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TARP is an immunotherapeutic target in acute myeloid leukemia expressed in the leukemic stem cell compartment

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Immunotherapeutic strategies targeting the rare leukemic stem cell compartment might provide salvage to the high relapse rates currently observed in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We applied gene expression profiling for comparison of leukemic blasts and leukemic stem cells with their normal counterparts. Here, we show that the T-cell receptor γ chain alternate reading frame protein (TARP) is over-expressed in de novo pediatric (n=13) and adult (n=17) AML sorted leukemic stem cells and blasts compared to hematopoietic stem cells and normal myeloblasts (15 healthy controls). Moreover, TARP expression was significantly associated with a fms-like tyrosine kinase receptor-3 internal tandem duplication in pediatric AML. TARP overexpression was confirmed in AML cell lines (n=9), and was found to be absent in B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia (n=5) and chronic myeloid leukemia (n=1). Sequencing revealed that both a classical TARP transcript, as described in breast and prostate adenocarcinoma, and an AML-specific alternative TARP transcript, were present. Protein expression levels mostly matched transcript levels. TARP was shown to reside in the cytoplasmic compartment and showed sporadic endoplasmic reticulum co-localization. TARP-T-cell receptor engineered cytotoxic T-cells in vitro killed AML cell lines and patient leukemic cells co-expressing TARP and HLA-A*0201. In conclusion, TARP qualifies as a relevant target for immunotherapeutic T-cell therapy in AML.
ISSN: 0390-6078
Issue: 5
Volume: 105
Pages: 1306 - 1316
Publication year:2020
BOF-publication weight:3
CSS-citation score:1
Authors from:Hospital, Higher Education