The use of the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) macaque model for assessing human immunodeficiency virus vaccine strategies will be facilitated by the characterization of predominant SIV cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) epitopes and their restricting major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules in macaque species. We now define a rhesus monkey SIV(mac) CTL epitope in the third hypervariable region of the envelope glycoprotein of the virus. This epitope, YNLTMKCR, contains the first two amino acids of a cysteine-cysteine loop which is the SIV(mac) analog of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 V3 loop. We also employed one-dimensional isoelectric focusing to characterize the MHC class I molecule of the rhesus monkey that binds this SIV(mac) envelope peptide fragment. Cloning and sequencing the cDNA encoding this rhesus monkey MHC class I molecule demonstrates that it is a newly described HLA-A homolog, Mamu-A*02. This viral CTL epitope and its restricting MHC class I molecule will facilitate the use of the SIV(mac) rhesus monkey model for studies of envelope-based vaccine strategies and for exploring AIDS immunopathogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science