Class I cross-restricted T cells reveal low responder allele due to processing of viral antigen.
Bodmer HC., Gotch FM., McMichael AJ.
Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) recognize protein antigens which have been processed by the target cell and then presented in association with the relevant class I molecule of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Short synthetic peptides, which are able to associate directly with target cells, may substitute for these processed fragments in stimulating antigen-specific CTL responses. Using this approach, a dominant HLA-A2-restricted epitope has previously been mapped to residues 58-68 of influenza A virus matrix protein. Here we report HLA-A2-restricted CTL which are also able to recognize this short synthetic peptide in association with HLA-Aw69, but which fail to recognize HLA-Aw69 expressing cells infected with influenza A virus. Furthermore, individuals possessing HLA-Aw69 who respond to influenza A virus, do not respond to M58-68. These results imply that the low response to this epitope on infection of HLA-Aw69 individuals with influenza A is due to failure of the naturally processed product of matrix protein to associate with Aw69.