Cytotoxic T cells recognize fragments of the influenza nucleoprotein

Cell. 1985 Sep;42(2):457-67. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(85)90103-5.


Recent work has shown that a major population of murine influenza A specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) recognize the viral nucleoprotein. In order to investigate the mechanism by which this nonglycoprotein component of the virus is recognized by CTL, a series of deletion mutants of an A virus NP gene were studied. The results showed that CTL recognize three distinct epitopes of the NP molecule. Both N- and C-terminal fragments of the protein are transported, independently of each other, to the site of recognition by CTL. These findings imply that a mechanism may exist for transport to the cell surface and presentation to CTL, of viral proteins and protein fragments that lack defined signal sequences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology
  • Clone Cells
  • Epitopes / immunology
  • Genes, Viral
  • H-2 Antigens
  • Influenza A virus / immunology*
  • L Cells
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • Mutation
  • Nucleoproteins / genetics
  • Nucleoproteins / immunology*
  • Nucleoproteins / metabolism
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transfection
  • Viral Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Proteins / immunology*
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism


  • Antigens, Viral
  • Epitopes
  • H-2 Antigens
  • Nucleoproteins
  • Viral Proteins