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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A dominant Th epitope in influenza nucleoprotein. Analysis of the fine specificity and functional repertoire of T cells recognizing a single determinant.

The sequence 260-283 of the nucleoprotein (NP) of influenza A virus is an epitope recognized by virus-immune lymph node cells from CBA (H-2k), B6 (H-2b), and B10.S (H-2s) mice. Further analysis shows that there are at least two Th epitopes within this sequence: the one close to the N-terminal (p260-273) is recognized by T cells from CBA and B6 mice while that close to the carboxyl-terminal (p270-283) is a dominant Th determinant in B10.S mice. The fine specificity of the recognition of this epitope by NP-specific T cell clones is also studied. When B10.S mice were infected intranasally or i.v. with live influenza virus, or immunized by different ways with various Ag preparations, P270-283 persistently emerged as a dominant T cell epitope. Immunization of B10.S mice with peptide p270-283 induces T cells with different in vivo functions including class II-restricted cytotoxicity, cognate help for Ag-specific antibody synthesis and delayed type hypersensitivity. This may have important implications for the understanding of the differentiation and classification of subsets of CD4+ T cells. The corresponding sequence of the NP of an equine influenza virus, A/Eq/Prague/56, which has a substitution (leucine to proline) at position 283, was not recognized by the lymph node cells from mice primed with either A/Okuda or A/Eq/Prague. However, the peptide, p270-283(E), representing this sequence induced T cell responses to both human and equine viruses. The data are discussed with respect to the development of viral vaccines.[1]


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