer and nonamer from an HLA-A0201-restricted epitope of Survivin differentially stimulate T-cell responses in different individuals

Vaccine. 2011 Apr 5;29(16):3021-30. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.01.115. Epub 2011 Feb 12.


Survivin is a universal tumor antigen that is being currently targeted in vaccine approaches against cancer. Our study here examined the immunogenicity of a novel variant of an HLA-A0201-binding decamer peptide from region 95 to 104 of Survivin (ELMLGEFLKL) with a T→M modification at position 3 in the peptide. We found that this new modified 10-mer peptide had enhanced HLA-A0201 binding and induced a stronger T-cell response over its wild type counterpart peptide (ELTLGEFLKL) in select HLA-A0201(+) normal donors. In addition, when compared to the previously characterized altered 96-104 peptide (LMLGEFLKL) from the same region of Survivin currently used in vaccine trials, we found that both peptides had similar immunogenicity, but donor T cells preferentially reacted strongly to either one or the other, but not strongly to both. These results suggest that these two closely related Survivin peptides yield distinct T-cell responses and that most individuals dominantly respond to one or the other altered peptide. We also found a novel association between positive reactivity to the new altered decamer Survivin peptide in some individuals and their expression of the HLA-C0701 allele along with HLA-A0201. Thus, vaccinating with both the 10-mer and 9-mer peptides would be required to immunize a maximum number of individuals in the HLA-A0201(+) population and could lead to more consistent T-cell responses against this region of Survivin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cross Reactions
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / immunology*
  • HLA-A Antigens / immunology*
  • HLA-A2 Antigen
  • Humans
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins / immunology*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Peptides / immunology
  • Protein Binding
  • Survivin
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • BIRC5 protein, human
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte
  • HLA-A Antigens
  • HLA-A*02:01 antigen
  • HLA-A2 Antigen
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins
  • Peptides
  • Survivin