Detection of T lymphocytes specific for human endogenous retrovirus K (HERV-K) in patients with seminoma

Seth Rakoff-Nahoum, Peter J. Kuebler, Jonas J. Heymann, Megan E. Sheehy, Gabriel M. Ortiz, Graham S. Ogg, Jason D. Barbour, Jack Lenz, Alan D. Steinfeld, Douglas F. Nixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Human endogenous retro virus K (HERV-K) is distinctive among the retro viruses that comprise about 8% of the human genome in that multiple HERV-K proviruses encode full-length viral proteins, and many HERV-K proviruses formed during recent human evolution. HERV-K gag proteins are found in the cytoplasm of primary tumor cells of patients with seminoma. We identified HERV-K-specific T cells in patients with a past history of seminoma using the interferon-gamma ELISPOT assay and an MHC-HERV-K peptide-specific tetramer. A minority of apparently healthy subjects without evident germ cell tumors also made HERV-K-specific T cell responses. In summary, we detected T cell reactivity to HERV-K peptides in both past seminoma patients and a minority of apparently healthy controls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-56
Number of pages5
JournalAIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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