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We have investigated the recognition of the PB1, neuraminidase, and matrix (M1) proteins of influenza virus A/NT/60/68 (H3N2 subtype) by secondary in vitro stimulated polyclonal cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) populations. While these three proteins have different functions and cellular locations, they can all be recognized as target antigens. However, the immunogenicity of these proteins for CTLs is under strict genetic control. Thus, PB1 protein is recognized as a cross-reactive target antigen by CTLs raised in CBA (H-2k) but not BALB/c (H-2d) mice. CBA, but not BALB/c mice, also generate a low-level CTL response to the neuraminidase. This latter response was only detectable following in vivo priming of CBA mice with a recombinant vaccinia virus expressing neuraminidase (N2-VACC). The matrix protein, expressed from recombinant vaccinia virus M-VACC, was not recognized as an antigen by CTL generated from either CBA or BALB/c strains of mice. By contrast, human HLA-A2-restricted influenza virus-specific CTLs were shown to recognize this matrix protein as a target antigen. Endogenous expression of as little as 90 amino acids of the matrix protein was sufficient to render target cells susceptible to lysis by such CTLs.


Journal article



Publication Date





477 - 485


Animals, Antigens, Viral, Base Sequence, Cells, Cultured, Cross Reactions, DNA, Viral, Female, Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Influenza A virus, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Mice, Inbred CBA, Molecular Sequence Data, Neuraminidase, RNA, Viral, T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic, Vaccinia virus, Viral Matrix Proteins, Viral Proteins