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We describe 15-mer peptide P8:F92-106 from the F protein of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) that can act as an MHC class I-restricted (H-2Kd) epitope for RSV-specific CD8+ CTL. This peptide is interesting because not only is it the first murine CTL epitope to be identified in the F protein but also because it does not contain a known allele-specific motif, as all 15 amino acids appear to be required for effective presentation to CTL. In in vitro MHC class I refolding experiments, peptide P8: F92-106 induced complex formation with H-2Kd heavy chains and β2-microglobulin. Immunization of BALB/c mice with P8:F92-106 resulted in the induction of peptide and RSV-specific CTL responses as well as peptide-specific proliferative responses. Following intranasal challenge with RSV, P8:F92-106-immunized mice showed a significant reduction in viral load in the lungs compared to that seen in unimmunized mice. Furthermore, passive transfer of purified CD8+ lymphocytes into BALB/c scid mice prior to challenge with RSV also resulted in a reduction in the virus load in lungs of challenged mice. These results indicate the potential of synthetic peptide epitopes for the induction of protective immune responses against RSV infection.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of General Virology

Publication Date





429 - 438