1), indicating that these responses were indeed genotype 1-specific, with some degree of cross-reactivity with the genotype 3a peptide. Taken together, these data indicate that in contrast to the genotype 1 epitope region, the corresponding genotype 3a sequence
does not prime virus-specific CD8+ T cells in vivo. Next, we tested PBMC from patients infected with HCV genotype 3a for CD8+ T-cell responses against the genotype 1 epitope peptide. As expected, most patients also showed no response against the genotype 1 peptide (data not shown). Of note, however, one patient SCH 900776 mw (patient 3/C3) showed a significant CD8+ T-cell response against the genotype 1 peptide in both CD8+ PBMC and a CTL line stimulated with the genotype
1 peptide (Fig. 4A, upper). However, this cell line did not produce IFN-γ after restimulation with the genotype 3a peptide (Fig. 4A, lower). These results suggested that the CD8+ T-cell response detected in this patient did not target the current HCV genotype 3a infection, but rather may represent an immunological “scar” from a previously resolved HCV genotype 1 infection, as has been previously reported.18, selleck chemicals llc 19 To further analyze this hypothesis, we screened this patient (3/C3) for additional responses to other HCV genotype 1-specific CD8+ T-cell responses. Of note, the patient targeted three additional genotype 1-specific CD8+ T-cell epitopes (two restricted by HLA-A3 and one restricted by HLA-B35). Importantly, similar to the HLA-B27-restricted epitope, the two HLA-A3-restricted CD8+ T-cell responses showed no cross-recognition with the corresponding genotype 3a peptides (Fig. 4B). The T-cell line generated by stimulation with the genotype 1 derived HLA-B35 epitope peptide displayed cross-recognition with the corresponding genotype 3a peptide (Fig. 4B); however, titration experiments performed in
the presence of peptide-loaded antigen-presenting cells revealed preferential targeting of the genotype 1a peptide (Fig. 4C). This is in line with click here the much stronger predicted HLA-B35 binding of the genotype 1a peptide (genotype 1a peptide: median inhibitory concentration [IC50] 55 nM; genotype 3a peptide: IC50 773 nM; www.iedb.org).20 In sum, these data support the hypothesis that the CD8+ T-cell responses detected in this patient might be remainders of a previous genotype 1 infection. The few HLA-B27+ patients infected with HCV genotype 1 who progress to chronic infection develop clustered escape mutations within the immunodominant HLA-B27 epitope (Fig. 3, left).6, 13, 17 Because CD8+ T cells in patients with acute or chronic HCV genotype 3a infection did not target this region, we hypothesized that in contrast to genotype 1, in genotype 3a infection no HLA-B27-driven sequence polymorphisms should evolve. To address this point, we analyzed the autologous sequences in sera from 11 patients with chronic HCV genotype 3a infection.