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Vaccine. 1998 Nov;16(19):1880-4.

Prediction of well-conserved HIV-1 ligands using a matrix-based algorithm, EpiMatrix.

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TB/HIV Research Laboratory, International Health Institute, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA.


This preliminary study was undertaken to identify new human leucocyte antigens (HLA) ligands from human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) which are highly conserved across HIV-1 clades and which may serve to induce cross-reactive cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). EpiMatrix was used to predict putative ligands from HIV-1 for HLA-A2 and HLA-B27. Twenty-six peptides that were both likely to bind and also highly conserved across HIV-1 strains in the Los Alamos HIV sequence database were selected for binding assays using the T2 stabilization assay. Two peptides that were also highly likely to bind (for A2 and B27, as determined by EpiMatrix) and well conserved across HIV-1 strains, and had previously been described to bind in the published literature, were also selected to serve as positive controls for the assays. Ten new major histocompatibility complex (MHC) ligands were identified among the 26 study peptides. The control peptides bound, as expected. These data confirm that EpiMatrix can be used to screen HIV-1 protein sequences for highly conserved regions that are likely to bind to MHC and may prove to be highly conserved HIV-1 CTL epitopes.

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