HLA class I is most tightly linked to levels of tapasin compared with other antigen-processing proteins in glioblastoma.
Thuring C., Follin E., Geironson L., Freyhult E., Junghans V., Harndahl M., Buus S., Paulsson KM.
BACKGROUND: Tumour cells can evade the immune system by dysregulation of human leukocyte antigens (HLA-I). Low quantity and/or altered quality of HLA-I cell surface expression is the result of either HLA-I alterations or dysregulations of proteins of the antigen-processing machinery (APM). Tapasin is an APM protein dedicated to the maturation of HLA-I and dysregulation of tapasin has been linked to higher malignancy in several different tumours. METHODS: We studied the expression of APM components and HLA-I, as well as HLA-I tapasin-dependency profiles in glioblastoma tissues and corresponding cell lines. RESULTS: Tapasin displayed the strongest correlation to HLA-I heavy chain but also clustered with β2-microglobulin, transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP) and LMP. Moreover, tapasin also correlated to survival of glioblastoma patients. Some APM components, for example, TAP1/TAP2 and LMP2/LMP7, showed variable but coordinated expression, whereas ERAP1/ERAP2 displayed an imbalanced expression pattern. Furthermore, analysis of HLA-I profiles revealed variable tapasin dependence of HLA-I allomorphs in glioblastoma patients. CONCLUSIONS: Expression of APM proteins is highly variable between glioblastomas. Tapasin stands out as the APM component strongest correlated to HLA-I expression and we proved that HLA-I profiles in glioblastoma patients include tapasin-dependent allomorphs. The level of tapasin was also correlated with patient survival time. Our results support the need for individualisation of immunotherapy protocols.