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Protein arginine methyltransferase (PRMT) 5 is over-expressed in a variety of cancers and the master transcription regulator E2F1 is an important methylation target. We have explored the role of PRMT5 and E2F1 in regulating the non-coding genome and report here a striking effect on long non-coding (lnc) RNA gene expression. Moreover, many MHC class I protein-associated peptides were derived from small open reading frames in the lncRNA genes. Pharmacological inhibition of PRMT5 or adjusting E2F1 levels qualitatively altered the repertoire of lncRNA-derived peptide antigens displayed by tumour cells. When presented to the immune system as either ex vivo-loaded dendritic cells or expressed from a viral vector, lncRNA-derived peptides drove a potent antigen-specific CD8 T lymphocyte response, which translated into a significant delay in tumour growth. Thus, lncRNA genes encode immunogenic peptides that can be deployed as a cancer vaccine.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Commun

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