There is far less information available about the tumor infiltrating B (TIL-B) cells, than about the tumor infiltrating T cells. We focused on discovering the features and potential role of B lymphocytes in solid tumors. Our project aimed to develop innovative strategies to define cancer membrane structures. We chose two solid tumor types, with variable to considerable B cell infiltration. The strategy we set up with invasive breast carcinoma, showing medullary features, has been introduced and standardized in metastatic melanoma. After detecting B lymphocytes by immunohistochemistry, VH-JH, Vκ-Jκ immunoglobulin rearranged V region genes were amplified by RT-PCR, from TIL-B cDNA. Immunoglobulin variable-region genes of interest were cloned, sequenced, and subjected to a comparative DNA analysis. Single-chain variable (scFv) antibody construction was performed in selected cases to generate a scFv library and to test tumor binding capacity. DNA sequence analysis revealed an overrepresented VH3-1 cluster, represented both in the breast cancer and the melanoma TIL-B immunoglobulin repertoire. We observed that our previously defined anti GD3 ganglioside-binder antibody-variable region genes were present in melanoma as well. Our antibody fragments showed binding potential to disialylated glycosphingolipids (GD3 ganglioside) and their O acetylated forms on melanoma cancer cells. We conclude that our results have a considerable tumor immunological impact, as they reveal the power of TIL-B cells to recognize strong tumor-associated glycosphingolipid structures on melanomas and other solid tumors. As tumor-derived gangliosides affect immune cell functions and reduce the B lymphocytes' antibody production, we suspect an important B lymphocyte and cancer cell crosstalk mechanism. We not only described the isolation and specificity testing of the tumor infiltrating B cells, but also showed the TIL-B cells' highly tumor-associated GD3 ganglioside-revealing potential in melanomas. The present data help to identify new cancer-associated biomarkers that may serve for novel cancer diagnostics. The two-direction regulation mechanism between immune B cells and the tumor could eventually be developed into an innovative cancer treatment strategy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy