Publication — IRIC

Identification of antigenic epitopes recognized by tumor infiltrating lymphocytes in high grade serous ovarian cancer by multi-omics profiling of the auto-antigen repertoire.

Immunotherapeutic strategies aimed at enhancing tumor cell killing by tumor-specific T cells hold great potential for reducing tumor burden and prolonging survival of cancer patients. Although many potential tumor antigens have been described, identifying relevant targets when designing anti-cancer vaccines or targeted cell therapies remains a challenge. To identify novel, potentially immunogenic candidate tumor antigens, we performed integrated tumor transcriptomic, seromic, and proteomic analyses of high grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSC) patient tumor samples. We identified tumor neo-antigens and over-expressed antigens using whole exome and RNA sequencing and examined these in relation to patient-matched auto-antibody repertoires. Focusing on MHC class I epitopes recognized by CD8+ T cells, HLA-binding epitopes were identified or predicted from the highly expressed, mutated, or auto-antibody target antigen, or MHC-associated peptides (MAPs). Recognition of candidate antigenic peptides was assessed within the tumor-infiltrating T lymphocyte (TIL) population expanded from each patient. Known tumor-associated antigens (TAA) and cancer/testis antigens (CTA) were commonly found in the auto-antibody and MAP repertoires and CD8+ TILs recognizing epitopes from these antigens were detected, although neither expression level nor the presence of auto-antibodies correlated with TIL recognition. Auto-antibodies against tumor-mutated antigens were found in most patients, however, no TIL recognition of the highest predicted affinity neo-epitopes was detected. Using high expression level, auto-antibody recognition, and epitope prediction algorithms, we identified epitopes in 5 novel antigens (MOB1A, SOCS3, TUBB, PRKAR1A, CCDC6) recognized by HGSC patient TILs. Furthermore, selection of epitopes from the MAP repertoire identified 5 additional targets commonly recognized by multiple patient TILs. We find that the repertoire of TIL specificities includes recognition of highly expressed and immunogenic self-antigens that are processed and presented by tumors. These results indicate an ongoing autoimmune response against a range of self-antigens targeted by HGSC TILs.

Publication date
March 21, 2023
Principal Investigators
Millar DG, Yang SYC, Sayad A, Zhao Q, Nguyen LT, Warner K, Sangster AG, Nakatsugawa M, Murata K, Wang BX, Shaw P, Clarke B, Bernardini MQ, Pugh T, Thibault P, Hirano N, Perreault C, Ohashi PS
PubMed reference
Cancer Immunol Immunother 2023
PubMed ID
Tumor Immunotherapy Program, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, 610 University Avenue, Toronto, ON, M5G 2M9, Canada.