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About 85% of patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) have the non-microsatellite instability-high (non-MSI-H) subtype, and many cannot benefit from immune checkpoint blockade. A potential reason for this is that most non-MSI-H colorectal cancers are immunologically "cold" due to poor CD8+ T cell infiltration. In the present study, we screened for potential cancer-testis antigens (CTAs) by comparing the bioinformatics of CD8+ T effector memory (Tem) cell infiltration between MSI-H and non-MSI-H CRC. Two ODF2-derived epitope peptides, P433 and P609, displayed immunogenicity and increased the proportion of CD8+ T effector memory (Tem) cells in vitro and in vivo. The adoptive transfer of peptide pool-induced CTLs inhibited tumor growth and enhanced CD8+ T cell infiltration in tumor-bearing NOD/SCID mice. The mechanistic study showed that knockdown of ODF2 in CRC cells promoted interleukin-15 expression, which facilitated CD8+ T cell proliferation. In conclusion, ODF2, a CTA, was negatively correlated with CD8+ T cell infiltration in "cold" non-MSI-H CRC and was selected based on the results of bioinformatics analyses. The corresponding HLA-A2 restricted epitope peptide induced antigen-specific CTLs. Immunotherapy targeting ODF2 could improve CTA infiltration via upregulating IL-15 in non-MSI-H CRC. This tumor antigen screening strategy could be exploited to develop therapeutic vaccines targeting non-MSI-H CRC. © 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


Ranran Shi, Xiuman Zhou, Liwei Pang, Mingshuang Wang, Yubing Li, Chunxia Chen, Haoming Ning, Lihan Zhang, Guangxing Yue, Lu Qiu, Wenshan Zhao, Yuanming Qi, Yahong Wu, Yanfeng Gao. Peptide vaccine from cancer-testis antigen ODF2 can potentiate the cytotoxic T lymphocyte infiltration through IL-15 in non-MSI-H colorectal cancer. Cancer immunology, immunotherapy : CII. 2023 Apr;72(4):985-1001

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PMID: 36251028

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