Spontaneous T cell responses to Epstein-Barr virus-encoded BARF1 protein and derived peptides in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma: bases for improved immunotherapy

Martorelli, Debora, Houali, Karim, Caggiari, Laura, Vaccher, Emanuela, Barzan, Luigi, Franchin, Giovanni, Gloghini, Annunziata, Pavan, Alessandro, Da Ponte, Alessandro, Tedeschi, Rosa Maria, De Re, Valli, Carbone, Antonino, Ooka, Tadamasa, De Paoli, Paolo and Dolcetti, Riccardo (2008) Spontaneous T cell responses to Epstein-Barr virus-encoded BARF1 protein and derived peptides in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma: bases for improved immunotherapy. International Journal of Cancer, 123 5: 1100-1107. doi:10.1002/ijc.23621


Author Martorelli, Debora
Houali, Karim
Caggiari, Laura
Vaccher, Emanuela
Barzan, Luigi
Franchin, Giovanni
Gloghini, Annunziata
Pavan, Alessandro
Da Ponte, Alessandro
Tedeschi, Rosa Maria
De Re, Valli
Carbone, Antonino
Ooka, Tadamasa
De Paoli, Paolo
Dolcetti, Riccardo
Title Spontaneous T cell responses to Epstein-Barr virus-encoded BARF1 protein and derived peptides in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma: bases for improved immunotherapy
Journal name International Journal of Cancer   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0020-7136
1097-0215
Publication date 2008-09-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/ijc.23621
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 123
Issue 5
Start page 1100
End page 1107
Total pages 8
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Language eng
Abstract Immunotherapy approaches targeting Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-encoded antigens induce objective clinical responses only in a fraction of patients with undifferentiated nasopharyngeal carcinoma (UNPC). In the present study, we have characterized the immunogenicity of the EBV-encoded BARF1 oncogene with the aim to assess whether this protein could constitute a new target antigen for immunotherapy in this setting. Spontaneous CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses specific for the recombinant p29 BARF1 protein were detected by IFNγ-ELISPOT in both EBV-seropositive donors and UNPC patients, but not in EBV-seronegative individuals. Using immunoinformatic prediction tools, we have selected 5 different candidate BARF1 T cell epitopes presented by HLA-A*0201. Although only one of these peptides was able to bind HLA-A2 with low affinity in the T2 stabilization assay, all 5 BARF1 nonamers readily elicited specific CD8+ T cell responses in EBV-seropositive HLA-A*0201+ donors and UNPC patients. Notably, the magnitude of CD8+ T cell responses to the whole BARF1 protein and derived A*0201 peptides was significantly higher in UNPC patients than in healthy donors. Moreover, cytotoxic T lymphocytes specific for the p2-10, p23-31, or p49-57 BARF1 peptides were easily obtained from HLA-A*0201+ donors. These cultures were not only able to lyse autologous targets loaded with the antigenic peptide, but also recognized tumor cells endogenously expressing BARF1 in an antigen-specific and HLA-A2-restricted manner. These findings, indicate that BARF1 is a particularly attractive antigen with immunogenic properties in most UNPC patients and provide valuable information to develop new strategies to improve the efficacy of EBV-targeting immunotherapy of UNPC patients.
Keyword BARF1
Epstein-barr virus
Immunotherapy
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: UQ Diamantina Institute Publications
 
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