AIDS virus-specific CD8+ T lymphocytes against an immunodominant cryptic epitope select for viral escape

Nicholas J. Maness, Laura E. Valentine, Gemma E. May, Jason Reed, Shari M. Piaskowski, Taeko Soma, Jessica Furlott, Eva G. Rakasz, Thomas C. Friedrich, David A. Price, Emma Gostick, Austin L. Hughes, John Sidney, Alessandro Sette, Nancy A. Wilson, David I. Watkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Cryptic major histocompatibility complex class I epitopes have been detected in several pathogens, but their importance in the immune response to AIDS viruses remains unknown. Here, we show that Mamu-B*17+ simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)mac239-infected rhesus macaques that spontaneously controlled viral replication consistently made strong CD8 + T lymphocyte (CD8-TL) responses against a cryptic epitope, RHLAFKCLW (cRW9). Importantly, cRW9-specific CD8-TL selected for viral variation in vivo and effectively suppressed SIV replication in vitro, suggesting that they might play a key role in the SIV-specific response. The discovery of an immunodominant CD8-TL response in elite controller macaques against a cryptic epitope suggests that the AIDS virus-specific cellular immune response is likely far more complex than is generally assumed. JEM

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2505-2512
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 29 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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