Melanoma inhibitor of apoptosis protein (ML-IAP) specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes cross-react with an epitope from the auto-antigen SS56.
Baek Sørensen R., Faurschou M., Troelsen L., Schrama D., Jacobsen S., Becker JC., Thor Straten P., Andersen MH.
A large proportion of melanoma patients host a spontaneous T-cell response specifically against ML-IAP-derived peptides. In this study, we describe that some ML-IAP-specific cytotoxic T cells isolated from melanoma patients cross react with an epitope from the auto-antigen SS56. SS56 is a recently described target of autoantibody responses in Sjögren's syndrome (SS) as well as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Here, we describe that SS56 is also an auto-antigen for T cells in SS and SLE. Hence, SS56-specific T cells could readily be detected in circulation and among the infiltrating cells of SLE skin lesions. SS56-specific T cells were able to lyse target cells presenting the peptide epitope on the surface. Notably, SS56-specific CD8 T cells isolated from an SS patient cross reacted with the ML-IAP epitope. This early evidence of a target for auto-reactive CTL in SS and SLE patients; it is to our knowledge previously unreported and underscores the important role of CD8 T cells in autoimmune disorders. Furthermore, the cross-reactivity against the auto-antigen SS56 and the tumor-antigen ML-IAP confirms the link between autoimmunity and anti-cancer cellular immune responses.