Definition of an epitope and MHC class I molecule recognized by Gag-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes in SIVmac-infected rhesus monkeys

M. D. Miller, H. Yamamoto, A. L. Hughes, D. I. Watkins, N. L. Letvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

144 Scopus citations

Abstract

Infection of macaque monkeys with the simian immunodeficiency virus of macaques (SIVmac) results in disease similar to human AIDS. Therefore, the macaque monkey is proving to be an important model for testing the effectiveness of various AIDS vaccine approaches. A detailed analysis of the cellular immune responses is necessary for the evaluation of candidate vaccines. However, this has not been possible in macaques, due, in part, to the unknown nature of the MHC molecules that restrict their T lymphocytes. In our report we demonstrate that a particular MHC class I molecule involved in the rhesus monkey's effector T lymphocyte response to SIVmac is expressed at a high frequency in a colony of rhesus monkeys. SIVmac-infected monkeys that express this MHC class I molecule all develop CTL that are restricted by that molecule and recognize an identical nine amino acid epitope of the SIVmac gag protein. This MHC class I molecule has been defined as an HLA-A homolog by cDNA cloning and sequencing. It has also been expressed in an MHC class I-deficient cell line to demonstrate directly the cloned molecule's capacity to bind and present peptide Ag to CTL. These studies illustrate that AIDS virus-specific CTL can be characterized in detail in the rhesus monkey and lay the foundation for exploring novel approaches to AIDS virus vaccination in this species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-329
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume147
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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