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Soluble recombinant CMVpp65 spanning multiple HLA alleles for reconstitution of antiviral CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses after allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

Institute for Transfusion Medicine, Hannover Medical School, D-30625 Hannover, Germany.
Journal of immunotherapy (Hagerstown, Md.: 1997) (Impact Factor: 3.2). 11/2009; 33(1):60-72. DOI: 10.1097/CJI.0b013e3181b56dcc
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The reactivation of the human cytomegalovirus (CMV) can be prevented or controlled by the adoptive transfer of ex vivo expanded donor-derived CMV-specific T lymphocytes. Several methods for expansion and adoptive transfer of CMV-specific T cells have been developed using either defined CMV peptides or peptide pools for antigen-specific T-cell stimulation. The majority of studies have focused on the lower matrix protein (pp65) and the immediate-early protein-1 (IE-1) of CMV as immunodominant targets. We investigated the behavior of secretory CMVpp65 (sCMVpp65) with respect to its capacity to stimulate pp65-specific T cells independently of human lymphocyte antigen (HLA) type and even in donors unresponsive to the immunodominant HLA-A*0201-restricted CMVpp65495-503 peptide. To facilitate the eukaryotic expression and isolation procedures, we constructed an HLA-A*0201/CMVpp65 fusion protein that is secreted into the supernatant of human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cells. CMV-specific CD4 and CD8 T cells generated by culturing unfractionated peripheral blood mononuclear cells in the presence of recombinant sCMVpp65 did not differ in function with regard to cytotoxicity and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) production compared with cytotoxic T cells induced using the well-studied HLA-A*0201-restricted CMVpp65495-503 peptide. We demonstrated that polyclonal CMV-specific T cells could be generated from CMV-seropositive individuals expressing HLA alleles for which no immunogenic epitopes have been identified so far. The production of recombinant sCMVpp65 can easily be adapted to good manufacturing practice conditions and can be used to generate large numbers of immunogenic pathogen-derived proteins for therapeutic applications.

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