Adoptive transfer of T cells redirected by a high affinity antitumor T-cell receptor (TCR) is a promising treatment modality for cancer patients. Safety and efficacy depend on the selection of a TCR that induces minimal unwanted toxicity while possessing desired sufficient antitumor reactivity. Many, if not all, TCRs possess cross-reactivity to unrelated MHC molecules in addition to reactivity to target self-MHC/peptide complexes. Interestingly, some TCRs display chain centricity, where recognition of MHC/peptide complexes is dominated by one of the TCR hemi-chains. In this study, we comprehensively studied how TCR chain centricity impacts reactivity to target self-MHC/peptide complexes and alloreactivity using the TCR, clone TAK1, which is specific for human leukocyte antigen-A*24:02/Wilms tumor 1235-243 (A24/WT1235) and cross-reactive with B*57:01 (B57). The TAK1β, but not the TAK1α, hemi-chain possessed chain centricity. When paired with multiple clonotypic TCRα counter-chains encoding TRAV12-2, 20, 36, or 38-2, the de novo TAK1β-containing TCRs showed enhanced, weakened, or absent reactivity to A24/WT1235 and/or to B57. T cells reconstituted with these TCRα genes along with TAK1β possessed a very broad range (>3 log orders) of functional and structural avidities. These results suggest that TCR chain centricity can be exploited to enhance desired antitumor TCR reactivity and eliminate unwanted TCR cross-reactivity. TCR reactivity to target MHC/peptide complexes and cross-reactivity to unrelated MHC molecules are not inextricably linked and are separable at the TCR sequence level. However, it is still mandatory to carefully monitor for possible undesired harmful toxicities caused by adoptive transfer of T cells redirected by thymically-unselected TCRs.
- Received November 23, 2014.
- Revision received March 25, 2015.
- Accepted April 15, 2015.
- Copyright © 2015, American Association for Cancer Research.