Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Graduate School of Dental Science, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.
We recently described that the SART-1(690-698) peptide could induce HLA-A24-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), which recognize the SART-1(259) (+) tumor cells from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of HLA-A24(+) cancer patients. In our study, in 5 of 14 HLA-A24(+) patients with oral squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), CTLs could be induced with the SART-1(690-698) peptide from the PBMCs. In 2 of the patients from whom the highest CTL activities were induced, the T-cell receptor (TCR) Vbeta repertoire expressed by the SART-1(690-698)-specific CTLs was found to be restricted and multiple Vbeta families were predominantly expressed in each patient. Although the predominant Vbeta families were different between the 2 patients, Vbeta7 was highly and commonly predominant. The same predominant Vbeta families were also detected in the tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) from each patient, and each Vbeta family contained one or more unique T-cell clonotypes. The unique T-cell clonotypes were found to be common between the TILs and SART-1(690-698)-specific CTLs from each patient, and especially 2 T-cell clonotypes with Vbeta7 were identical even in the 2 patients. One of the 2 T-cell clonotypes with Vbeta7 was detected in the TILs from 11 of 14 HLA-A24(+) patients and another was found in those from 8 of HLA-A24(+) patients, while none of 10 HLA-A24(-) patients demonstrated both T-cell clonotypes. These results strongly suggest that the T-cell clonotypes with Vbeta7 are major TCR Vbeta genes expressed by SART-1(690-698)-specific CTLs. Furthermore, autologous tumor cells from one of the HLA-A24(+) patients stimulated the PBMCs and regional lymph node cells (LNCs) to expand the same T-cell clonotypes as those in the SART-1(690-698)-specific CTLs. These results strongly suggest that the SART-1(690-698)-specific CTLs clearly accumulate in vivo, especially in the TILs, as a consequence of in situ antigenic stimulation by autologous tumor cells. The identification of the unique TCR Vbeta genes used by SART-1(259)-specific CTLs should help to improve the diagnosis of the specific immune response in patients with SART-1(259) (+) cancers, especially during anticancer immunotherapy.