Specific lysis of human immunodeficiency virus type 1-infected cells by a HLA-A3.1-restricted CD8+ cytotoxic T-lymphocyte clone that recognizes a conserved peptide sequence within the gp41 subunit of the envelope protein

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Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology

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Document Type



Amino Acid Sequence; Antigens, CD8; Cell Line; Clone Cells; *Cytotoxicity, Immunologic; Epitopes; HIV Envelope Protein gp41; HIV-1; HLA-A Antigens; Humans; Macromolecular Substances; Molecular Sequence Data; Peptides; T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic; Vaccinia virus; Viral Envelope Proteins


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


A HLA-A3.1-restricted CD8+ cytotoxic T-cell clone, E7.20, that lyses cells infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 was isolated from an infected individual. The epitope was localized to amino acids 768-778 (RLRDLLLIVTR, NL43 env sequence) of the cytoplasmic domain of gp41 by successive use of a panel of recombinant vaccinia viruses that express truncated env genes and synthetic peptides. The epitope is conserved on 7 (NL43, BRU, HXB2, BRVA, SC, JH3, and JFL) of 13 human immunodeficiency virus type 1 isolates from North America. Synthetic peptides of this region of strains RF and CDC4 are also recognized by E7.20 despite a nonconservative Thr----Val or Thr----Ala change at amino acid 777; however, an MN peptide, which has four amino acid substitutions, was not reactive. The epitope recognized by E7.20 has a predicted hydrophobic alpha-helical structure, with three contiguous Leu residues followed by Ile and Val at amino acids 772-776. Cytotoxicity was restricted by HLA-A3.1 using allogeneic target cells that shared HLA class I antigens with the donor and an HLA-A and -B negative human plasma cell line transfected with the HLA-A3.1 gene. The transfected cells were infectable by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 strains IIIB and MN but only the former virus sensitized them to killing by E7.20. The ability of E7.20 to specifically lyse a human lymphocyte line infected with a human immunodeficiency virus type 1 strain carrying the conserved epitope is consistent with an important role for cytotoxic T cells in controlling infection.


Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Nov 15;88(22):10277-81.

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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

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