TCR Gene Transfer: MAGE-C2/HLA-A2 and MAGE-A3/HLA-DP4 Epitopes as Melanoma-Specific Immune Targets

T Straetemans, Mandy van Brakel, S van Steenbergen, M Broertjes, JAR (Joost) Drexhage, Joost Hegmans, Bart Lambrecht, Cor Lamers, P (Pierre) van der Bruggen, PG Coulie, Reno Debets

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Adoptive therapy with TCR gene-engineered T cells provides an attractive and feasible treatment option for cancer patients. Further development of TCR gene therapy requires the implementation of T-cell target epitopes that prevent "on-target" reactivity towards healthy tissues and at the same time direct a clinically effective response towards tumor tissues. Candidate epitopes that meet these criteria are MAGE-C2(336-344)/HLA-A2 (MC2/A2) and MAGE-A3(243-258)/HLA-DP4 (MA3/DP4). We molecularly characterized TCR alpha beta genes of an MC2/A2-specific CD8 and MA3/DP4-specific CD4 T-cell clone derived from melanoma patients who responded clinically to MAGE vaccination. We identified MC2/A2 and MA3/DP4-specific TCR-V alpha 3/V beta 28 and TCR-V alpha 38/V beta 2 chains and validated these TCRs in vitro upon gene transfer into primary human T cells. The MC2 and MA3 TCR were surface-expressed and mediated CD8 T-cell functions towards melanoma cell lines and CD4 T-cell functions towards dendritic cells, respectively. We intend to start testing these MAGE-specific TCRs in phase I clinical trial.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalClinical & Developmental Immunology
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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