Novel promiscuous HLA-DQ HIV Nef peptide that induces IFN-gamma-producing memory CD4+ T cells

Clin Exp Immunol. 2002 Sep;129(3):429-37. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2249.2002.01934.x.


We describe the highly conserved sequence 56-68 of the HIV Nef protein as the first promiscuous HLA-DQ HIV-derived peptide. The Nef peptide exhibits an albeit rare capacity to bind 6 different HLA-DQ molecules whereas no binding is observed with the 10 HLA-DR molecules tested. In agreement with these data, after immunization with the Nef peptide, HLA-DQ transgenic Abeta degrees mice display a vigorous cellular and humoral response while the specific immune response of HLA-DR expressing mice is minimal. The promiscuous potentiality of the Nef 56-68 peptide in humans has been confirmed by ex vivo immunization experiments with CD4+ T cells from 14 healthy donors expressing different HLA genotypes. Nef 56-68 specific CD4+ T cells rapidly acquire a memory cell phenotype and are characterized by the preferential usage of the TCR Vbeta 6.1 gene segment and predominant production of IFN-gamma. Taken together, these data indicate that the Nef 56-68 peptide constitutes an attractive component of vaccines aiming at inducing or enhancing HIV-specific T cell immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Clone Cells
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Gene Products, nef / chemistry
  • Gene Products, nef / immunology*
  • Gene Products, nef / metabolism
  • HIV / immunology*
  • HLA-DQ Antigens / genetics
  • HLA-DQ Antigens / metabolism*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / genetics
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Variable Region / genetics
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Peptide Fragments / chemistry
  • Peptide Fragments / immunology*
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / immunology
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*
  • nef Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus


  • Gene Products, nef
  • HIV Nef peptide (58-68)
  • HLA-DQ Antigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Immunoglobulin Variable Region
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Peptides
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • nef Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus
  • Interferon-gamma