Volume 5 Issue 4
Apr.  2014
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Lu Sun, Yu Zhang, Bao Zhao, Mengmeng Deng, Jun Liu, Xin Li, Junwei Hou, Mingming Gui, Shuijun Zhang, Xiaodong Li, George F. Gao, Songdong Meng. A new unconventional HLA-A2-restricted epitope from HBV core protein elicits antiviral cytotoxic T lymphocytes[J]. Protein&Cell, 2014, 5(4): 317-327. doi: 10.1007/s13238-014-0041-4
Citation: Lu Sun, Yu Zhang, Bao Zhao, Mengmeng Deng, Jun Liu, Xin Li, Junwei Hou, Mingming Gui, Shuijun Zhang, Xiaodong Li, George F. Gao, Songdong Meng. A new unconventional HLA-A2-restricted epitope from HBV core protein elicits antiviral cytotoxic T lymphocytes[J]. Protein&Cell, 2014, 5(4): 317-327. doi: 10.1007/s13238-014-0041-4

A new unconventional HLA-A2-restricted epitope from HBV core protein elicits antiviral cytotoxic T lymphocytes

doi: 10.1007/s13238-014-0041-4
Funds:

This work was supported by a grant from the National Basic Research Program (973 Program) (No. 2014CB542602)

Key Projects in the National Science and Technology Program Grant 2013ZX10002001.

grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 31230026, 91029724, 81021003, and 81102018)

  • Received Date: 2013-11-27
  • Rev Recd Date: 2014-02-11
  • Cytotoxic T cells (CTLs) play a key role in the control of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and viral clearance. However, most of identified CTL epitopes are derived from HBV of genotypes A and D, and few have been defined in virus of genotypes B and C which are more prevalent in Asia. As HBV core protein (HBc) is the most conservative and immunogenic component, in this study we used an overlapping 9-mer peptide pool covering HBc to screen and identify specific CTL epitopes. An unconventional HLA-A2-restricted epitope HBc141-149 was discovered and structurally characterized by crystallization analysis. The immunogenicity and antiHBV activity were further determined in HBV and HLAA2 transgenic mice. Finally, we show that mutations in HBc141-149 epitope are associated with viral parameters and disease progression in HBV infected patients. Our data therefore provide insights into the structure characteristics of this unconventional epitope binding to MHC-I molecules, as well as epitope specific CTL activity that orchestrate T cell response and immune evasion in HBV infected patients.
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