The tumorigenicity of adenovirus type 12 (Ad12)-transformed cells has been attributed to the low levels of class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC) protein expression by these cells. These levels of class I proteins are thought to be below the threshold critical for cytotoxic T-lymphocyte recognition, a process that may be involved in tumor cell immunosurveillance. We have used gene transfer experiments to investigate the role played by class I protein expression in the tumorigenicity of Ad12-transformed BALB/c mouse cells in naive, syngeneic adult mice. Our Ad12-transformed mouse cells were tumorigenic in adult mice and were similar to other Ad12-transformed mammalian cells in that they expressed low levels of class I MHC mRNA and cell surface proteins. Despite these low levels of expression, the cells were highly immunogenic in syngeneic mice and were rejected as allografts by allogeneic mice. Transfection of genomic H-2D(d) or H-2L(d) fragments into these cells produced a variety of cell clones that expressed increased levels of cell surface class I proteins. These cells expressing high levels of class I protein were up to 16-fold more tumorigenic than the parental cells in syngeneic adult mice. Thus, by quantitative assays, the tumorigenicity of Ad12-transformed BALB/c mouse cells is not functionally related to the low levels of class I MHC proteins they express. The increased tumorigenicity expressed by H-2D(d)- and H-2L(d)-transfected cells was not detected in BALB/c nu/nu mice, suggesting that a thymus-dependent mechanism that is not mediated by evasion of cytotoxic T-lymphocyte recognition could contribute to the difference in tumorigenicity of Ad12-transformed BALB/c mouse cells that express low and high levels of class I MHC proteins.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Virology|
|Publication status||Published - 1992|
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