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Single HIV mutation induces distinct T cell immune responses

September 6, 2016
Kumamoto University
Scientists have discovered that a single T cell-selected HIV mutation can produce different T cell adaptations. The finding demonstrates that the complexity of the HIV/T cell co-evolution is much higher than previously thought.

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."

Story Source:

Materials provided by Kumamoto University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. 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, 2016; 15 (10): 2279 DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.05.017

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Kumamoto University. "Single HIV mutation induces distinct T cell immune responses." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 September 2016. <>.
Kumamoto University. (2016, September 6). Single HIV mutation induces distinct T cell immune responses. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from
Kumamoto University. "Single HIV mutation induces distinct T cell immune responses." ScienceDaily. (accessed May 23, 2017).