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Abstract

The membrane (M) protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) is a major glycoprotein with multiple biological functions. In this study, we found that memory T cells against M protein were persistent in recovered SARS patients by detecting gamma interferon (IFN-) production using ELISA and ELISpot assays. Flow cytometric analysis showed that both CD4 and CD8 T cells were involved in cellular responses to SARS-CoV M antigen. Furthermore, memory CD8 T cells displayed an effector memory cell phenotype expressing CD45RO CCR7 CD62L. In contrast, the majority of IFN- CD4 T cells were central memory cells with the expression of CD45RO CCR7 CD62L. The epitope screening from 30 synthetic overlapping peptides that cover the entire SARS-CoV M protein identified four human T-cell immunodominant peptides, p21-44, p65-91, p117-140 and p200-220. All four immunodominant peptides could elicit cellular immunity with a predominance of CD8 T-cell response. This data may have important implication for developing SARS vaccines.

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2007-10-01
2019-11-23
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