A single TCRα-chain with dominant peptide recognition in the allorestricted HER2/neu-specific T cell repertoire


  • X. Liang
  • L.U. Weigand
  • I.G. Schuster
  • E. Eppinger
  • J.C. van der Griendt
  • A. Schub
  • M. Leisegang
  • D. Sommermeyer
  • F. Anderl
  • Y. Han
  • J. Ellwart
  • A. Moosmann
  • D.H. Busch
  • W. Uckert
  • C. Peschel
  • A.M. Krackhardt


  • Journal of Immunology


  • J Immunol 184 (3): 1617-1629


  • T cells can recognize tumor cells specifically by their TCR and the transfer of TCR-engineered T cells is a promising novel tool in anticancer therapies. We isolated and characterized four allorestricted TCRs with specificity for the HER2/neu-derived peptide 369 (HER2(369)) demonstrating high peptide specificity. PBMCs transduced with especially one TCR, HER2-1, mediated specific tumor reactivity after TCR optimization suggesting that this TCR represents a potential candidate for targeting HER2 by TCR-transduced effector cells. Another TCR showed high-peptide specificity without tumor reactivity. However, the TCRalpha-chain of this TCR specifically recognized HER2(369) not only in combination with the original beta-chain but also with four other beta-chains of the same variable family deriving from TCRs with diverse specificities. Pairing with one beta-chain derived from another HER2(369)-specific TCR potentiated the chimeric TCRs in regard to functional avidity, CD8 independency, and tumor reactivity. Although the frequency of such TCR single chains with dominant peptide recognition is currently unknown, they may represent interesting tools for TCR optimization resulting in enhanced functionality when paired to novel partner chains. However, undirected mispairing with novel partner chains may also result in enhanced cross-reactivity and self-reactivity. These results may have an important impact on the further design of strategies for adoptive transfer using TCR-transduced T cells.