, Volume 45, Issue 2-3, pp 114-122
Date: 03 Feb 2009

Xenopus, a unique comparative model to explore the role of certain heat shock proteins and non-classical MHC class Ib gene products in immune surveillance

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The heat shock proteins (HSPs) gp96 and hsp70 can elicit potent anti-tumor responses and as such have significant clinical potential. Besides cytotoxic CD8 T cell (CTLs) effectors, evidence suggests that natural killer (NK) cells and other less well-characterized cell types also play a critical role in HSP-mediated anti-tumor responses. Owing to their high degree of phylogenetic conservation, we have proposed that HSPs are ancestral agents of immune surveillance; and postulated that their immunological properties, if important, should have been conserved during evolution. We are investigating this issue using a unique non-mammalian comparative tumor-immunity model in the frog Xenopus, which allows us to focus on the relationship between HSPs, classical MHC class Ia, and non-classical MHC class Ib molecules. In addition to a transplantable lymphoid tumor in genetically defined cloned Xenopus, we are generating transgenic frogs with inducible or knocked-down (RNAi) gene expression.