Functional analysis of T-cell responses in HIV-infected individuals has indicated that virus-specific CD8+ T cells with superior antiviral efficacy are well represented in HIV-1 controllers but are rare or absent in HIV-1 progressors. To define the role of individual T-cell receptor (TCR) clonotypes in differential antiviral CD8+ T-cell function, we performed detailed functional and mass cytometric cluster analysis of multiple CD8+ T-cell clones recognizing the identical HLA-B*2705-restricted HIV-1 epitope KK10 (KRWIILGLNK). Effective and ineffective CD8+ T-cell clones segregated based on responses to HIV-1-infected and peptide-loaded target cells. Following cognate peptide stimulation, effective HIV-specific clones displayed significantly more rapid TCR signal propagation, more efficient initial lytic granule release, and more sustained nonlytic cytokine and chemokine secretion than ineffective clones. To evaluate the TCR clonotype contribution to CD8+ T-cell function, we cloned the TCR α and β chain genes from one effective and two ineffective CD8+ T-cell clones from an elite controller into TCR-expressing lentivectors. We show that Jurkat/MA cells and primary CD8+ T cells transduced with lentivirus expressing TCR from one of the ineffective clones exhibited a level of activation by cognate peptide and inhibition of in vitro HIV-1 infection, respectively, that were comparable to those of the effective clonotype. Taken together, these data suggest that the potent antiviral capacity of some HIV-specific CD8+ T cells is a consequence of factors in addition to TCR sequence that modulate functionality and contribute to the increased antiviral capacity of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells in elite controllers to inhibit HIV infection.
- T cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas