The majority of JAK2V617F-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) have disease-initiating frameshift mutations in calreticulin (CALR), resulting in a common carboxyl-terminal mutant fragment (CALRMUT), representing an attractive source of neoantigens for cancer vaccines. However, studies have shown that CALRMUT-specific T cells are rare in patients with CALRMUT MPN for unknown reasons. We examined class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC-I) allele frequencies in patients with CALRMUT MPN from two independent cohorts. We observed that MHC-I alleles that present CALRMUT neoepitopes with high affinity are underrepresented in patients with CALRMUT MPN. We speculated that this was due to an increased chance of immune-mediated tumor rejection by individuals expressing one of these MHC-I alleles such that the disease never clinically manifested. As a consequence of this MHC-I allele restriction, we reasoned that patients with CALRMUT MPN would not efficiently respond to a CALRMUT fragment cancer vaccine but would when immunized with a modified CALRMUT heteroclitic peptide vaccine approach. We found that heteroclitic CALRMUT peptides specifically designed for the MHC-I alleles of patients with CALRMUT MPN efficiently elicited a CALRMUT cross-reactive CD8+ T cell response in human peripheral blood samples but not to the matched weakly immunogenic CALRMUT native peptides. We corroborated this effect in vivo in mice and observed that C57BL/6J mice can mount a CD8+ T cell response to the CALRMUT fragment upon immunization with a CALRMUT heteroclitic, but not native, peptide. Together, our data emphasize the therapeutic potential of heteroclitic peptide-based cancer vaccines in patients with CALRMUT MPN.
|Tidsskrift||Science translational medicine|
|Status||Udgivet - 15 jun. 2022|