Fine-mapping naturally occurring NY-ESO-1 antibody epitopes in melanoma patients’ sera using short overlapping peptides and full-length recombinant protein

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Abstract

The tumor antigen NY-ESO-1 is one of the most antigenic cancer-testis antigens, first identified by serologic analysis of a recombinant cDNA expression library (SEREX). NY-ESO-1 is expressed in different types of cancers including melanoma. NY-ESO-1-specific spontaneous humoral and cellular immune responses are detected in a large proportion of patients with advanced NY-ESO-1-expressing cancers. Therefore NY-ESO-1 is a good candidate antigen for immunotherapy. Although cellular immune responses to NY-ESO-1 are well characterized, much less is known about the humoral immune responses. In this study, we finely mapped linear antibody epitopes using sera from melanoma patients and shorter overlapping peptide sets. We have shown that melanoma patients’ humoral immune systems responded to NY-ESO-1 differently in each individual with widely differing antibody specificity, intensity and antibody subtypes. This knowledge will help us further understand anti-tumor immunity and may also help us to monitor cancer progress and cancer vaccine efficacy in the future.

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