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Zhai M, Chen F, Zhao Y, Wu Y, Li G, Gao Y, Qi Y.2015. Novel epitopes identified from efflux pumps of Mycobacterium tuberculosis could induce cytotoxic T lymphocyte response. PeerJ PrePrints3:e987v1https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.987v1
Overcoming drug-resistance is one of the major challenges to control tuberculosis (TB). The up-regulation of efflux pumps is one common mechanism that leads to drug-resistance. Therefore, immunotherapy targeting these efflux pump antigens could be promising strategy to be combined with current chemotherapy. Considering that CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) induced by antigenic peptides (epitopes) could elicit HLA-restricted anti-TB immune response, efflux pumps from classical ABC family (Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Mtb) were chosen as target antigens to identify CTL epitopes. HLA-A2 restricted candidate peptides from Rv2937, Rv2686c and Rv2687c of Mycobacterium tuberculosis were predicted, synthesized and tested. Five peptides could induce IFN-γ release and cytotoxic activity in PBMCs from HLA-A2+ PPD+ donors. Results from HLA-A2/Kb transgenic mice immunization assay suggested that four peptides Rv2937-p168, Rv2937-p266, Rv2686c-p151, and Rv2686c-p181 could induce significant CTL response in vivo. These results suggested that these novel epitopes could be used as immunotherapy candidates to TB drug-resistance.