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J Hepatol. 2001 Jun;34(6):922-9.

Identification of hepatitis B virus-specific CTL epitopes presented by HLA-A*2402, the most common HLA class I allele in East Asia.

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  • 1Division of Viral Immunology, Center for AIDS Research, Kumamoto University, Japan.



The aim of this study was to identify and characterize hepatitis B virus (HBV)-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) epitopes presented by human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A*2402, most common HLA class I allele in East Asia.


HLA-A*2402-restricted CTL epitopes were identified by reverse immunogenetics. Immunogenecity of these epitopes was investigated using peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) from HLA-A24+ patients with acute hepatitis B.


An HLA-A*2402 stabilization assay demonstrated that 36 of 63 HBV peptides carrying HLA-A*2402 anchor residues have high- and medium-HLA-A*2402 binding affinity. Two (C117-125 and P756-764) of the 36 peptides induced peptide-specific CTLs. CTL clones and lines specific for these peptides killed HBV recombinant vaccinia virus-infected target cells expressing HLA-A*2402, indicating that these two peptides are CTL epitopes presented by HLA-A*2402. These two peptides were able to induce specific CTLs in 7 and 11 of 12 HLA-A24+ patients with acute hepatitis B, respectively.


We identified two immunodominant CTL epitopes restricted by HLA-A*2402. Because HLA-A*2402 is the most common allele in East Asia, a region in which there are approximately 200 million HBV carriers, these epitopes will be useful for analysis of CTL responses in patients from East Asia.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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