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Viral Immunol. 1998;11(4):167-81.

Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses to HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (review).

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Centro de Biología Molecular "Severo Ochoa", CSIC-Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Cantoblanco, Spain.


Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) play an important role in the control of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. CTL responses have been demonstrated for most of the HIV gene products, predominantly gag, pol, and env-encoded proteins, and also for the regulatory proteins Nef, Tat, Vif, or Rev. The HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT), which derives from expression of the pol gene, is an important target of cellular immune responses in infected individuals. More than 40 different peptides containing RT-specific CTL epitopes have been identified. The most conserved and frequently detected are located in the 'fingers' and 'palm' subdomains of the enzyme, but other epitopes have been found in the 'thumb' and 'connection' subdomains as well as in the RNase H domain. Studies on the sequence variability and functional role of amino acids forming CTL epitopes are relevant for addressing important questions relative to viral escape from immmune control and the future design of anti-AIDS vaccines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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