Journal of immunology research

Glioma-associated antigen HEATR1 induces functional cytotoxic T lymphocytes in patients with glioma.

PMID 25126583


A2B5+ glioblastoma (GBM) cells have glioma stem-like cell (GSC) properties that are crucial to chemotherapy resistance and GBM relapse. T-cell-based antigens derived from A2B5+ GBM cells provide important information for immunotherapy. Here, we show that HEAT repeat containing 1 (HEATR1) expression in GBM tissues was significantly higher than that in control brain tissues. Furthermore, HEATR1 expression in A2B5+ U87 cells was higher than that in A2B5-U87 cells (P = 0.016). Six peptides of HEATR1 presented by HLA-A∗02 were selected for testing of their ability to induce T-cell responses in patients with GBM. When peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy donors (n = 6) and patients with glioma (n = 33) were stimulated with the peptide mixture, eight patients with malignant gliomas had positive reactivity with a significantly increased number of responding T-cells. The peptides HEATR(1682-690), HEATR(11126-1134), and HEATR(1757-765) had high affinity for binding to HLA-A∗02:01 and a strong capacity to induce CTL response. CTLs against HEATR1 peptides were capable of recognizing and lysing GBM cells and GSCs. These data are the first to demonstrate that HEATR1 could induce specific CTL responses targeting both GBM cells and GSCs, implicating that HEATR1 peptide-based immunotherapy could be a novel promising strategy for treating patients with GBM.