Comparing pooled peptides with intact protein for accessing cross-presentation pathways for protective CD8+ and CD4+ T cells.
Zhang H., Hong H., Li D., Ma S., Di Y., Stoten A., Haig N., Di Gleria K., Yu Z., Xu XN., McMichael A., Jiang S.
To better understand the mechanisms of intracellular trafficking and presentation of exogenous peptides by antigen-presenting cells (APC), we compared the handling of overlapping 24-mer peptides from HIV Nef either mixed or covalently linked in tandem in one protein. Once internalized, peptides trafficked not only to endosomes but also to cytosol, and activated CD8(+) and CD4(+) T cells. In contrast, whole protein was found to traffic only to the endosomal compartments, and primarily activated CD4(+) T cells. Finally, with adjuvant, overlapping peptides were capable of protecting against lethal viral challenge, whereas the intact protein was less protective. These data suggest that overlapping long peptides are cross-presented through more varied intracellular routes and are more efficient in priming protective immunity than the whole protein.