Journal of experimental & clinical cancer research : CR

BAP31, a promising target for the immunotherapy of malignant melanomas.

PMID 25903101


Malignant melanoma's (MM) incidence is rising faster than that of any other cancer in the US and the overall survival at 5xa0years is less than 10%. B cell associated protein 31 (BAP31) is overexpressed in most MMs and might be a promising target for immunotherapy of this disease. Firstly, we investigated the expression profiles of human BAP31 (hBAP31) and mouse BAP31 (mBAP31) in human and mouse normal tissues, respectively. The expression level of hBAP31 in human MMs and mBAP31 in B16 melanoma cells was also analyzed. Then we constructed novel mBAP31 DNA vaccines and tested there ability to stimulate mBAP31-specific immune responses and antitumor immunity in B16 melanoma-bearing mice. For the first time, we found that protein expression of hBAP31 were dramatically upregulated in human MMs when compared with human normal tissues. Predominant protein expression of mBAP31 was found in mouse B16 melanoma cells but not in mouse important organs. When mice were immunized with mBAP31 DNA vaccines, strong cellular response to mBAP31 was observed in the vaccinated mice. CTLs isolated from immunized mice could effectively kill mBAP31-positive target mouse B16 melanoma tumor cells in vitro and vaccination with mBAP31 DNA vaccines had potent anti-tumor activity in therapeutic model using B16 melanoma cells. These are the first data supporting a vaccine targeting BAP31 that is capable of inducing effective immunity against BAP31-expressing MMs and will be applicable to human MMs and hBAP31 DNA vaccine warrants investigation in human clinical trials.