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Kobold, Sebastian; Tams, Sinje; Luetkens, Tim; Cao, Yanran; Sezer, Orhan; Bartels, Britta Marlen; Reinhard, Henrike; Templin, Julia; Bartels, Katrin; Hildebrandt, York; Lajmi, Nesrine; Marx, Andreas; Haag, Friedrich; Bokemeyer, Carsten; Kroeger, Nicolaus; Atanackovic, Djordje (2011): Patients with Multiple Myeloma Develop SOX2-Specific Autoantibodies after Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation. In: Clinical & Developmental Immunology, Vol. 2011, 302145
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Abstract

The occurrence of SOX2-specific autoantibodies seems to be associated with an improved prognosis in patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). However, it is unclear if SOX2-specific antibodies also develop in established multiple myeloma (MM). Screening 1094 peripheral blood (PB) sera from 196 MM patients and 100 PB sera from healthy donors, we detected SOX2-specific autoantibodies in 7.7% and 2.0% of patients and donors, respectively. We identified SOX2211-230 as an immunodominant antibody-epitope within the full protein sequence. SOX2 antigen was expressed in most healthy tissues and its expression did not correlate with the number of BM-resident plasma cells. Accordingly, anti-SOX2 immunity was not related to SOX2 expression levels or tumor burden in the patients' BM. The only clinical factor predicting the development of anti-SOX2 immunity was application of allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT). Anti-SOX2 antibodies occurred more frequently in patients who had received alloSCT (n = 74). Moreover, most SOX2-seropositive patients had only developed antibodies after alloSCT. This finding indicates that alloSCT is able to break tolerance towards this commonly expressed antigen. The questions whether SOX2-specific autoantibodies merely represent an epiphenomenon, are related to graft-versus-host effects or participate in the immune control of myeloma needs to be answered in prospective studies.