MHC class I-restricted CD8+ T cells play an important role in controlling HIV and SIV replication. In SIV-infected Indian rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), comprehensive CD8+ T cell epitope identification has only been undertaken for two aleles, Mamu-A*01 and Mamu-B*17. As a result, these two molecules account for virtually all known MHC class I-restricted SIV-dserived CD8+ T cell epiftopes. SIV pathogenesis research and vaccine testing have intensified the demand for epitopes restricted by additional MHC class I alleles due to the shortage of Mamu-A*01 + animals. Mamu-A*02 is a high frequency allele present in over 20% of macaques. In this study, we characterized the peptide binding of Mamu-A*02 using a panel of single amino acid substitution analogues and a library of 497 unrelated peptides. Of 230 SIVmac239 peptides that fit the Mamu-A*02 peptide-binding motif, 75 peptides bound Mamu-A*02 with IC50 values of ≤500 nM. We assessed the antigenicity of these 75 peptides using an IFN-γ ELISPOT assay with freshly isolated PBMC from eight Mamu-A*02+ SIV-infected macaques and identified 17 new epitopes for Mamu-A*02. The synthesis of five Mamu-A*02 tetramers demonstrated the discrepancy between tetramer binding and IFN-γ secretion by SIV-speciflc CD8+ T cells during chronic SIV infection. Bulk sequencing determined that 2 of the 17 epitopes accumulated amino acid replacements in SIV-infected macaques by the chronic phase of infection, suggestive of CD8+ T cell escape in vivo. This work enhances the use of the SIV-infected macaque model for HIV and increases our understanding of the breadth of CD8+ T cell responses in SIV infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy