Introduction: Albeit early stage gastrointestinal (GI) carcinomas have a good prognosis if treated with surgery, diagnosis is often confirmed at a late stage and efficacious drugs are lacking. Recent progress in immune-based therapies has focused on dendritic cells (DCs), aiming to elicit tumor-specific responses by inducing immunological memory. Our previous microarray study indicated that a biomarker, termed lymphocyte antigen-6E (LY6E), is commonly overexpressed in two potentially lethal GI cancers: those of colon and stomach. In this study, we examined the antigenic potency of LY6E in stimulating DCs.
Methods: Following isolation, differentiation, and maturation of mononuclear cells, DCs were pulsed with LY6E peptide, a protein related to major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I/II. Subsequently, DCs were co-cultured with mouse splenocytes to assess antigen-specific T-cell proliferation. Elucidated cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses were assessed using subcutaneous colorectal murine tumor models.
Results: Our in vitro results suggest that DCs loaded with LY6E peptide antigen are capable of stimulating and inducing proliferation of murine T-cells. Furthermore, our in vivo results demonstrate that LY6E peptide has a substantial impact on provoking immune responses against induced colon cancer in mice.
Discussion: In conclusion, based on the overexpression of LY6E in colorectal, gastric, and pancreatic cancers, the role of this peptide should be further investigated with a goal of developing new therapies for these challenging diseases.