Identification of an I-Ad restricted peptide on the 65-kilodalton heat shock protein of Mycobacterium avium

Vijaya Nagabhushanam, Anthony W. Purcell, Stuart Mannering, Susie Germano, Judyta Praszkier, Christina Cheers

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The 65 kilodalton heat shock protein (Hsp65) from mycobacterial species elicits immune responses and in some cases protective immunity. Here we have used a DNA sublibrary approach to identify antigenic fragments of Mycobacterium avium Hsp65 and a synthetic peptide approach to delineate CD4+ T cell determinants. A panel of Hsp65 reactive CD4+ T cell clones was established from lymph node cells obtained from BALB/c mice immunized with recombinant Hsp65. The clones were tested for proliferative reactivity against the products of the DNA sublibrary of the hsp65 gene. A T cell epitope, restricted by the I-Ad molecule, was identified within the C-terminal region of Hsp65 and the minimal epitope (amino acid residues 489-503) delineated using overlapping peptides spanning the C-terminal fragment. Additionally, the CD4+ T cell clone recognizing this epitope also responded to native Hsp65 present in M. avium lysates by both proliferation and cytokine production, indicating that the epitope was present and processed similarly both in the native and the recombinant forms of Hsp65. This sequence identified in BALB/c mice (Hsp65 489-503) is identical in other mycobacteria, notably M. tuberculosis, M. bovis and M. leprae, suggesting the epitope may have wider application in murine models of other mycobacterial infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-583
Number of pages10
JournalImmunology and Cell Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Heat shock protein
  • Mycobacteria
  • T cell clone
  • T cell epitope

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