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Fischer, E; Kobold, S; Kleber, S; Kubuschok, B; Braziulis, E; Knuth, A; Renner, C; Wadle, A (2010). Cryptic epitopes induce high-titer humoral immune response in patients with cancer. Journal of Immunology, 85(5):3095-3102.

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In search of novel markers for diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy of cancer, screening of rcDNA expression libraries with patient's sera has been established as a valuable tool for identification of cancer-specific Ags. Interestingly, besides the expected humoral responses to annotated proteins, patients with cancer were frequently found to have serum Abs that bind to peptides without homology to known proteins. So far, the nature of these unconventional epitopes and their possible significance in tumor immunology have never been thoroughly investigated. In our study, we specifically analyzed humoral immune response toward such peptides in patients with pancreatic or breast cancer using yeast-displayed cDNA expression libraries derived from tumor tissue. A detailed analysis of the identified peptides revealed that they originated from translation of sequences outside annotated open reading frames and may derive from the use of alternative start codons or from DNA indel mutations. In several cases, the corresponding mRNA templates have a known association with cancer. In a final analysis, we were able to detect one of these tumor Ags in cancer tissue arrays by a selected Fab-Ab. We conclude that cryptic epitopes may elicit specific humoral immune responses in patients with cancer and thus play a role in immunologic surveillance. Due to the high prevalence of immune responses against some of the peptides, they may also be valuable markers for cancer diagnosis, prognosis, or therapy monitoring.


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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Oncology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Date:1 September 2010
Deposited On:02 Dec 2010 13:20
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:16
Publisher:American Association of Immunologists
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:10.4049/​jimmunol.0902166
PubMed ID:20660712

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