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Elicitation of T-cell responses by structural and non-structural proteins of coxsackievirus B4

Suvi Bengs1,2, Jane Marttila1, Petri Susi2,3 and Jorma Ilonen1,4

Immunogenetics Laboratory, University of Turku, Turku, Finland1, Department of Virology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland2, Biomaterials and Diagnostics Group, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Turku, Finland3, Department of Clinical Microbiology, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland4

J. Gen. Virol., February 2015 96: 322-330, doi: 10.1099/vir.0.069062-0

Coxsackievirus B4 (CV-B4) belongs to the genus Enterovirus within the family Picornaviridae. To investigate target proteins recognized by T-cells in human enterovirus B infections, virus-encoded
structural [VP0 (VP4 and VP2), VP1, VP3] and non-structural (2A, 2B, 2C, 3C and 3D) proteins were expressed and purified in Escherichia coli. Peripheral blood of 19 healthy adult donors was used to create enterovirus-specific T-cell lines by repeated stimulation with CV-B4 cell lysate antigen. T-cell lines responded in individual patterns, and responses to all purified proteins were observed. The most often recognized enteroviral protein was VP0, which is the fusion between the most conserved structural proteins, VP4 and VP2. T-cell responses to VP0 were detected in 15 of the 19 (79 %) donor lines. Non-structural 2C protein was recognized in 11 of the 19 (58 %) lines, and 11 of the 19 (58 %) lines also had a response to 3D protein. Furthermore, responses to other non-structural proteins (2A, 2B and 3C) were also detected. T-cell responses did not correlate clearly to the individual HLA-DR-DQ phenotype or the history of past coxsackie B virus infections of the donors.