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Virology. 1999 Apr 10;256(2):246-57.

Use of a high-affinity peptide that aborts MHC-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocyte activity against multiple viruses in vitro and virus-induced immunopathologic disease in vivo.

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Department of Neuropharmacology, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California, 92037, USA.


Binding of a specific peptide(s) from a viral protein to major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules is a critical step in the activation of CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). Once activated, CTLs can cause lethal disease in an infected host, for example, by killing virus-containing ependymal and ventricular cells in the central nervous system or viral protein-expressing beta cells in the pancreatic islets of Langerhans. Here we describe the usage of a designed (not natural) high-affinity peptide to compete with viral peptide(s)-MHC binding. This peptide blocks virus-induced CTL-mediated disease both in the CNS and in the pancreatic islets in vivo. Further, the blocking peptide aborts MHC-restricted killing of target cells by CTLs generated to three separate viruses: lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, influenza virus, and simian virus 40.

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