A total of 123 tumor-infiltrating T lymphocyte (TIL) cultures established from patients with HLA-A1, -A2, -A3, -A24, or -A31 metastatic melanoma in the Surgery Branch, National Cancer Institute, were screened for recognition of shared melanoma antigens including five melanosomal proteins (tyrosinase, MART-1/melan-A, gp100, TRP1, TRP2) as well as peptides derived from MAGE-1 and MAGE-3. Examination of the specificity of these T cells indicated that 16% of HLA-A1 TIL, 57% of HLA-A2 TIL, 7% of HLA-A3 TIL, 13% of HLA-A24 TIL, and 27% of HLA-A31 TIL recognized shared melanoma antigens restricted by major histocompatibility complex class I. Melanosomal proteins were frequently recognized by these TIL, and MART- 127-35, gp100154- 162, gp100209-217, and gp100280-288 represent highly immunogenic epitopes that were recognized by a high percentage of HLA-A2 restricted melanoma reactive TIL. Recognition of gp100 by HLA-A2 restricted TIL significantly correlated with clinical response to adoptive immunotherapy with TIL in 21 HLA-A2 melanoma patients (p = 0.024). Four HLA-A1, two HLA-A2, two HLA-A3, one HLA-A24, and two HLA-A31 restricted shared antigen-specific TIL did not recognize the previously identified antigens tested in this study, and may be useful for the identification of new melanoma antigens. The observation that TILs isolated from patients with metastatic melanoma recognized melanosomal proteins in the context of predominant HLA-A alleles implies that it may be possible to develop immunotherapies for patients with melanoma expressing diverse HLA types.
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