Identification of HLA-B27-restricted peptides from the Chlamydia trachomatis proteome with possible relevance to HLA-B27-associated diseases.
Kuon W., Holzhütter HG., Appel H., Grolms M., Kollnberger S., Traeder A., Henklein P., Weiss E., Thiel A., Lauster R., Bowness P., Radbruch A., Kloetzel PM., Sieper J.
The association of HLA-B27 with ankylosing spondylitis and reactive arthritis is the strongest one known between an MHC class I Ag and a disease. We have searched the proteome of the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis for HLA-B27 binding peptides that are stimulatory for CD8(+) cells both in a model of HLA-B27 transgenic mice and in patients. This was done by combining two biomathematical computer programs, the first of which predicts HLA-B27 peptide binding epitopes, and the second the probability of HLA-B27 peptide generation by the proteasome system. After preselection, immunodominant peptides were identified by Ag-specific flow cytometry. Using this approach we have identified for the first time nine peptides derived from different C. trachomatis proteins that are stimulatory for CD8(+) T cells. Eight of these nine murine-derived peptides were recognized by cytotoxic T cells. The same strategy was used to identify B27-restricted chlamydial peptides in three patients with reactive arthritis. Eleven peptides were found to be stimulatory for patient-derived CD8(+) T cells, of which eight overlapped those found in mice. Additionally, we applied the tetramer technology, showing that a B27/chlamydial peptide containing one of the chlamydial peptides stained CD8(+) T cells in patients with Chlamydia-induced arthritis. This comprehensive approach offers the possibility of clarifying the pathogenesis of B27-associated diseases.