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Antigen processing of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) fusion (F) protein epitopes F85-93 and F249-258 presented to cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTLs) by the murine major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecule Kd was studied in different viral contexts. Epitope F85-93 was presented through a classical endogenous pathway dependent on the transporters associated with antigen processing (TAP) when the F protein was expressed from either RSV or recombinant vaccinia virus (rVACV). At least in cells infected with rVACV encoding either natural or cytosolic F protein, the proteasome was required for epitope processing. In cells infected with rVACV encoding the natural F protein, an additional endogenous TAP-independent presentation pathway was found for F85-93. In contrast, epitope F249-258 was presented only through TAP-independent pathways, but presentation was brefeldin A sensitive when the F protein was expressed from RSV, or mostly resistant when expressed from rVACV. Therefore, antigen-processing pathways with different mechanisms and subcellular localizations are accessible to individual epitopes presented by the same MHC class I molecule and processed from the same protein but in different viral contexts. This underscores both the diversity of pathways available and the influence of virus infection on presentation of epitopes to CTLs.


Carolina Johnstone, Sara Guil, Miguel A Rico, Blanca García-Barreno, Daniel López, José A Melero, Margarita Del Val. Relevance of viral context and diversity of antigen-processing routes for respiratory syncytial virus cytotoxic T-lymphocyte epitopes. The Journal of general virology. 2008 Sep;89(Pt 9):2194-203

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PMID: 18753229

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