The EBV-encoded nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1) is required for the maintenance and replication of the viral episome in EBV-transformed human B-lymphoblastoid cell lines. It is expressed in all EBV-associated tumors, making it a potentially important target for immunotherapy. However, this promise has not been realized, because an endogenously processed MHC class 1-restricted T-cell epitope remains to be identified, and relatively little is known about MHC class II-restricted helper epitopes in the molecule. In this report, we identify a T-cell peptide derived from EBNA1 that is recognized by CD4+ T cells. More importantly, EBNA1-specific, HLA-DP3-restricted CD4+ T cells are capable of recognizing MHC class II-matched Burkitt's lymphoma cells, autologous peripheral blood mononuclear cells loaded with the purified EBNA1 protein, as well as target cells transfected with Ii-EBNA1 cDNA. These new findings demonstrate that EBNA1 is processed endogenously and presented to T cells by MHC class II molecules, and, hence, may be useful to incorporate into cancer vaccines to enhance antitumor immunity against EBV-associated tumors.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|State||Published - Dec 15 2002|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research