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J Clin Virol. 2003 May;27(1):38-43.

Definition of two new epitopes on human immunodeficiency virus type 1 gag protein recognized by human CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte clones.

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  • 1Center for Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester, USA.


We have established 3 CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) clones from the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of two HIV-1-seropositive asymptomatic donors. The epitopes recognized by these CTL clones were defined using synthetic peptides. The epitopes were located on HIV-1gag protein between amino acid (a.a.) 145 and 155 (QAISPRTLNAW), a.a.193 and 201 (GHQAAMQML), and a.a.260 and 267 (EIYKRWII), and were presented by HLA-A25, HLA-B38 and HLA-B8, respectively. The former 2 epitopes have not been previously defined. The HLA-A25-restricted epitope overlapped with HLA-B57-restricted and HLA-Cw3-restricted epitopes previously reported. In addition, this epitope overlapped with an HLA-DQ-restricted epitope recognized by CD4+ CTL. The HLA-B38-restricted epitope overlapped with HLA-A2-restricted and HLA-Bw52-restricted epitopes that were previously reported. The HLA-B38-restricted epitope between a.a.193 and 201 was highly conserved among HIV-1 strains. The results demonstrate that two new epitopes were defined in a region of gag protein that includes multiple epitopes presented by multiple HLA.

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