We identified a tumor-associated cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) epitope derived from the widely expressed human MDM2 oncoprotein and were able to bypass self-tolerance to this tumor antigen in HLA-A*0201 (A2.1) transgenic mice and by generating A2.1-negative, allo-A2.1-restricted human T lymphocytes. A broad range of malignant, as opposed to nontransformed cells, were killed by high-avidity transgenic mouse and allogeneic human CTLs specific for the A2.1-presented MDM2 epitope. Whereas the self-A2.1-restricted human T cell repertoire gave rise only to low-avidity CTLs unable to recognize the natural MDM2 peptide, human A2.1+ T lymphocytes were turned into efficient MDM2-specific CTLs upon expression of wild-type and partially humanized high-affinity T cell antigen receptor (TCR) genes derived from the transgenic mice. These results demonstrate that TCR gene transfer can be used to circumvent self-tolerance of autologous T lymphocytes to universal tumor antigens and thus provide the basis for a TCR gene transfer-based broad-spectrum immunotherapy of malignant disease.

doi.org/10.1038/ni1001-962, hdl.handle.net/1765/57337
Nature Immunology
Department of Medical Oncology

Stanislawski, T., Voss, R.-H., Lotz, J. P., Sadovnikova, E., Willemsen, R., Kuball, J., … Theobald, M. (2001). Circumventing tolerance to a human MDM2-derived tumor antigen by TCR gene transfer. Nature Immunology, 2(10), 962–970. doi:10.1038/ni1001-962