Effects of oxygen on the antigenic landscape of prostate cancer cells Cancer

Tangeng Ma, Claire A. Schreiber, Gaylord J. Knutson, Abdelouahid El Khattouti, Marcelo J. Sakiyama, Mohamed Hassan, Mary Christine Charlesworth, Benjamin J. Madden, Xinchun Zhou, Stanimir Vuk-Pavlović, Christian R. Gomez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Use of allogeneic cancer cells-based immunotherapy for treatment of established prostate cancer (PCa) has only been marginally effective. One reason for failure could stem from the mismatch of antigenic signatures of vaccine cells and cancer in situ. Hence, it is possible that vaccine cells expressed antigens differently than tumor cells in situ. We hypothesized that cells grown in vitro at low oxygen tension (pO2) provide a better antigen match to tumors in situ and could reveal a more relevant antigenic landscape than cells grown in atmospheric pO2. Methods: We tested this hypothesis by comparing PCa cells propagated at pO2 = 2 kPa and 20 kPa. To identify potential tumor-associated antigens (TAAs), we prepared PCa cell lysates, resolved them by two-dimensional electrophoresis and immunoblotting using spontaneous antibodies from plasma derived from PCa patients and control subjects. Antibody-labeled spots were analyzed by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and validated by ELISA. We selected hypoxia-regulated HSP70 and hnRNP L and hypoxia-independent HSP60 and determined the frequency of plasma samples reacting with these molecules. Results: Frequency of HSP60-reactive plasma was low in healthy controls [1.3 % (1/76)], while it was elevated in PCa patients [13.0 % (7/54); p < 0.05]. These data suggest a humoral immune response to HSP60 in PCa. Levels of autoantibodies to HSP70 did not differ from healthy controls [3.7 % (2/54)] in PCa patients [5.3 % (2/38)]. Similarly, hnRNP L autoantibodies did no differ between healthy controls [6.1 % (3/49)] and PCa patients [5.3 % (2/38)]. Conclusions: Overall our results suggest the value of hypoxia as a modifier of the cellular and antigenic landscape of PCa cells. By modifying the immune reactivity of PCa cells in culture, manipulation of pO2 can be proposed as a new avenue for improving diagnosis, prognosis and immunotherapy for PCa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number687
JournalBMC Research Notes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 18 2015


  • HSP60
  • HSP70
  • Hypoxia
  • Prostate cancer
  • Tumor-associated antigens
  • hnRNP L

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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