GSBS Student Publications


Broad cross-reactive TCR repertoires recognizing dissimilar Epstein-Barr and influenza A virus epitopes

Student Author(s)

Levi B. Watkin

GSBS Program

Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology

Publication Date


UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pathology; Department of Pediatrics; Program in Molecular Medicine

Document Type



Immunology and Infectious Disease | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


Memory T cells cross-reactive with epitopes encoded by related or even unrelated viruses may alter the immune response and pathogenesis of infection by a process known as heterologous immunity. Because a challenge virus epitope may react with only a subset of the T cell repertoire in a cross-reactive epitope-specific memory pool, the vigorous cross-reactive response may be narrowly focused, or oligoclonal. We show in this article, by examining human T cell cross-reactivity between the HLA-A2-restricted influenza A virus-encoded M1(58-66) epitope (GILGFVFTL) and the dissimilar Epstein-Barr virus-encoded BMLF1(280-288) epitope (GLCTLVAML), that, under some conditions, heterologous immunity can lead to a significant broadening, rather than a narrowing, of the TCR repertoire. We suggest that dissimilar cross-reactive epitopes might generate a broad, rather than a narrow, T cell repertoire if there is a lack of dominant high-affinity clones; this hypothesis is supported by computer simulation.

DOI of Published Version



J Immunol. 2010 Dec 1;185(11):6753-64. Epub 2010 Nov 3. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1000812

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID