Detection of CD8+ T cells sensitized to BK virus large T antigen in healthy volunteers and kidney transplant recipients

Hum Immunol. Apr-May 2006;67(4-5):298-302. doi: 10.1016/j.humimm.2006.02.031. Epub 2006 Apr 7.


BK virus (BKV) infections after renal transplantation are increasingly recognized. Development of immune monitoring strategies against BKV requires definition of antigenic epitopes. Hence, T cells from HLA-A02-positive healthy subjects and kidney transplant recipients were stimulated by BKV lysate pulsed on mature autologous dendritic cells and screened against four different T antigen peptides or against BKV lysate. IFN-gamma production was measured by ELISPOT assays. The peptide BKV362-371 (MLTERFNHIL) was naturally processed and recognized by five of six healthy subjects (39 +/- 11 IFN-gamma spots/100,000 cells) and five of seven kidney transplant recipients (21 +/- 12 IFN-gamma spots). Less frequent and weaker CD8+ T-cell responses were detected against three other peptides. Thus, BKV large T antigen is a target for CD8+ T-cell immunity. T-antigen-specific T-cytotoxic cells circulate in healthy blood donors, implying that transient expression of T antigen presumably occurs at sites of viral latency and helps maintain a constant pool of circulating CD8+ T memory cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antigens, Polyomavirus Transforming / blood*
  • Antigens, Viral, Tumor / blood
  • BK Virus / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Interferon-gamma / analysis
  • Kidney Transplantation / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Monitoring, Immunologic
  • Peptides / immunology
  • Polyomavirus Infections / diagnosis
  • Tumor Virus Infections / diagnosis


  • Antigens, Polyomavirus Transforming
  • Antigens, Viral, Tumor
  • Peptides
  • Interferon-gamma