The role of flavivirus-cross-reactive T lymphocytes in recovery from and pathogenesis of flavivirus infections is not known. In the present paper, we have defined a flavivirus-cross-reactive epitope recognized by two CD4 CD8 cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) clones, JK4 and JK43. The T cell clones were established from the peripheral blood T lymphocytes of a dengue-4-immune donor, using a limiting-dilution method with dengue-4 antigen. These two T cell clones were cross-reactive for dengue virus types 1, 2, 3 and 4, yellow fever virus and West Nile virus, and recognized NS3 protein. The smallest synthetic peptide recognized by these T cell clones was an identical 9 amino acid peptide which contains amino acids 146 to 154 (VIGLYGNGV) of dengue-4 NS3. HLA-DR15 was the restriction allele for recognition of this epitope by JK4 and JK43. JK4 and JK43 both used T cell receptor Vα8, but JK4 used Vβ8 and JK43 used Vβ2. This result indicates that this epitope is recognized by two flavivirus-cross-reactive CD4 T cell clones which originated from different T cells .


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