A multiepitope of XBP1, CD138 and CS1 peptides induces myeloma-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes in T cells of smoldering myeloma patients

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We evaluated a cocktail of HLA-A2-specific peptides including heteroclitic XBP1 US184-192 (YISPWILAV), heteroclitic XBP1 SP367-375 (YLFPQLISV), native CD138260-268 (GLVGLIFAV) and native CS1239-247 (SLFVLGLFL), for their ability to elicit multipeptide-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (MP-CTLs) using T cells from smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM) patients. Our results demonstrate that MP-CTLs generated from SMM patients' T cells show effective anti-MM responses including CD137 (4-1BB) upregulation, CTL proliferation, interferon-γ production and degranulation (CD107a) in an HLA-A2-restricted and peptide-specific manner. Phenotypically, we observed increased total CD3+CD8+ T cells (>80%) and cellular activation (CD69+) within the memory SMM MP-CTL (CD45RO+/CD3+CD8+) subset after repeated multipeptide stimulation. Importantly, SMM patients could be categorized into distinct groups by their level of MP-CTL expansion and antitumor activity. In high responders, the effector memory (CCR7-CD45RO+/CD3+CD8+) T-cell subset was enriched, whereas the remaining responders' CTL contained a higher frequency of the terminal effector (CCR7-CD45RO-/CD3+CD8+) subset. These results suggest that this multipeptide cocktail has the potential to induce effective and durable memory MP-CTL in SMM patients. Therefore, our findings provide the rationale for clinical evaluation of a therapeutic vaccine to prevent or delay progression of SMM to active disease.

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