The observation that allogeneic melanoma cells matched for particular HLA class I alleles stimulate T-cells isolated from patients suggests that widely shared antigens exist on these tumors. A transient expression system was developed for screening a melanoma complementary DNA library using the highly transfectable human kidney cell line 293. Using this system, large numbers of complementary DNA clones can be rapidly screened for the expression of antigens which stimulate T-cells. Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes from patient 888, which recognized melanoma in the context of HLA-A24, were used to screen a complementary DNA library made from the autologous melanoma. Our results demonstrate that these tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes recognize tyrosinase, a gene previously shown to be recognized by T-cells only in the context of HLA-A2. These data demonstrate that a single antigen can be recognized in the context of two different class I HLA alleles. In addition, this study suggests that recognition of tyrosinase by antigen-specific T-cells may be involved in tumor rejection.

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