1887

Abstract

Infection with BK virus (BKV) induces both humoral and cellular immunity, but the viral antigens of T-antigen (T-ag) stimulating T-cell responses are largely unknown. To identify BKV-specific T cells in healthy individuals, peripheral blood lymphocytes were cultured with autologous dendritic cells (DCs) loaded with BKV lysate and T cells were screened for intracellular gamma interferon production after stimulation with an overlapping 15mer peptide library of the BKV T-ag. Among many immunogenic peptides identified, four T-ag peptides were identified as candidate major histocompatibility complex class I and II T-cell epitopes, restricted to human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-B*0702, -B*08, -DRB1*0301 and -DRB1*0901. Further, a candidate 9mer peptide, LPLMRKAYL, was confirmed to be restricted to HLA-B*0702 and -B*08. Because the polyomaviruses BKV, JC virus (JCV) and (SV40) share extensive sequence similarity in the immunogenic proteins T-ag and VP1, it was hypothesized that, in humans, these proteins contain conserved cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) target epitopes. Four HLA-restricted conserved epitopes of BKV, JCV and SV40 were identified: HLA-B*07, -B*08 and -DRB1*0901 for T-ag and -A*0201 for VP1. T cells cultured that were specific for one viral antigen recognized other conserved epitopes. CTLs generated from BKV T-ag and VP1 peptide were cytotoxic to DC targets pulsed with either BKV or JCV. Therefore, infection by one of the two viruses (BKV and JCV) could establish cross-immunity against the other. Although cross-cytotoxicity experiments were not performed with SV40, cross-recognition data from conserved antigen epitopes of polyomaviruses suggest strongly that cross-immunity might also exist among the three viruses.

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2006-10-01
2020-01-19
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