Her-2/neu (85-94) – LIAHNQVRQV – Epitope peptide of HER-2
HER-2/neu (85-94) is an epitope from the extracellular region of Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor-2, receptor tyrosine kinase, also known as CD340, ERBB2 and proto-oncogene Neu. HER-2/neu contains a binding domain for HLA-A*02:01 molecule. It has been demonstrated that the over-expression of HER-2/neu plays an important role in the development and progression in primary breast cancer but also in ovarian colorectal and pancreatic adenocarcinoma. HER-2/neu has become an important biomarker and target of therapy for 30% of breast cancer patients.
Applications of HER-2/neu (85-94)
HER-2/neu (85-94) has shown its capacity to induce both cellular and humoral immune response in vivo. HER-2/neu (85-94) is used to analyze specific cytotoxic CD8 T cells responses, it has been demonstrated by ELISPOT analyses that the stimulation of cytotoxic T cells in PBMCs by HER-2/neu (85-94) produce IFN-γ against cancer cell expressing HLA-A*02:01 molecules and HER-2/neu.
It has been also demonstrated that HER-2/neu (85-94) is the single peptide of HER-2/neu which involve an increase frequency of cytotoxic CD8 T cells in the peripheral blood of breast cancer patients. HER-2/neu (85-94) is also used for vaccine development to treat diagenous rat from allied ALC cancer cells co-expressing HLA-A*02:01 and HER-2/neu.
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1- Ross J. S. et al. Oncologist. 8(4):307-325 (2003)
The HER-2/neu oncogene encodes a transmembrane tyrosine kinase receptor with extensive homology to the epidermal growth factor receptor. In this review, the association of HER-2/neu gene and protein abnormalities with prognosis and response to therapy with trastuzumab and to other therapies in breast cancer is presented. By considering a series of 80 published studies encompassing more than 25,000 patients, the relative advantages and disadvantages of Southern blotting, polymerase chain reaction amplification, and fluorescence in situ hybridization assays designed to detect HER-2/neu gene amplification are compared with HER-2/neu protein overexpression assays performed by immunohistochemical techniques applied to frozen and paraffin-embedded tissues and enzyme immunoassays performed on tumor cytosols. The significance of HER-2/neu overexpression in ductal carcinoma in situ and the HER-2/neu status in uncommon female breast conditions and male breast cancer are also considered. The role of HER-2/neu testing for the prediction of response to trastuzumab therapy in breast cancer is presented as well as its potential impact on responses to standard and newer hormonal therapies, cytotoxic chemotherapy, and radiation. The review also evaluates the status of serum-based testing for circulating HER-2/neu receptor protein and its ability to predict disease outcome and therapy response.
2- Slamon D. J. et al. Science. 244(4905):707-712 (1989)
Carcinoma of the breast and ovary account for one-third of all cancers occurring in women and together are responsible for approximately one-quarter of cancer-related deaths in females. The HER-2/neu proto-oncogene is amplified in 25 to 30 percent of human primary breast cancers and this alteration is associated with disease behavior. In this report, several similarities were found in the biology of HER-2/neu in breast and ovarian cancer, including a similar incidence of amplification, a direct correlation between amplification and over-expression, evidence of tumors in which overexpression occurs without amplification, and the association between gene alteration and clinical outcome. A comprehensive study of the gene and its products (RNA and protein) was simultaneously performed on a large number of both tumor types. This analysis identified several potential shortcomings of the various methods used to evaluate HER-2/neu in these diseases (Southern, Northern, and Western blots, and immunohistochemistry) and provided information regarding considerations that should be addressed when studying a gene or gene product in human tissue. The data presented further support the concept that the HER-2/neu gene may be involved in the pathogenesis of some human cancers.
3- Gritzapis A. D. et al. J. Immunol. 181(1):146-154 (2008)
Identification of a Novel Immunogenic HLA-A*0201-Binding Epitope of HER-2/neu with Potent Antitumor Properties
HER-2/neu oncoprotein is overexpressed in a variety of human tumors and is associated with aggressive disease. Immunogenic HER-2/neu CTL epitopes have been used as vaccines for the treatment of HER-2/neu positive malignancies with limited success. By applying prediction algorithms for MHC class I ligands and proteosomal cleavages, in this study, we describe the identification of HER-2/neu decamer LIAHNQVRQV spanning residues 85–94 (HER-2(1085)). HER-2(1085) proved to bind with high affinity to HLA-A2.1 and was stable for 4 h in an off-kinetics assay. This peptide was immunogenic in HLA-A2.1 transgenic (HHD) mice inducing peptide-specific CTL, which responded to tumor cell lines of various origin coexpressing human HER-2/neu and HLA-A2.1. This demonstrates that HER-2(1085) is naturally processed from endogenous HER-2/neu. Five of sixteen HER-2/neu+ HLA-A2.1+ breast cancer patients analyzed had HER-2(1085)-reactive T cells ranging from 0.35–0.70% of CD8+ T cells. Depletion of T regulatory cells from PBMC enabled the rapid expansion of HLA-A2.1/HER-2(1085) pentamer+/CD8+ cells (PENT+/CD8+), whereas significantly lower numbers of CTL could be generated from unfractionated PBMC. HER-2(1085)-specific human CTL recognized the HER-2/neu+ HLA-A2.1+ tumor cell line SKBR3.A2, as determined by IFN-γ intracellular staining and in the high sensitivity CD107α degranulation assay. Finally, HER-2(1085) significantly prolonged the survival of HHD mice inoculated with the transplantable ALC.A2.1.HER tumor both in prophylactic and therapeutic settings. These data demonstrate that HER-2(1085) is an immunogenic peptide, capable of eliciting CD8-mediated responses in vitro and in vivo, providing the platform for further exploitation of HER-2(1085) as a possible target for anticancer immunotherapy.
4- Disis M. L., Pupa S. M., Gralow J. R., Dittadi R., Menard S. and Cheever M. A. J Clin Oncol. 15(11):3363-3367 (1997)
High-titer HER-2/neu protein-specific antibody can be detected in patients with early-stage breast cancer
PURPOSE: To evaluate HER-2/neu-specific antibody immunity in patients with breast cancer, to determine the rate of occurrence of serum antibodies to HER-2/neu in patients with breast cancer, and to relate the presence of specific immunity to overexpression of HER-2/neu protein in primary tumor.
METHODS: The antibody response to HER-2/neu protein was analyzed in 107 newly diagnosed breast cancer patients. Sera was analyzed for the presence of HER-2/neu-specific antibodies with a capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and verified by Western blot. Sera from 200 volunteer blood donors was used as a control population.
RESULTS: The presence of antibodies to HER-2/neu correlated with the presence of breast cancer. HER-2/neu antibodies at titers of > or = 1:100 were detected in 12 of 107 (11%) breast cancer patients versus none of 200 (0%) normal controls (P < .01). The presence of antibodies to HER-2/neu also correlated to overexpression of HER-2/neu protein in the patient's primary tumor. Nine of 44 (20%) patients with HER-2/neu-positive tumors had HER-2/neu-specific antibodies, whereas three of 63 (5%) patients with HER-2/neu-negative tumors had antibodies (P = .03). The antibody responses could be substantial. Titers of greater than 1:5,000 were detected in five of 107 (5%).
CONCLUSION: The presence of HER-2/neu antibodies in breast cancer patients and the correlation with HER-2/neu-positive cancer implies that immunity to HER-2/neu develops as a result of exposure of patients to HER-2/neu protein expressed by their own cancer. These findings should stimulate further studies to develop the detection of immunity to oncogenic proteins as tumor markers, as well as the development and testing of vaccine strategies to induce and augment immunity to HER-2/neu for the treatment of breast cancer or prevention of recurrent disease.