Characterization of the Functional Specificity of a Cloned T-Cell Receptor Heterodimer Recognizing the MART-1 Melanoma Antigen

David J. Cole, Daniel P. Weil, Joel Shilyansky, Mary Custer, Yutaka Kawakami, Steven A. Rosenberg, Michael I. Nishimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


T cells can play a central role in the immune response to cancer, with tumor-specific T-lymphocyte reactivity provided by the T-cell receptor (TCR) α and β chain heterodimer. This study is the first report of the definitive identification and characterization of a functional tumor-associated, antigen-specific TCR by reconstitution in an alternate cell line. Jurkat T cells were transfected with the cDNAs encoding the full-length a and 0 T-cell receptor chains from the HLA-A2 restricted, melanoma-reactive T-cell clone, clone 5. Expression of the transfected TCR was evaluated by immunofluorescence after down-modulation of the endogenous receptor with Jurkat T-cell receptor β chain-specific mAb. Jurkat clone 5 TCR+ cells recognized MART-1 peptides presented by T2 cells in a pattern and sensitivity equivalent to native MART-1-reactive T-cells. Recognition of HLA-A2+ melanoma cell lines by the Jurkat clone 5 TCR+ cells, however, did not occur without the addition of exogenous MART-1 peptide. The cloning and expression of functional TCR genes which are capable of specifically recognizing MART-1 antigen provides reagents which could be used for the study of the mechanisms of T-cell/tumor antigen interactions and creates immortalized reagents which can facilitate studies requiring detection of the MART-1 antigen. The tumor reactivity provided by these genes could also have application in novel immu-notherapeutic strategies for treating patients with melanoma, including redirection of tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte specificity and bone marrow stem cell therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)748-752
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 15 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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