Despite several ongoing clinical trials of immunotherapies against glioma, few glioma-specifk antigens recognized by cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) have been identified. We recently demonstrated that intratumoral inoculation with herpes simplex virus (HSV) as a cancer vaccine activates tumor-specific CTLs. To identify glioma antigens recognized by CTLs, we used the HSV cancer vaccine to vaccinate mice harboring a syngeneic mouse glioma cell line, GL261. From the splenocytes of the immunized mice, we generated an H-2Db-restricted CTL line, GCL-1, that was specific for GL261. Then, a cDNA expression library generated from GL261 was screened with GCL-1, and a new gene encoding glioma antigen, GARC-1, was isolated. Sequence analysis revealed that the GARC-1 gene isolated from GL261 had a point mutation causing an amino acid change (Asp to Asn at position 81). T-cell epitope analysis revealed that the mutated peptide GARC-177-85 (AALLNKLYA) but not the wild-type peptide (AALLDKLYA), was recognized by GCL-1. These results suggest that HSV cancer vaccination may be a useful method for inducing tumor-specific CTLs and identifying tumor antigens. Furthermore, this GL261/GARC-1 murine glioma model may be useful for the development of immunotherapy for brain tumors.
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