In vivo persistence of a HIV-1-encoded HLA-B27-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocyte epitope despite specific in vitro reactivity

Eur J Immunol. 1991 Oct;21(10):2637-40. doi: 10.1002/eji.1830211051.


A large number of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) specific HLA-restricted cytotoxic T cell (CTL) epitopes have been mapped, including an HLA-B27-restricted immunodominant epitope within p25gag. Accordingly, this segment of the HIV-1 provirus was amplified by the polymerase chain reaction from DNA derived from fresh uncultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of four HLA-B27 HIV-1-infected individuals. In all cases the majority of infected PBMC bore sequences encoding the HLA-B27-restricted peptide. CTL escape mutants had not accumulated in vivo 8 and 14 months later despite demonstrable CTL activity in vitro. These data emphasize the importance of silently infected lymphocytes in evading immune surveillance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Epitopes
  • Gene Products, gag / chemistry
  • Gene Products, gag / immunology
  • HIV Antigens / immunology*
  • HIV Seropositivity / immunology*
  • HIV-1 / immunology*
  • HLA-B27 Antigen / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*


  • Epitopes
  • Gene Products, gag
  • HIV Antigens
  • HLA-B27 Antigen