A mutated HLA-A2 molecule recognized by autologous cytotoxic T lymphocytes on a human renal cell carcinoma.
Brändle D., Brasseur F., Weynants P., Boon T., Van den Eynde B.
Many human tumor cells have been shown to express antigens that are recognized by autologous cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) and the molecular nature of a number of melanoma antigens has been defined recently. Here we describe the characterization of an antigen recognized on a renal cell carcinoma by autologous CTL clones. This antigen is encoded by the HLA-A2 gene present in the tumor cells. The sequence of this gene differs from the HLA-A2 sequence found in autologous peripheral blood lymphocytes by a point mutation that results in an arginine to isoleucine exchange at residue 170, which is located on the alpha-helix of the alpha 2 domain. Transfection experiments with the normal and mutated HLA-A2 cDNA demonstrated that this amino acid replacement was responsible for the recognition of the HLA-A2 molecule expressed on the tumor cells. The mutant HLA-A2 gene was also detected in the original tumor tissue from the patient, excluding the possibility that the mutation had appeared in vitro. Thus, HLA class I molecules carrying a tumor-specific mutation can be involved in the recognition of tumor cells by autologous CTL.