In an effort to increase the understanding of HIV and cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) co-evolution, and improve the development of T cell-mediated AIDS vaccines, which induce the creation of HIV-specific T cells within the body, a research collaboration between researchers in Japan, China, France, Kazakhstan, and the UK analyzed T cell responses to a single HIV escape mutation. The researchers looked at how the HIV single mutant was selected by different (RW8- and RF10-specific) CTLs, and investigated the new corresponding CTLs.
The research focused on a mutation that is very frequently found in individuals having the human leukocyte antigen HLA-A*24:02, which is estimated to be in approximately 70% of the Japanese population, and revealed that one mutation produced two outcomes. During HIV/CTL co-evolution, the mutation induced a new T-cell repertoire in one RF10 mutant epitope but not in the RW8 mutant epitope. The research clarified the coadaptation between a single HIV-1 mutation and T cells.
"This study demonstrated that only a single mutation selected by T cells produced 2 different outcomes in T cell adaptation suggesting a more complex co-evolution between HIV and T cell in the body," said Professor Masafumi Takiguchi of Kumamoto University, leader of the research project. "This finding will contribute to the development of an effective T cell-mediated AIDS vaccine in the future."
Xiaoming Sun, Yi Shi, Tomohiro Akahoshi, Mamoru Fujiwara, Hiroyuki Gatanaga, Christian Schönbach, Nozomi Kuse, Victor Appay, George F. Gao, Shinichi Oka, Masafumi Takiguchi, Effects of a Single Escape Mutation on T Cell and HIV-1 Co-adaptation, Cell Reports, Volume 15, Issue 10, 7 June 2016, Pages 2279-2291, ISSN 2211-1247, http://dx.