Cross-reactive CTL recognizing two HLA-A*02-restricted epitopes within the BK virus and JC virus VP1 polypeptides are frequent in immunocompetent individuals

Virology. 2006 Jun 20;350(1):128-36. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2006.02.040. Epub 2006 Apr 5.


Two HLA-A*02-restricted epitopes have been identified within the VP1 polypeptide of a human polyomavirus, BK virus, which is associated with polyomavirus-associated nephropathy in kidney transplant patients. Immunization of transgenic mice with recombinant modified vaccinia Ankara expressing BKV VP1 (rMVA-BKV VP1) elicited functional CTL populations recognizing the sequences LLMWEAVTV (amino acids residues 108-116, BKV VP1p108) and AITEVECFL (residues 44-52, BKV VP1p44) and cross-reactive to the previously described JC virus VP1 homologs. Flow-based analyses of PBMC from a panel of thirty healthy HLA-A*02 human volunteers indicated that the majority of these subjects harbored functional CTL populations recognizing the BKV epitopes and cross-reactive with the JCV homologs. CTL recognizing the JCV VP1p100 and JCV VP1p36 epitopes have previously been associated with prolonged survival in progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy patients. These findings suggest that infection with BKV or JCV could potentially induce cross-protective T-cell immunity against diseases associated with these viruses.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • BK Virus / immunology*
  • Capsid Proteins / genetics
  • Capsid Proteins / immunology*
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / immunology*
  • HLA-A2 Antigen / genetics
  • HLA-A2 Antigen / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunocompetence / immunology*
  • JC Virus / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*


  • Capsid Proteins
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte
  • HLA-A2 Antigen