Engineering a Dual Specificity γδ T-Cell Receptor for Cancer Immunotherapy

David M. Davies, Giuseppe Pugliese, Ana C. Parente Pereira, Lynsey M. Whilding, Daniel Larcombe-Young, John Maher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


γδ T-cells provide immune surveillance against cancer, straddling both innate and adaptive immunity. G115 is a clonal γδ T-cell receptor (TCR) of the Vγ9Vδ2 subtype which can confer responsiveness to phosphoantigens (PAgs) when genetically introduced into conventional αβ T-cells. Cancer immunotherapy using γδ TCR-engineered T-cells is currently under clinical evaluation. In this study, we sought to broaden the cancer specificity of the G115 γδ TCR by insertion of a tumour-binding peptide into the complementarity-determining region (CDR) three regions of the TCR δ2 chain. Peptides were selected from the foot and mouth disease virus A20 peptide which binds with high affinity and selectivity to αvβ6, an epithelial-selective integrin that is expressed by a range of solid tumours. Insertion of an A20-derived 12mer peptide achieved the best results, enabling the resulting G115 + A12 T-cells to kill both PAg and αvβ6-expressing tumour cells. Cytolytic activity of G115 + A12 T-cells against PAg-presenting K562 target cells was enhanced compared to G115 control cells, in keeping with the critical role of CDR3 δ2 length for optimal PAg recognition. Activation was accompanied by interferon (IFN)-γ release in the presence of either target antigen, providing a novel dual-specificity approach for cancer immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number196
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • A20 peptide
  • cancer
  • foot and mouth disease virus
  • Vγ9Vδ2 receptor
  • αvβ6 integrin
  • γδ T-cell


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