Human breast and pancreatic adenocarcinomas are tumors of ductal epithelial cell origin and as such produce and express on their surface polymorphic epithelial cell mucin encoded by the MUC 1 gene. We have previously reported that tumor-specific cytotoxic T cells derived from patients bearing such tumors recognize specific epitopes on the mucin polypeptide core. This recognition was not MHC-restricted because of the highly repetitive sequence of the polypeptide core, which allows simultaneous recognition of many identical epitopes, and cross-linking and aggregation of TCR on mucin-specific T cells. Those studies were performed with limited numbers of tumor cells or allogeneic tumor cell lines. A renewable source of autologous cells presenting this Ag was necessary to further explore mucin-specific immunity. We report here successful establishment and functional analysis of mucin-specific CTL lines and clones derived from breast and pancreatic cancer patients, using either autologous or allogeneic mucin-transfected B cells as Ag. Our results demonstrate that transfection of autologous or allogeneic B cells with mucin confers upon them tumor Ag-presenting ability as well as susceptibility to lysis by mucin-specific CTL. Transfection of APC with this or any other human tumor Ag that may be molecularly defined in the future provides a unique and powerful tool with which to examine the ability of a tumor-associated Ag to stimulate T cell responses.

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