The topography and specificity of B- and T-cell stimulatory epitopes from the 19-kDa protein of Mycobacterium tuberculosis were investigated by using overlapping synthetic peptides. Murine antisera identified two cryptic epitopes (residues 11 to 30 and 61 to 80) and one species-specific immunodominant epitope (residues 140 to 159). Immunoglobulins G1 and G2a antibody isotypes varied for the respective peptide immunogens but without relationship to the T-cell cytokine profiles which were characterized by high gamma interferon and low interleukin 5 levels. Antisera to recombinant M. tuberculosis 19-kDa protein (rGST-19) cross-reacted with homologous proteins of similar size from organisms of the Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare complex. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis revealed differences in the number, relative mobility, and charge of isoforms of the 19-kDa protein, possibly reflecting posttranslational modifications. The immunodominant T- cell epitope from the M. tuberculosis 19-kDa protein (residues 61 to 80) and the corresponding peptide sequence from Mycobacterium avium subsp. intracellulare (residues 64 to 83), differing at five residues, were both recognized in a genetically permissive manner. Peptides 61-80 and 64-83 stimulated cross-reactive responses in BALB/c (H-2(d)) mice, while in the C57BL/IU (H-2b) strain, responses to peptide 61-80 were species specific. In purified protein derivative-positive healthy individuals, the M. avium subsp. intracellulare peptide stimulated stronger responses than did the M. tuberculosis peptide, whereas patients with active tuberculosis had enhanced in vitro T-cell responses to both peptides.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Infection and Immunity|
|Publication status||Published - 01 Jul 1994|