Human CD8+ cytotoxic T cell responses to adenovirus capsid proteins

Virology. 2006 Jul 5;350(2):312-22. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2006.01.024. Epub 2006 Feb 24.


Adenoviruses (Ads) cause fatal disease in allogeneic stem cell transplant recipients, but there is no established therapy. Ad-specific CD8+ T cells were detected in PBMC from healthy adults at a mean frequency of 77 per 10(5) CD8+ T cells (range 8-260) by interferon-gamma ELISPOT and cytokine flow cytometry assays. CD8+ T cell lines from 7 of 7 donors exhibited MHC-class-I-restricted killing of targets expressing the capsid protein hexon. In contrast, cytotoxicity against the capsid proteins fiber and penton base was weaker or not detected. Two HLA-A2-restricted hexon epitopes and one HLA-B-restricted epitope were identified, all of which are adjacent to or overlap an HLA-DP4-restricted epitope in the highly conserved C-terminus. Thus, hexon is the immunodominant T cell target among capsid proteins and contains multiple C-terminal epitopes conserved among serotypes. These data support evaluation of donor lymphocyte infusions for treatment of Ad disease post-transplant.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / immunology*
  • Adenoviridae / pathogenicity*
  • Adult
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / virology
  • Capsid Proteins / chemistry
  • Capsid Proteins / immunology*
  • DNA Primers
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / virology*


  • Capsid Proteins
  • DNA Primers
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I