Telomerase is a reverse transcriptase that maintains telomeres length, compensating for the attrition of chromosomal ends that occurs during each replication cycle. Telomerase is expressed in germ cells and stem cells, whereas it is virtually undetectable in adult somatic cells. On the other hand, telomerase is broadly expressed in the majority of human tumors playing a crucial role in the replicative behavior and immortality of cancer cells. Several studies have demonstrated that telomerase-derived peptides are able to bind to HLA (human leukocyte antigen) class I and class II molecules and effectively activate both CD8+ and CD4+ T cells subsets. Due to its broad and selective expression in cancer cells and its significant immunogenicity, telomerase is considered an ideal universal tumor-associated antigen, and consequently, a very attractive target for anti-cancer immunotherapy. To date, different telomerase targeting immunotherapies have been studied in preclinical and clinical settings, these approaches include peptide vaccination and cell-based vaccination. The objective of this review paper is to discuss the role of human telomerase in cancer immunotherapy analyzing recent developments and future perspectives in this field.

Anti-cancer immunotherapies targeting telomerase

Negrini S.;De Palma R.;Filaci G.
2020

Abstract

Telomerase is a reverse transcriptase that maintains telomeres length, compensating for the attrition of chromosomal ends that occurs during each replication cycle. Telomerase is expressed in germ cells and stem cells, whereas it is virtually undetectable in adult somatic cells. On the other hand, telomerase is broadly expressed in the majority of human tumors playing a crucial role in the replicative behavior and immortality of cancer cells. Several studies have demonstrated that telomerase-derived peptides are able to bind to HLA (human leukocyte antigen) class I and class II molecules and effectively activate both CD8+ and CD4+ T cells subsets. Due to its broad and selective expression in cancer cells and its significant immunogenicity, telomerase is considered an ideal universal tumor-associated antigen, and consequently, a very attractive target for anti-cancer immunotherapy. To date, different telomerase targeting immunotherapies have been studied in preclinical and clinical settings, these approaches include peptide vaccination and cell-based vaccination. The objective of this review paper is to discuss the role of human telomerase in cancer immunotherapy analyzing recent developments and future perspectives in this field.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/1020272
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