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  • Poster presentation
  • Open Access

Identification of a melanoma-associated chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (MCSP) peptide recognized by CD4+ T lymphocytes on human melanoma cells

Cancer Cell International20044 (Suppl 1) :S35

  • Received: 28 April 2004
  • Published:


  • Melanoma
  • Melanoma Cell
  • Chondroitin Sulfate
  • Human Melanoma
  • Helper Cell

The identification of tumor antigens recognized by cytolytic CD8+ T cells (CTLs) on human tumor cells has opened new avenues in cancer immunotherapy. There is consensus, that the induction of both, tumor-specific CTLs and CD4+ T helper cells is necessary for an optimal antitumor immunity. Unfortunately, only a few tumor-specific helper T cell epitopes have been described so far. We therefore have focused our research on the identification of melanoma antigens recognized by CD4+ T cells. One interesting candidate antigen is the human melanoma-associated chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (MCSP), which is expressed on > 90% of human melanoma tissues and induces strong humoral responses in mice. In the present study, we describe the induction of MCSP-specific CD4+ T cell clones from the peripheral blood of a healthy human donor and the subsequent identification of the T cell epitope which is located in the core protein. The identified peptide was presented to the T helper cells by HLA-DR11 molecules, which are expressed by approximately 13% of Caucasians. The T cells directly recognized HLA-matched MCSP-expressing melanoma cells and produced high amounts of IFN-gamma, a cytokine with important antitumoral effects. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first MCSP-derived T cell epitope described and it should be useful for melanoma immunotherapy.

Authors’ Affiliations

Dermatologische Klinik mit Poliklinik des Universitätsklinikums Erlangen, 91052 Erlangen, Germany
Free University of Brussels, Medical School, Laboratory of Physiology, B-1070 Brussels, Belgium


© Author(s); licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2004