The immunodominant MART-1(26(27)-35) epitope, liberated from the differentiation antigen melanoma antigen recognized by T cells/melanoma antigen A (MART-1/Melan-A), has been frequently targeted in melanoma immunotherapy, but with limited clinical success. Previous studies suggested that this is in part due to an insufficient peptide supply and epitope presentation, since proteasomes containing the immunosubunits beta5i/LMP7 (LMP, low molecular weight protein) or beta1i/LMP2 and beta5i/LMP7 interfere with MART-1(26-35) epitope generation in tumor cells. Here, we demonstrate that in addition the IFN-gamma-inducible proteasome subunit beta2i/MECL-1 (multicatalytic endopeptidase complex-like 1), proteasome activator 28 (PA28), and ER-resident aminopeptidase 1 (ERAP1) impair MART-1(26-35) epitope generation. beta2i/MECL-1 and PA28 negatively affect C- and N-terminal cleavage and therefore epitope liberation from the proteasome, whereas ERAP1 destroys the MART-1(26-35) epitope by overtrimming activity. Constitutive expression of PA28 and ERAP1 in melanoma cells indicate that both interfere with MART-1(26-35) epitope generation even in the absence of IFN-gamma. In summary, our results provide first evidence that activities of different antigen-processing components contribute to an inefficient MART-1(26-35) epitope presentation, suggesting the tumor cell's proteolytic machinery might have an important impact on the outcome of epitope-specific immunotherapies.
Type of Publication:
Journal article published