Immunopeptidomes promise novel surface markers as ideal immunotherapy targets, but their characterization by mass spectrometry (MS) remains challenging. Until recently, cell numbers exceeding 109were needed to survey thousands of HLA ligands. Such limited analytical sensitivity has historically constrained the types of clinical specimens that can be evaluated to cell cultures or bulk tissues. Measuring immunopeptidomes from purified cell subpopulations would be preferable for many applications, particularly those evaluating rare, primary hematopoietic cell lineages. Here, we test the feasibility of immunopeptidome profiling from limited numbers of primary purified human regulatory T cells (TReg), conventional T cells (Tconv) and activated T cells. The combined T-cell immunopeptide dataset reported here contains 13,804 unique HLA ligands derived from 5,049 proteins. Of these, more than 700 HLA ligands were derived from 82 proteins that we exclusively identified from TReg-enriched cells. This study 1) demonstrates that primary, lineage-enriched T cell supbopulations recovered from single donors are compatible with immunopeptidome analysis; 2) presents new TReg-biased ligand candidates; and 3) supports immunopeptidome surveys value for revealing T cell biology that may not be apparent from expression data alone. Taken together, these findings open up new avenues for targeting TRegand abrogating their suppressive functions to treat cancer. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
View details for DOI 10.1002/pmic.201700410
View details for PubMedID 29493099