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Virology. 2005 Jul 5;337(2):335-43.

Identification of an H-2D(b)-restricted CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte epitope in the matrix protein of respiratory syncytial virus.

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Vaccine Research Center, NIAID, National Institutes of Health, Building 40, Room 2502, 40 Convent Drive, MSC 3017, Bethesda, MD 20892-3017, USA.


Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) play a significant role in the clearance of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection in humans and mice. Identification of class I MHC-restricted CTL epitopes is critical in elucidating mechanisms of CTL responses against viral infections. However, only four H-2d-restricted epitopes have been reported in mice. Because of the diversity of transgenic and knockout mice available to study immune responses, new epitopes in additional strains of mice must be identified. We therefore attempted to discover novel CTL epitopes in C57Bl/6 mice. Our efforts revealed a new H-2D(b)-restricted CTL epitope from the RSV M protein, corresponding to aa 187-195 (NAITNAKII). Also, M187-195-specific CTLs were activated with kinetics similar to the immunodominant BALB/c epitope, M2 82-90. This is the first RSV-specific CTL epitope described in a strain of mice other than BALB/c. Furthermore, identification of this H-2b-restricted CTL epitope provides access to genetically modified H-2b mice for more detailed studies of CTL mechanisms in RSV infection.

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