Identification of Immunogenic MHC Class II Human HER3 Peptides that Mediate Anti-HER3 CD4 Th1 Responses and Potential Use as a Cancer Vaccine

Amrita Basu, Gabriella K. Albert, Sabrina Awshah, Jashodeep Datta, Krithika N. Kodumudi, Corey Gallen, Amber Beyer, Keiran S.M. Smalley, Paulo C. Rodriguez, Derek R. Duckett, Peter A. Forsyth, Aixa Soyano, Gary K. Koski, Ricardo Lima Barros Costa, Heather Han, Hatem Soliman, Marie Catherine Lee, Pawel Kalinski, Brian J. Czerniecki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The HER3/ERBB3 receptor is an oncogenic receptor tyrosine kinase that forms heterodimers with EGFR family members and is overexpressed in numerous cancers. HER3 overexpression associates with reduced survival and acquired resistance to targeted therapies, making it a potential therapeutic target in multiple cancer types. Here, we report on immunogenic, promiscuousMHCclass II- binding HER3 peptides, which can generate HER3-specific CD4 Th1 antitumor immune responses. Using an overlapping peptide screening methodology, we identified nine MHC class II-binding HER3 epitopes that elicited specific Th1 immune response in both healthy donors and breast cancer patients. Most of these peptides were not identified by current binding algorithms. Homology assessment of amino acid sequence BLAST showed <90% sequence similarity between human and murine HER3/ERBB3 peptide sequences. HER3 peptide-pulsed dendritic cell vaccination resulted in anti-HER3 CD4 Th1 responses that prevented tumor development, significantly delayed tumor growth in prevention models, and caused regression in multiple therapeutic models of HER3-expressing murine tumors, includingmammary carcinoma and melanoma. Tumors were robustly infiltrated with CD4 T cells, suggesting their key role in tumor rejection. Our data demonstrate that class II HER3 promiscuous peptides are effective at inducing HER3-specific CD4 Th1 responses and suggest their applicability in immunotherapies for human HER3-overexpressing tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-125
Number of pages18
JournalCancer Immunology Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Identification of Immunogenic MHC Class II Human HER3 Peptides that Mediate Anti-HER3 CD4 Th1 Responses and Potential Use as a Cancer Vaccine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this