It has been shown previously that the viral glycoprotein VP7 is a major target of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) induced by bovine rotavirus RF in C57BL/6 mice. Here we show that these RF-specific CTLs recognize target cells infected with a recombinant vaccinia virus (rVV) expressing the SA11 (simian rotavirus) VP6 but not those infected with rVVs that express RF VP1, VP2 or VP3 core proteins. After immunization of mice with insect cells infected with recombinant baculoviruses that express the corresponding RF proteins a strong specific CTL response was generated against target cells infected with VP6 rVV and VP3 rVV, a weak one against the VP2 rVV but none against the VP1 rVV. Kb-restricted CTL epitopes were identified on VP6 and VP3 using allele-specific motifs. When peptides corresponding to these epitopes were used to restimulate in vitro the spleen cells from RF-immunized mice, CTLs specific for each peptide and its corresponding rVV were induced.
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