Naturally processed class II epitope from the tumor antigen MUC1 primes human CD4+ T cells

Elizabeth M. Hiltbold, Pawel Ciborowski, Olivera J. Finn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Epithelial cell mucin MUC1 is expressed on adenocarcinomas in an underglycosylated form that serves as a tumor antigen in breast, pancreatic, ovarian, and other tumors. Two predominant MUC1-specific immune responses are found in patients: CD8+ CTLs, which recognize tandemly repeated epitopes on the MUC1 protein core, and IgM antibodies. There have been no reports to date of MUC1-specific CD4+ T-helper cells in cancer patients. We show here that MUC1-specific CD4+ T cells are neither deleted nor tolerized and that CD4+ T cell responses can be generated when an appropriate soluble form of MUC1 is used. Naive CD4+ T cells from healthy donors were primed in vitro to a synthetic MUC1 peptide of 100 amino acids, representing five unglycosylated tandem repeats, presented by dendritic cells. They produced IFN-γ and had moderate cytolytic activity. We identified one core peptide sequence, PGSTAPPAHGVT, that elicits; this response when it is presented by HLA-DR3.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5066-5070
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Research
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 15 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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