The augmentation of high-titer antibodies to ATP6S1 is associated with favorable clinical outcomes in patients who received vaccination with autologous, irradiated tumor cells engineered to secrete GM-CSF and allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. Cellular immune responses to ATP6S1 are unknown. To define its role as an immune target, examination of cellular responses to ATP6S1 and immunity related to current therapies such as checkpoint blockade is needed. We used an overlapping peptide library representing the full-length ATP6S1 protein to screen for cellular responses from the peripheral blood of patients with stage III and IV melanoma. Reactive peptide pools were used to determine the individual peptide activity and epitopes. Recombinant ATP6S1 protein was used in an ELISA to assess potential correlation with humoral immune responses and changes in immunity related to CTLA-4 blockade with ipilimumab in these patients. We observed a broad array of CD4+ and CD8+ cellular responses against ATP6S1, including the identification of several MHC class I and II ATP6S1 epitopes. The generation of specific CD4+ and cytotoxic T cells revealed potent functional capability elicited by ipilimumab treatment in patients with metastatic melanoma, which revealed potent functional capability, including cytokine production, proliferation responsiveness to melanoma cell lines, and tumor-cell killing. Furthermore, the augmented humoral immune responses to ATP6S1 as a function of ipilimumab treatment were associated with beneficial clinical outcomes. These results support the continued development of ATP6S1 as a biomarker and therapeutic target. Cancer Immunol Res; 3(1); 1–9. ©2014 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Cancer Immunology Research Online (http://cancerimmunolres.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received October 2, 2014.
- Accepted October 3, 2014.
- ©2014 American Association for Cancer Research.