Optimal immunity to the Gram-positive pathogen Listeria monocytogenes (LM) requires both CD8+ and CD4+ antigen-specific T cell responses. Understanding how CD4+ T cells function in an immune response to LM and how bacterial proteins are processed to peptide/MHC class II complexes in infected cells requires identification of these proteins. Using LacZ- inducible, LM-specific CD4+ T cells as probes, we identified two immunogenic LM proteins by a novel expression cloning strategy. The antigenic peptides contained within these proteins were defined by deletion analysis of the genes, and their antigenicity was confirmed with synthetic peptides. The nucleotide sequences of the genes showed that they encode previously unknown LM proteins that are homologous to surface proteins in other bacterial species. Consistent with their surface topology, mild trypsin treatment of LM protoplasts ablated T cell recognition of these Ags. These findings establish a general strategy for identifying unknown CD4+ T cell Ags and demonstrate that LM surface proteins can provide the peptides for presentation by MHC class II molecules that are specific targets for CD4+ T cells during murine LM infection.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|State||Published - Sep 1 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy