High-throughput identification and dendritic cell-based functional validation of MHC class I-restricted Mycobacterium tuberculosis epitopes.
Emergence of drug-resistant strains of the pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and the ineffectiveness of BCG in curtailing Mtb infection makes vaccine development for tuberculosis an important objective. Identifying immunogenic CD8+ T cell peptide epitopes is necessary for peptide-based vaccine strategies. We present a three-tiered strategy for identifying and validating immunogenic peptides: first, identify peptides that form stable complexes with class I MHC molecules; second, determine whether cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) raised against the whole protein antigen recognize and lyse target cells pulsed with peptides that passed step 1; third, determine whether peptides that passed step 2, when administered in vivo as a vaccine in HLA-A2 transgenic mice, elicit CTLs that lyse target cells expressing the whole protein antigen. Our innovative approach uses dendritic cells transfected with Mtb antigen-encoding mRNA to drive antigen expression. Using this strategy, we have identified five novel peptide epitopes from the Mtb proteins Apa, Mtb8.4 and Mtb19.
Nair, SK; Tomaras, GD; Sales, AP; Boczkowski, D; Chan, C; Plonk, K; Cai, Y; Dannull, J; Kepler, TB; Pruitt, SK; Weinhold, KJ
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