Efforts to induce broadly reactive immunity against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) have been impaired by the extent of sequence variation exhibited by this lentivirus. Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) specific for other viruses such as influenza virus have been shown to mediate immunity against divergent viral strains, a property that is related to the ability of CTL to recognize processed antigen derived from conserved viral proteins. A recent candidate HIV-1 vaccine regimen has been described in which subjects receive a primary immunization with a recombinant vaccinia virus expressing gp160 and then a booster immunization with recombinant gp160. Volunteers immunized with this regimen have exhibited augmented humoral responses and have also developed CD4+ and CD8+ CTL specific for gp160. In this report, we have identified the epitopes recognized by CD4+ and CD8+ CTL obtained from two vaccinees. An immunodominant CD8+ CTL response was HLA-A3.1 restricted and recognized a 10-amino-acid epitope (gp120/38-47) in a highly conserved region of gp120. CTL specific for the epitope gp120/38-47 were able to lyse targets sensitized with peptides corresponding to all known natural sequence variants in this region. In addition, other HLA class L-restricted CTL epitopes were identified in relatively conserved regions of gp120 and gp41, and CD4+ CTL were shown to recognize two different regions of gp120. Thus, in these two volunteers, immunization with a single strain of HIV-1 induced CD4+ and CD8+ CTL that are specific for multiple conserved regions of HIV-1 and would be expected to recognize a broad range of viral isolates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science