CD4-positive T-helper cell responses to the PASD1 protein in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
Ait-Tahar K., Liggins AP., Collins GP., Campbell A., Barnardo M., Cabes M., Lawrie CH., Moir D., Hatton C., Banham AH., Pulford K.
BACKGROUND: Vaccine development targeting the novel immunogenic Per ARNT Sim Domain containing 1 (PASD1) cancer testis antigen represents an attractive therapeutic approach for the significant number of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma who are refractory to conventional treatment. Since CD4-positive T helper cells have crucial roles in promoting and maintaining immune responses to tumor antigens, the presence of a CD4-positive T-helper immune response to the PASD1 antigen in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma was investigated in the current study. DESIGN AND METHODS: Thirty-one patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (25 with de novo, five with transformed and one with T-cell-rich B-cell lymphoma) were studied. Five immunogenic PASD1 peptides predicted to bind to several major histocompatibiliy complex, class II DR beta 1 alleles were identified using web-based algorithms. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients were used to investigate the immunogenicity of these DR beta 1-restricted peptides in vitro using both gamma-interferon release enzyme-linked immunospot and cytolytic assays. RESULTS: Two of the five PASD1 peptides, PASD1(6) and PASD1(7), were shown to be immunogenic in 14 out of 32 patients studied in a gamma-interferon release assay. CD4-positive T-helper cell lines from two patients raised against PASD1 peptides were able to lyse cell lines derived from hematologic malignancies expressing endogenous PASD1 protein. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report of a CD4-positive T-helper response to the PASD1 protein in patients with lymphoma. The immunogenic peptides described here represent valuable additional candidates for inclusion in a vaccine to treat patients with PASD1-positive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma whose disease is refractory to conventional therapies.