The functional helper T cell line Vir-2, derived from a PR8 (H1N1) influenza virus-immunized BALB/c mouse, proliferates in response to syngeneic antigen-presenting cells and naturally occurring strains of subtype H1 human influenza virus from 1934-1957 and 1977-1980 isolates. A conserved region of the hemagglutinin molecule around amino acid position 115 in the heavy chain (HA1) was implicated as being important in this recognition by the lack of stimulatory activity associated with a glutamic acid to lysine substitution at position 115 in the laboratory mutant RV6, derived from wild-type PR8. Characterization of the stimulatory determinant on the wild-type hemagglutinin molecule was then undertaken using cleavage products and synthetic peptides. Vir-2 cells recognized the reduced and alkylated purified HA1 of PR8 virus, and this reactivity was retained after cleavage at methionine and tryptophan residues. High-pressure liquid chromatography separation of cleavage fragments indicated that a short sequence of the HA1 containing residue 115 was being recognized. This recognition was localized to a nine amino acid segment (positions 111-119) by assaying stimulation with synthetic peptide homologues of different lengths from that region. As with native hemagglutinin, Vir-2 cells responded to active peptides when presented by H-2d but not H-2k antigen-presenting cells.

This content is only available as a PDF.