Cytotoxic T cells recognize fragments of the influenza nucleoprotein.
Townsend AR., Gotch FM., Davey J.
Recent work has shown that a major population of murine influenza A specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) recognize the viral nucleoprotein. In order to investigate the mechanism by which this nonglycoprotein component of the virus is recognized by CTL, a series of deletion mutants of an A virus NP gene were studied. The results showed that CTL recognize three distinct epitopes of the NP molecule. Both N- and C-terminal fragments of the protein are transported, independently of each other, to the site of recognition by CTL. These findings imply that a mechanism may exist for transport to the cell surface and presentation to CTL, of viral proteins and protein fragments that lack defined signal sequences.