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Immunity ; 54(5): 1066-1082.e5, 2021 05 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1216346


To better understand primary and recall T cell responses during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), it is important to examine unmanipulated severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-specific T cells. By using peptide-human leukocyte antigen (HLA) tetramers for direct ex vivo analysis, we characterized CD8+ T cells specific for SARS-CoV-2 epitopes in COVID-19 patients and unexposed individuals. Unlike CD8+ T cells directed toward subdominant epitopes (B7/N257, A2/S269, and A24/S1,208) CD8+ T cells specific for the immunodominant B7/N105 epitope were detected at high frequencies in pre-pandemic samples and at increased frequencies during acute COVID-19 and convalescence. SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T cells in pre-pandemic samples from children, adults, and elderly individuals predominantly displayed a naive phenotype, indicating a lack of previous cross-reactive exposures. T cell receptor (TCR) analyses revealed diverse TCRαß repertoires and promiscuous αß-TCR pairing within B7/N105+CD8+ T cells. Our study demonstrates high naive precursor frequency and TCRαß diversity within immunodominant B7/N105-specific CD8+ T cells and provides insight into SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell origins and subsequent responses.

CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Amino Acid Motifs , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Child , Convalescence , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunodominant Epitopes/chemistry , Male , Middle Aged , Phenotype , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/chemistry , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/chemistry , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
Proteomics ; 21(17-18): e2100036, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1162932


SARS-CoV-2 has caused a significant ongoing pandemic worldwide. A number of studies have examined the T cell mediated immune responses against SARS-CoV-2, identifying potential T cell epitopes derived from the SARS-CoV-2 proteome. Such studies will aid in identifying targets for vaccination and immune monitoring. In this study, we applied tandem mass spectrometry and proteomic techniques to a library of ∼40,000 synthetic peptides, in order to generate a large dataset of SARS-CoV-2 derived peptide MS/MS spectra. On this basis, we built an online knowledgebase, termed virusMS (, to document, annotate and analyse these synthetic peptides and their spectral information. VirusMS incorporates a user-friendly interface to facilitate searching, browsing and downloading the database content. Detailed annotations of the peptides, including experimental information, peptide modifications, predicted peptide-HLA (human leukocyte antigen) binding affinities, and peptide MS/MS spectral data, are provided in virusMS.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Peptides , Proteomics , Tandem Mass Spectrometry