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CD8+ T-cell epitopes within the surface glycoprotein of a neurotropic coronavirus and correlation with pathogenicity

CD8+ T-cell epitopes within the surface glycoprotein of a neurotropic coronavirus and correlation with pathogenicity

Journal of Virology 69(12): 8127-8131

CD8+ T cells with cytotoxic activity against the surface glycoprotein (S) of mouse hepatitis virus, strain JHM, have been identified in the central nervous system (CNS) of both acutely and chronically infected C57BL/6 mice. In this report, two specific epitopes recognized by these CNS-derived cells were identified, using a panel of peptides chosen because they conformed to the allele-specific binding motif for MHC class I H-2K-b and H-2D-b. The active peptides encompassed residues 510 to 518 (CSLWNGPHL, H-2D-b) and 598 to 605 (RCQIFANI, H-2K-b). Both epitopes are located within the region of the S protein previously shown to be prone to deletion after passage in animals. These deleted strains are generally less neurovirulent than the wild-type virus but still are able to cause demyelination. Since C57BL/6 mice become persistently infected more commonly than many other strains of mice, these data are consistent with a role for CD8+ T-cell escape mutants in the pathogenesis of the demyelinating disease. This is the first report of CD8+ T-cell epitope localization within the S protein, the protein most strongly implicated thus far in pathogenesis in the host.

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Accession: 008251463

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PMID: 7494335

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