Tetramer-guided epitope mapping reveals broad, individualized repertoires of tetanus toxin-specific CD4+ T cells and suggests HLA-based differences in epitope recognition.
ABSTRACT Tetanus toxoid is a routine positive control antigen for cellular assays. Previous studies identified multiple tetanus toxin (TT) epitopes, including some 'universal' epitopes. However, rigorous HLA-restricted study of tetanus toxoid responses is still lacking. In this study, the tetramer-guided epitope mapping approach was used to identify CD4+ T-cell epitopes within the TT heavy chain restricted by 10 different class II alleles. Of 106 peptides tested, 52 contained epitopes. Response frequencies toward specific epitopes varied, indicating prevalent and rare specificities. Most antigenic peptides (85%) were presented by one or two class II alleles. For peptides presented by three or more alleles, truncation studies revealed that some contained multiple epitopes. These results contrast with the perceived notion that tetanus toxoid responses are dominated by universal CD4+ T-cell epitopes. Rather these results illustrate heterogeneous T-cell responses for different class II alleles and individual-specific variation of the T-cell repertoire.
Article: HIV controller CD4+ T cells respond to minimal amounts of Gag antigen due to high TCR avidity.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: HIV controllers are rare individuals who spontaneously control HIV replication in the absence of antiretroviral treatment. Emerging evidence indicates that HIV control is mediated through very active cellular immune responses, though how such responses can persist over time without immune exhaustion is not yet understood. To investigate the nature of memory CD4+ T cells responsible for long-term anti-HIV responses, we characterized the growth kinetics, Vbeta repertoire, and avidity for antigen of patient-derived primary CD4+ T cell lines. Specific cell lines were obtained at a high rate for both HIV controllers (16/17) and efficiently treated patients (19/20) in response to the immunodominant Gag293 peptide. However, lines from controllers showed faster growth kinetics than those of treated patients. After normalizing for growth rates, IFN-gamma responses directed against the immunodominant Gag293 peptide showed higher functional avidity in HIV controllers, indicating differentiation into highly efficient effector cells. In contrast, responses to Gag161, Gag263, or CMV peptides did not differ between groups. Gag293-specific CD4+ T cells were characterized by a diverse Vbeta repertoire, suggesting that multiple clones contributed to the high avidity CD4+ T cell population in controllers. The high functional avidity of the Gag293-specific response could be explained by a high avidity interaction between the TCR and the peptide-MHC complex, as demonstrated by MHC class II tetramer binding. Thus, HIV controllers harbor a pool of memory CD4+ T cells with the intrinsic ability to recognize minimal amounts of Gag antigen, which may explain how they maintain an active antiviral response in the face of very low viremia.PLoS Pathogens 01/2010; 6(2):e1000780. · 9.13 Impact Factor
Article: Genetic immunization with CDR3-based fusion vaccine confers protection and long-term tumor-free survival in a mouse model of lymphoma.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Therapeutic vaccination against idiotype is a promising strategy for immunotherapy of B-cell malignancies. We have previously shown that CDR3-based DNA immunization can induce immune response against lymphoma and explored this strategy to provide protection in a murine B-cell lymphoma model. Here we performed vaccination employing as immunogen a naked DNA fusion product. The DNA vaccine was generated following fusion of a sequence derived from tetanus toxin fragment C to the V(H)CDR3(109-116) epitope. Induction of tumor-specific immunity as well as ability to inhibit growth of the aggressive 38C13 lymphoma and to prolong survival of vaccinated mice has been tested. We determined that DNA fusion vaccine induced immune response, elicited a strong protective antitumor immunity, and ensured almost complete long-term tumor-free survival of vaccinated mice. Our results show that CDR3-based DNA fusion vaccines hold promise for vaccination against lymphoma.Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology 01/2010; 2010:316069. · 2.44 Impact Factor
Article: Immunogenicity of a promiscuous T cell epitope peptide based conjugate vaccine against benzo[a]pyrene: redirecting antibodies to the hapten.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The prototype polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) is an environmental pollutant and food contaminant of epidemiological importance. To protect against adverse effects of this ubiquitous carcinogen, we developed an immunoprophylactic strategy based on a B[a]P-protein conjugate vaccine to induce B[a]P specific antibodies (Grova et al., Vaccine. 2009;27:4142-51). Here, we investigated in mice the efficacy of B[a]P-peptide conjugates based on promiscuous T cell epitopes (TCE) into further improve this approach. We showed that B[a]P-peptide conjugates induced very different levels of hapten-specific antibodies with variable functional efficacy, depending on the carrier. In some cases peptide carriers induced a more efficient antibody response against B[a]P than tetanus toxoid as a protein carrier, with the capacity to sequester more B[a]P in the blood. Reducing the carrier size to a single TCE can dramatically shift the antibody bias from the carrier to the B[a]P. Conjugates based on the TCE FIGITEL induced the best anti-hapten response and no antibodies against the carrier peptide. Some peptide conjugates increased the selectivity of the antibodies for the activated metabolite 7,8-diol-B[a]P and B[a]P by one or two orders of magnitude. The antibody efficacy was also demonstrated in their ability to sequester B[a]P in the blood and modulate its faecal excretion (15-56%). We further showed that pre-existing immunity to the carrier from which the TCE was derived did not reduce the immunogenicity of the peptide conjugate. In conclusion, we showed that a vaccination against B[a]P using promiscuous TCEs of tetanus toxin as carriers is feasible even in case of a pre-existing immunity to the toxoid and that some TCE epitopes dramatically redirect the antibody response to the hapten. Further studies to demonstrate a long-term protection of an immunoprophylactic immunisation against B[a]P are warranted.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(5):e38329. · 4.09 Impact Factor