A tyrosinase nonapeptide presented by HLA-B44 is recognized on a human melanoma by autologous cytolytic T lymphocytes

Eur J Immunol. 1996 Jan;26(1):224-30. doi: 10.1002/eji.1830260135.


The human tyrosinase gene has been reported previously to code for two distinct antigens recognized on HLA-A2 melanoma cells by autologous cytolytic T lymphocytes (CTL). By stimulating lymphocytes of melanoma patient MZ2 with a subclone of the tumor cell line of this patient, we obtained a CTL clone that lysed this subclone but did not lyse other subclones of the same melanoma cell line. The sensitive melanoma subclone was found to express a much higher level of tyrosinase than the others, suggesting that the antigen recognized by the CTL might be encoded by tyrosinase. Transfection of a tyrosinase cDNA demonstrated that the CTL clone indeed recognized a tyrosinase product presented by HLA-B*4403. The relevant antigenic peptide corresponds to residues 192-200 of the tyrosinase protein. Lymphoblastoid cells of the B*4402 subtype were not recognized by the CTL following incubation with the peptide. Nevertheless, by stimulating in vitro lymphocytes of a healthy HLA-B*4402 donor with autologous adherent cells pulsed with the same peptide, we obtained a CTL clone which recognized tumor cells expressing tyrosinase and HLA-B*4402. As HLA-B44 is expressed in 24% of Caucasians, the tyrosinase-B44 antigen may constitute a useful target for specific immunotherapy of melanoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antigen Presentation*
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology
  • Base Sequence
  • HLA-B Antigens / genetics
  • HLA-B Antigens / immunology*
  • HLA-B44 Antigen
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / genetics
  • Melanoma / immunology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase / genetics
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase / immunology*
  • Oligopeptides / genetics
  • Oligopeptides / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • HLA-B Antigens
  • HLA-B44 Antigen
  • Oligopeptides
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase