Induction of broadly cross-reactive cytotoxic T cells recognizing an HIV-1 envelope determinant

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Science  17 Jan 1992:
Vol. 255, Issue 5042, pp. 333-336
DOI: 10.1126/science.1372448


An immunodominant determinant for cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) exists in the hypervariable portion of human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) gp160. Three mouse CTL lines (specific for isolates MN, RF, and IIIB) were examined for recognition of homologous determinants from distinct isolates. Only MN-elicited CTLs showed extensive interisolate cross-reactivity. Residue 325 played a critical role in specificity, with MN-elicited CTLs responding to peptides with an aromatic or cyclic residue and IIIB-induced cells recognizing peptides with an aliphatic residue at this position. CTL populations with broad specificities were generated by restimulation of IIIB-gp160 primed cells with MN-type peptides that have an aliphatic substitution at 325. This represents an approach to synthetic vaccines that can generate broadly cross-reactive CTLs capable of effector function against a wide range of HIV isolates.