Characterization of a Mycobacterium tuberculosis peptide that is recognized by human CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in the context of multiple HLA alleles.
Shams H., Klucar P., Weis SE., Lalvani A., Moonan PK., Safi H., Wizel B., Ewer K., Nepom GT., Lewinsohn DM., Andersen P., Barnes PF.
The secreted Mycobacterium tuberculosis 10-kDa culture filtrate protein (CFP)10 is a potent T cell Ag that is recognized by a high percentage of persons infected with M. tuberculosis. We determined the molecular basis for this widespread recognition by identifying and characterizing a 15-mer peptide, CFP10(71-85), that elicited IFN-gamma production and CTL activity by both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells from persons expressing multiple MHC class II and class I molecules, respectively. CFP10(71-85) contained at least two epitopes, one of 10 aa (peptide T1) and another of 9 aa (peptide T6). T1 was recognized by CD4(+) cells in the context of DRB1*04, DR5*0101, and DQB1*03, and by CD8(+) cells of A2(+) donors. T6 elicited responses by CD4(+) cells in the context of DRB1*04 and DQB1*03, and by CD8(+) cells of B35(+) donors. Deleting a single amino acid from the amino or carboxy terminus of either peptide markedly reduced IFN-gamma production, suggesting that they are minimal epitopes for both CD4(+) and CD8(+) cells. As far as we are aware, these are the shortest microbial peptides that have been found to elicit responses by both T cell subpopulations. The capacity of CFP10(71-85) to stimulate IFN-gamma production and CTL activity by CD4(+) and CD8(+) cells from persons expressing a spectrum of MHC molecules suggests that this peptide is an excellent candidate for inclusion in a subunit antituberculosis vaccine.