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Cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses in HIV infection can be impaired through variation in the epitope regions of viral proteins such as a gag. We report here an analysis of variant epitope peptides in three gag epitopes presented by HLA B8. Fifteen variant peptides were examined for their binding to HLA-B8; all but one bound at concentrations comparable to known epitopes. All except two of those that bound could be recognized by CTL from an HLA-B8 positive HIV-1-infected patient and were therefore immunogenic. However, in a hemophiliac patient studied in detail, there was a failure to respond to two immunogenic peptide epitopes representing virus present as provirus in the patient's peripheral blood. In one case, the patient's CTL had previously responded to the peptide; in the other case, there was a good response to a peptide of closely related sequence. Thus there was a selective failure of the CTL response to some proviral epitopes. This impaired reaction to new variants could contribute to the loss of immune control of the infection.

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Immunol

Publication Date

01/09/1995

Volume

155

Pages

2729 - 2736

Keywords

Animals, Antigens, Viral, Base Sequence, CHO Cells, Cricetinae, Cytotoxicity Tests, Immunologic, Epitopes, Female, Gene Products, gag, Genetic Variation, HIV Antigens, HIV Infections, HLA-B8 Antigen, Humans, Lymphocyte Activation, Molecular Sequence Data, Protein Binding, Proviruses, T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic