Natural infection and vaccination with a live-attenuated measles virus (MV) induce CD8+ T-cell-mediated immune responses that may play a central role in controlling MV infection. In this study, we show that newly identified human HLA-A2 epitopes from MV hemagglutinin (H) and fusion (F) proteins induced protective immunity in HLA-A2 transgenic mice challenged with recombinant vaccinia viruses expressing F or H protein. HLA-A2 epitopes were predicted and synthesized. Five and four peptides from H and F, respectively, bound to HLA-A2 molecules in a T2-binding assay, and four from H and two from F could induce peptide-specific CD8+ T cell responses in HLA-A2 transgenic mice. Further experiments proved that three peptides from H (H9-567, H10-250, and H10-516) and one from F protein (F9-57) were endogenously processed and presented on HLA-A2 molecules. All peptides tested in this study are common to 5 different strains of MV including Edmonston. In both A2Kb and HHD-2 mice, the identified peptide epitopes induced protective immunity against recombinant vaccinia viruses expressing H or F. Because F and H proteins induce neutralizing antibodies, they are major components of new vaccine strategies, and therefore data from this study will contribute to the development of new vaccines against MV infection.
- Cytotoxic T lymphocytes
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