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Telomerase Biogenesis and Activities from the Perspective of Its Direct Interacting Partners
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Telomerase and CD4 T Cell Immunity in Cancer

1
The Laboratory of Immunology, Department of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center, University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-081, USA
2
Division of Medical Genetics, Department of Medicine and Bioinformatics and Systems Biology Program, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
3
Health Science, Department of Biomedical Informatics, School of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cancers 2020, 12(6), 1687; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12061687
Received: 2 June 2020 / Revised: 19 June 2020 / Accepted: 22 June 2020 / Published: 25 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Telomeres and Telomerase in Cancer)
Telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) is a conserved self-tumor antigen which is overexpressed in most tumors and plays a critical role in tumor formation and progression. As such, TERT is an antigen of great relevance to develop widely applicable immunotherapies. CD4 T cells play a major role in the anti-cancer response alone or with other effector cells such as CD8 T cells and NK cells. To date, efforts have been made to identify TERT peptides capable of stimulating CD4 T cells that are also able to bind diverse MHC-II alleles to ease immune status monitoring and immunotherapies. Here, we review the current status of TERT biology, TERT/MHC-II immunobiology, and past and current vaccine clinical trials. We propose that monitoring CD4 T cell immunity against TERT is a simple and direct way to assess immune surveillance in cancer patients and a new way to predict the response to immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICPi). Finally, we present the initial results of a systematic discovery of TERT peptides able to bind the most common HLA Class II alleles worldwide and show that the repertoire of MHC-II TERT peptides is wider than currently appreciated. View Full-Text
Keywords: telomerase; TERT; CD4 T cells; MHC-II; cancer; immune surveillance; immune monitoring; prognostic-predictive biomarker; vaccine; immune checkpoint therapy telomerase; TERT; CD4 T cells; MHC-II; cancer; immune surveillance; immune monitoring; prognostic-predictive biomarker; vaccine; immune checkpoint therapy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dosset, M.; Castro, A.; Carter, H.; Zanetti, M. Telomerase and CD4 T Cell Immunity in Cancer. Cancers 2020, 12, 1687.

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