Identification of a MHC I-restricted epitope of DsRed in C57BL/6 mice

Mol Immunol. 2013 Apr;53(4):450-2. doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2012.10.003. Epub 2012 Nov 9.


Fluorescent proteins can be used to visualize cells and their constituents by various imaging techniques. Adoptive transfer of T cells from C57Bl/6 (B6) mice that expressed DsRed.T3 under the actin promoter lead to frequent rejection of transferred cells. In short term in vivo cytotoxicity assays these mice showed detectable, but weak lysis of DsRed spleen cells but their responses could be boosted by re-challenge with DsRed spleen cells. To determine whether DsRed protein may contain an H-2(b) MHC I-restricted T cell epitope, B6 mice immune to DsRed spleen cells were examined for in vivo lysis of target cells coated with various DsRed-derived peptides selected by the SYFPEITHI epitope prediction program. This analysis identified one D(b)-restricted peptide sequence within DsRed (SSLQDGCFI) that acted as an epitope for B6 target lysis. Knowledge of this epitope could allow DsRed to be used as a model antigen in B6 mice and cautions against using this fluorochrome, as well as several others containing the immunogenic sequence, in adoptive transfer studies where rejection is not desirable.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cytotoxicity Tests, Immunologic
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / chemistry
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / immunology*
  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemistry
  • Gene Expression
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / genetics
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / immunology
  • Luminescent Proteins / chemistry
  • Luminescent Proteins / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Molecular Mimicry
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / immunology*
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Spleen / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / transplantation


  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Peptides
  • fluorescent protein 583