Characterization of Ewing sarcoma associated cancer/testis antigens

Cancer Biol Ther. 2013 Mar;14(3):254-61. doi: 10.4161/cbt.23298. Epub 2013 Jan 4.


The prognosis of patients suffering from tumors of the Ewing family (EFT) is still poor. Immunotherapy strategies are pursued and EFT-specific antigens have to be identified as targets for cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTL). Due to the lack of expression of cancer/testis antigens (CTA) in normal tissues, these antigens are partially able to induce immune responses in cancer patients. Therefore, they are promising targets for immunotherapy. EFT are characterized by chromosomal rearrangements involving members of the TET (translocated in liposarcoma, Ewing sarcoma breakpoint region 1, TATA box binding protein-associated factor 15) family of RNA binding proteins and members of the E-26 (ETS) family of transcription factors. The resulting onco-fusion proteins are highly specific for EFT and downstream targets of TET-ETS represent candidate tumor specific antigens. In order to identify new EFT-associated CTA, we analyzed microarray-data sets from EFT and normal tissues from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database. The impact of TET-ETS on expression of CTA was analyzed using GEO data sets from transgenic mesenchymal stem cells. One CTA with high specificity for EFT is lipase I (LIPI, membrane-associated phospholipase A1-β). CTL specific for LIPI-derived peptides LDYTDAKFV and NLLKHGASL were able to lyse HLA-A2 positive EFT cells in vitro which confirms the possible role of LIPI and other CTA for EFT-immunotherapy.

Keywords: Ewing sarcoma; LIPI; TET-ETS; cancer/testis antigens; gene expression.

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology
  • Calmodulin-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Calmodulin-Binding Proteins / immunology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Phospholipases A1 / immunology
  • RNA-Binding Protein EWS
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / immunology
  • Sarcoma, Ewing / genetics*
  • Sarcoma, Ewing / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology
  • Testis / immunology
  • Testis / metabolism*


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Calmodulin-Binding Proteins
  • EWSR1 protein, human
  • RNA-Binding Protein EWS
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • LIPI protein, human
  • Phospholipases A1