Irradiated malaria sporozoites can induce CD8+ T cells that are required for protection against infection. However, the parasite antigens targeted by this immune response are unknown. We have discovered a 16-amino acid epitope from the Plasmodium yoelii circumsporozoite (CS) protein that is recognized by cytotoxic T cells from immune mice. Lymphocytes stimulated with this peptide can kill P. yoelii liver stage parasites in vitro in an MHC-restricted, antigen-specific manner. Thus, epitopes from the CS protein are presented on the surface of infected hepatocytes and can be targets for T cells, even though intact CS protein has not been detected on the surface of the infected hepatocyte. A vaccine that induced CTL to parasite antigens might protect humans against malaria by eliminating liver stage parasites.
Cytotoxic T cells recognize a peptide from the circumsporozoite protein on malaria-infected hepatocytes.
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W R Weiss, S Mellouk, R A Houghten, M Sedegah, S Kumar, M F Good, J A Berzofsky, L H Miller, S L Hoffman; Cytotoxic T cells recognize a peptide from the circumsporozoite protein on malaria-infected hepatocytes.. J Exp Med 1 March 1990; 171 (3): 763–773. doi: https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.171.3.763
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