An HLA-A2-Restricted T-Cell Epitope Mapped to the BNLF2a Immune Evasion Protein of Epstein-Barr Virus That Inhibits TAP

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Colleges, School and Institutes


The early lytic cycle protein of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), BNLF2a, has recently been shown to play a critical role in immune evasion by inhibiting the peptide transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP), thereby blocking antigen-specific CD8(+) T-cell recognition of many lytic cycle antigens. Surprisingly, we now show that a peptide ((50)VLFGLLCLL(58)) from the hydrophobic C-terminal region of this small (60-amino-acid) EBV protein is efficiently presented by the common class I allele HLA-A2 for recognition by cytotoxic T lymphocytes. The mechanism for this unexpected finding was revealed by experiments showing that this epitope is processed and presented independently of TAP.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2783-2788
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2009