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Immunology - Oncology - Pediatrics and Child Health


IRF1 and NF-kB Restore MHC Class I-Restricted Tumor Antigen Processing and Presentation to Cytotoxic T Cells in Aggressive Neuroblastoma
Published: Friday, October 05, 2012
Author: Silvia Lorenzi et al.

by Silvia Lorenzi, Matteo Forloni, Loredana Cifaldi, Chiara Antonucci, Arianna Citti, Renata Boldrini, Marco Pezzullo, Aurora Castellano, Vincenzo Russo, Pierre van der Bruggen, Patrizio Giacomini, Franco Locatelli, Doriana Fruci

Neuroblastoma (NB), the most common solid extracranial cancer of childhood, displays a remarkable low expression of Major Histocompatibility Complex class I (MHC-I) and Antigen Processing Machinery (APM) molecules, including Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) Aminopeptidases, and poorly presents tumor antigens to Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes (CTL). We have previously shown that this is due to low expression of the transcription factor NF-kB p65. Herein, we show that not only NF-kB p65, but also the Interferon Regulatory Factor 1 (IRF1) and certain APM components are low in a subset of NB cell lines with aggressive features. Whereas single transfection with either IRF1, or NF-kB p65 is ineffective, co-transfection results in strong synergy and substantial reversion of the MHC-I/APM-low phenotype in all NB cell lines tested. Accordingly, linked immunohistochemistry expression patterns between nuclear IRF1 and p65 on the one hand, and MHC-I on the other hand, were observed in vivo. Absence and presence of the three molecules neatly segregated between high-grade and low-grade NB, respectively. Finally, APM reconstitution by double IRF1/p65 transfection rendered a NB cell line susceptible to killing by anti MAGE-A3 CTLs, lytic efficiency comparable to those seen upon IFN-? treatment. This is the first demonstration that a complex immune escape phenotype can be rescued by reconstitution of a limited number of master regulatory genes. These findings provide molecular insight into defective MHC-I expression in NB cells and provide the rational for T cell-based immunotherapy in NB variants refractory to conventional therapy.
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