Heteroclitic XBP1 peptides evoke tumor-specific memory cytotoxic T lymphocytes against breast cancer, colon cancer, and pancreatic cancer cells

Oncoimmunology. 2014 Dec 2;3(12):e970914. doi: 10.4161/21624011.2014.970914. eCollection 2014.


XBP1 is a critical transcriptional activator of the unfolded protein response (UPR), which increases tumor cell survival under prolonged endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and hypoxic conditions.This study was designed to evaluate the immunogenicity of heteroclitic XBP1 unspliced (US)184-192 (YISPWILAV) and heteroclictic XBP1 spliced (SP)367-375 (YLFPQLISV) HLA-A2 peptides, and to characterize the specific activities of XBP1 peptides-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (XBP1-CTL) against breast cancer, colon cancer, and pancreatic cancer cells.The XBP1-CTL had upregulated expression of critical T cell markers and displayed HLA-A2-restricted and antigen-specific activities against breast cancer, colon cancer and pancreatic cancer cells. XBP1-CTL were enriched withCD45RO+ memory CTL, which showed high expression of critical T cell markers (CD28, ICOS, CD69, CD40L), cell proliferation and antitumor activities as compared to CD45RO- non-memory CTL. The effector memory (EM: CD45RO+CCR7-) subset had the highest level of cell proliferation while the central memory (CM: CD45RO+CCR7+) subset demonstrated enhanced functional activities (CD107a degranulation, IFNγ/IL-2 production) upon recognition of the respective tumor cells. Furthermore, both the EM and CM XBP1-CTL subsets expressed high levels of Th1 transcription regulators Tbet and Eomes. The highest frequencies of IFNγ or granzyme B producing cells were detected within CM XBP1-CTL subset that were either Tbet+ or Eomes+ in responding to the tumor cells.These results demonstrate the immunotherapeutic potential of a cocktail of immunogenic HLA-A2 specific heteroclitic XBP1 US184-192 and heteroclictic XBP1 SP367-375 peptides to induce CD3+CD8+ CTL enriched for CM and EM cells with specific antitumor activities against a variety of solid tumors.

Keywords: XBP1; breast / colon / pancreatic cancer; cancer vaccine; heteroclitic peptides.

Publication types

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