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Mass spectrometry (MS)-based approaches are increasingly being employed for large-scale identification of HLA-bound peptides derived from pathogens, but only very limited profiling of the HIV-1 immunopeptidome has been conducted to date. Notably, a growing body of evidence has recently begun to indicate a protective role for HLA-C in HIV-1 infection, which may suggest that despite the fact that levels of HLA-C expression on both uninfected and HIV-1-infected cells are lower than those of HLA-A/B, HLA-C still presents epitopes to CD8 + T cells effectively. To explore this, we analyzed HLA-C*12:02-restricted HIV-1 peptides presented on HIV-1-infected cells expressing only HLA-C*12:02 (a protective allele) using liquid chromatography-tandem MS (LC-MS/MS). We identified a number of novel HLA-C*12:02-bound HIV-1 peptides and showed that although the majority of them did not elicit T cell responses during natural infection in a Japanese cohort, they included three immunodominant epitopes, emphasizing the contribution of HLA-C to epitope presentation on HIV-infected cells.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Virology


American Society for Microbiology

Publication Date