[Frontiers in Bioscience 16, 3014-3035, June 1, 2011]

Sources of diversity in T cell epitope discovery

Cynthia Xin Lei Chang1,2, Lingyun Dai1,3, Zhen Wei Tan1,2, Joanna Ai Ling Choo1, Antonio Bertoletti4, Gijsbert M. Grotenbreg1,2,3

1National University of Singapore (NUS), Immunology Programme and Departments of Microbiology and Biological Sciences, Centre for Life Sciences, No 03-05, 28 Medical Drive, 117456 Singapore, 2NUS Graduate School for Integrative Science and Engineering (NGS), Centre for Life Sciences, No 05-01, 28 Medical Drive, 117456, Singapore 3Singapore-Massachusetts Institute of Technology Alliance (SMA), 4 Engineering Drive 3, 117576, Singapore, 4Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, Agency for Science Technology and Research, Brenner Centre for Molecular Medicine, 30 Medical Drive, 117609, Singapore


1. Abstract
2. Introduction
3. Diversity in T cell epitope discovery
3.1. Diversity of the pathogen
3.2. Diversity of the epitope
3.3. Diversity of the host
3.4. Diversity of immunotechnologies
3.5. Diversity in data reporting
4. Perspective
5. Acknowledgements
6. References


CD8-positive T cells respond to small antigenic peptide fragments presented on class I major histocompatibility complexes (MHCs). Those specific T cell epitopes capable of precipitating a cellular immune response are either derived from (altered) self (i.e. they are autoimmune- or cancer-associated) or come from foreign sources (i.e. they are pathogen-associated). Identification of T cell epitopes provides elementary information that can be employed in technologies that monitor and predict the likely outcome of an immune response, as well as in therapeutic and vaccine development efforts. The coexistence between host and pathogen has largely driven the diversification of both their systems of immune surveillance and their antigenic determinants, respectively. In this review, we discuss the multitude of factors that introduce diversity to the T cell response from both sides of the host-pathogen interaction. Furthermore, we provide an overview of a variety of commonly employed methods and tools to characterize class I MHC restricted antigen presentation and recent endeavors towards the harmonization of reporting data concerning T cell responses.