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Cell. 1988 Jan 29;52(2):253-8.

Enhanced recognition of a modified peptide antigen by cytotoxic T cells specific for influenza nucleoprotein.

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  • 1National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, England.


A previously identified Kd restricted epitope of influenza A virus nucleoprotein (147-161) was modified, resulting in recognition by Kd restricted cytotoxic T cells at significantly lower concentrations than the natural peptide sequence. This was achieved by first refining the epitope to the minimum determinant 147-158. Deletion of arginine 156 resulted in a peptide that was shown to be greatly superior in both dose response titrations and in its rate of association with cells to form targets. Analog peptides were tested to determine the important amino acid changes. These data suggest that T cell epitopes can be modified to result in improved immunological recognition.

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