A major T cell antigen of mycobacterlam leprae Is a 10-kD heat-shock cognate protein

Vijay Mehra, Barry R. Bloom, Adriana C. Bajardi, Cara L. Grisso, Peter A. Sieling, David Alland, Jacinto Convit, Xuedong Fan, Shirley W. Hunter, Patrick J. Brennan, Thomas H. Rea

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Several mycobacterial antigens, identified by monoclonal antibodies and patient sera, have been found to be homologous to stress or heat-shock proteins (hsp) defined inEscherichia coli and yeast. A major antigen recognized by most Mycobacterium leprae-reactive human T cell lines and cell wail-reactive T cell clones is a 10-kD protein that has now been cloned and sequenced. The predicted amino acid sequence of this protein is 44% homologous to the hsp 10 (GroES) of E. coll. The purified native and recombinant 10-kD protein was found to be a stronger stimulator of peripheral blood T cell proliferation than other native and recombinantM. leprae proteins tested. The degree of reactivity parallded the response to intact M. leprae throughout the spectrumof leprosy. Limiting-dilution analysis of peripheral blood lymphocytes from a patient contact and a tuberculoid patient indicated that approximately one third ofM./e-e-reactive T cell precursors responded to the 10-kD antigen. T ceU lines derived from lepromin skin tests were strongly responsive to the 10-kD protein. T cell clones reactive to both the purified native and recombinant 10-kD antigens recognized M. leprae-specific epitopes as well as epitopes crossreactive with the cognate antigen of M. tuberculosis. Further, thepurified hsp 10 elicited strong ddayed-type hypersensitivity reactions in guinea pigs sensitized to M. leprae. The strong T ceil responses against the M. leprae 10-kD protein suggest a role for this heat-shock cognate protein in the protective/resistant responses to infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-284
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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