Antigenic properties of HCMV peptides displayed by filamentous bacteriophages vs. synthetic peptides

Cristina Ulivieri, Alessandra Citro, Federico Ivaldi, Dina Mascolo, Raffaella Ghittoni, Daniela Fanigliulo, Fabrizio Manca, Cosima Tatiana Baldari, Giuseppina Li Pira, Giovanna Del Pozzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several efforts have been invested in the identification of CTL and Th epitopes, as well as in the characterization of their immunodominance and MHC restriction, for the generation of a peptide-based HCMV vaccine. Small synthetic peptides are, however, poor antigens and carrier proteins are important for improving the efficacy of synthetic peptide vaccines. Recombinant bacteriophages appear as promising tools in the design of subunit vaccines. To investigate the antigenicity of peptides carried by recombinant bacteriophages we displayed different HCMV MHCII restricted peptides on the capsid of filamentous bacteriophage (fd) and found that hybrid bacteriophages are processed by human APC and activate HCMV-specific CD4 T-cells. Furthermore we constructed a reporter T-cell hybridoma expressing a chimeric TCR comprising murine αβ constant regions and human variable regions specific for the HLA-A2 restricted immunodominant NLV peptide of HCMV. Using the filamentous bacteriophage as an epitope carrier, we detected a more robust and long lasting response of the reporter T-cell hybridoma compared to peptide stimulation. Our results show a general enhancement of T-cell responses when antigenic peptides are carried by phages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-70
Number of pages9
JournalImmunology Letters
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 15 2008


  • Biotechnology tools
  • HCMV epitopes
  • Signal transduction
  • Synthetic carrier
  • TCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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