Abstract EBV is associated with a broad range of malignancies. Adoptive immunotherapy of these tumors with EBV-specific CTL proved useful. We generated a panel of primary human T cells specific to various EBV antigens (i.e. Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen 3A, 3B and BamHI-M leftward reading frame) via transfer of modified TCR genes that are either coupled to CD3zeta or Fc(epsilon)RIgamma. TCR-transduced T cells from 20-60% of donors (total number of 25) demonstrated specific lysis of EBV peptide-loaded target cells, whereas lymphoblastoid cell lines expressing native EBV antigens were not killed by any of the EBV-specific T cell populations. This non-responsiveness, confirmed at the level of nuclear factor of activated T cells activation, is not due to receptor configuration since identical receptor formats specific for melanoma antigens successfully re-targeted T cells to native melanoma cells. In an effort to generate a more potent receptor, we introduced a CD28 domain into one of the EBV-specific TCR. This TCR did not affect the cytotoxic response of re-targeted T cells, but dramatically enhanced antigen-specific IFNgamma production. We therefore conclude that these novel CD28-containing EBV-specific TCRs provide a basis for further development of TCR gene transfer to treat EBV-induced diseases.

T cell co-stimulation, cytotoxicity, gene therapy, signal transduction, tumor immunity
dx.doi.org/10.1093/intimm/dxh401, hdl.handle.net/1765/21783
International Immunology
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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Schaft, N, Lankiewicz, B, Drexhage, H.A, Berrevoets, C.A, Moss, D.J, Levitsky, V, … Debets, J.E.M.A. (2006). T cell re-targeting to EBV antigens following TCR gene transfer: CD28-containing receptors mediate enhanced antigen-specific IFNgamma production. International Immunology, 18(4), 591–601. doi:10.1093/intimm/dxh401