In an attempt to induce cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) that react to ovarian cancer cells, we isolated a CTL clone that specifically recognizes claudin-1 in an HLA-A*24:02-restricted manner. Naïve CD8+ T lymphocytes were obtained from a healthy adult donor and stimulated twice in vitro with HLA-modified TOV21G cells that were originally derived from an ovarian clear-cell carcinoma line. The TOV21G modification involved RNAi-mediated gene silencing of intrinsic HLA molecules and lentiviral transduction of a synonymously mutated HLA-A*24:02. Then, cDNA library construction using mRNA extracted from the parental TOV21G cells and subsequent expression cloning were conducted. These experiments revealed that a CTL clone obtained from the bulk culture recognized a minimal epitope peptide RYEFGQALF, which was derived from an autoantigen claudin-1 presented by HLA-A*24:02 molecules. This clone exhibited cytolytic activities against three ovarian cancer cell lines and normal bronchial epithelial cells in an HLA-A*24:02-restricted manner. Our data indicate that HLA-modified cancer cells can be used as an artificial antigen-presenting cell to generate antigen-specific CTLs in a manner restricted by an HLA allele of interest.
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