Identification of hexon-specific CD4 and CD8 T-cell epitopes for vaccine and immunotherapy

J Virol. 2008 Jan;82(1):546-54. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01689-07. Epub 2007 Oct 17.


Adenoviral infections in the immunocompromised host are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Although the adoptive transfer of adenovirus-specific T cells may prevent and treat such infections, the T-cell immune response to the multiplicity of adenovirus serotypes and subspecies that infect humans has not been well characterized, impeding the development of such approaches. We have, therefore, analyzed the specificities of T-cell responses to the viral capsid hexon antigen, since this structure is highly conserved in human pathogens. We screened 25 human cytotoxic T-cell lines with adenovirus specificity to extensively characterize their responses to adenoviral hexon and to identify a panel of novel CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-cell epitopes. Using a peptide library spanning the entire sequence of the hexon protein, we confirmed the responsiveness of these cytotoxic T-cell lines to seven peptides described previously and also identified 33 new CD4- or CD8-restricted hexon epitopes. Importantly, the majority of these epitopes were shared among different adenovirus subspecies, suggesting that T cells with such specificities could recognize and be protective against multiple serotypes, simplifying the task of effective adoptive transfer or vaccine-based immunotherapy for treating infection by this virus.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / immunology*
  • Adenoviridae Infections / immunology
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Capsid Proteins / immunology*
  • Cell Line
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Conserved Sequence / immunology
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / immunology*
  • Humans


  • Capsid Proteins
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte
  • hexon capsid protein, Adenovirus