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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.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





653 - 655


Alleles, Amino Acid Sequence, Antigens, Viral, Cell Transformation, Viral, Cells, Cultured, Genes, MHC Class I, HLA-A Antigens, Herpesvirus 4, Human, Humans, Protein Conformation, T-Lymphocytes