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Purification and characterization of a naturally processed hepatitis B virus peptide recognized by CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes.

By S L Tsai, M H Chen, C T Yeh, C M Chu, A N Lin, F H Chiou, T H Chang and Y F Liaw

Abstract

In vitro studies in patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection have suggested that hepatocytolysis induced by CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) is the most important effector pathway in eliminating infected cells. The recognition is implicated in the endogenously processed HBV antigens in the context of HLA class I molecules presented on the liver cell membrane. However, the naturally occurring HBV peptide antigens have not yet been demonstrated. We report here that a naturally processed peptide antigen P2 was isolated from HLA class I molecules of HBV-infected liver cell membrane. The P2 peptide exhibited the activity of sensitizing target cells for lysis by CD8+ CTLs. The P2 sequence (YVNVNMGLK) purified from liver tissue was in concordance with that encoded by the viral genome for the HBV nucleocapsid antigen or HBcAg 88-96. P2 peptide could also be isolated from the EBV-transformed B cells that were transfected by HBcAg-expressing vector. The P2 epitope, sharing the HLA-A11 binding motifs, was recognized by HLA-A11-restricted CD8+ CTLs. The data provided direct evidence that, in hepatitis B patients, antigenic peptides of HBV were processed by hepatocytes, presented with the class I MHC molecules, and recognized by CD8+ CTLs

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1996
DOI identifier: 10.1172/jci118450
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:507052
Provided by: PubMed Central
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