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Adaptive immune response: induction, characterization, and role of the T cell response

T cell epitopes

Epitopes presented by MHC class II molecules to mouse or human CD41 T cells have been identified in the catalytic domain of T. cruzi TS,102 in the variant SA85-1.1 of TS,103 in cruzipain,80 in KMP1,104 and in the amastigote surface protein 2 (ASP-2).105 A particular epitope of SA85-1.1 seems to be a major Th1 inducer,103 while cruzipain preferentially induces Th2 cells.80

CD81 T cell responses develop against an array of parasite antigens.106,107 Target antigens of mouse and human CD81 T cells have been described in the TS family of T. cruzi molecules like TSA-1 (trypomastigote surface antigen—1), ASP-1 and -2 (amastigote surface proteins), FL-160 (flagellar-associated antigen family specific of trypomastigotes).108—111,112 In mouse, the paraflagellar rod proteins 2, 3 (PFR2 and PFR3), and 4 (PAR4), and MASP family members have more recently been identified as targets of CD81 T cells.113—115 Other human MHC class I-binding peptides have been found in the parasite cruzipain, the calcium-binding protein (CaBP), LYT1 protein,111,116,117 the ribosomal protein TcP2beta,118 KMP1,119 and HSP70.120 Interestingly, despite the fact that parasites concomitantly express a large number of polymorphic proteins of the TS family, the CD81 T cell response is highly focused on a restricted repertoire of TS epitopes.121—123

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