Identification of a HLA-A*0201-restricted immunogenic epitope from the universal tumor antigen DEPDC1

Anna Tosi, Silvia Dalla Santa, Elisa Cappuzzello, Carolina Marotta, Dawid Walerich, Giannino Del Sal, Paola Zanovello, Roberta Sommaggio, Antonio Rosato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The identification of universal tumor-specific antigens shared between multiple patients and/or multiple tumors is of great importance to overcome the practical limitations of personalized cancer immunotherapy. Recent studies support the involvement of DEPDC1 in many aspects of cancer traits, such as cell proliferation, resistance to induction of apoptosis and cell invasion, suggesting that it may play key roles in the oncogenic process. In this study, we report that DEPDC1 expression is upregulated in most types of human tumors, and closely linked to a poorer prognosis; therefore, it might be regarded as a novel universal oncoantigen potentially suitable for targeting many different cancers. In this regard, we report the identification of a HLA-A*0201 allele-restricted immunogenic DEPDC1-derived epitope, which is able to induce cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) exerting a strong and specific functional response in vitro toward not only peptide-loaded cells but also triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells endogenously expressing the DEPDC1 protein. Such CTL are also therapeutically active against human TNBC xenografts in vivo upon adoptive transfer in immunodeficient mice. Overall, these data provide evidence that this DEPDC1-derived antigenic epitope can be exploited as a new tool for developing immunotherapeutic strategies for HLA-A*0201 patients with TNBC, and potentially many other cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1313371
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 3 2017


  • Cancer immunotherapy
  • cytotoxic T lymphocytes
  • DEPDC1
  • triple negative breast cancer
  • tumor antigen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Oncology


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