Combinatorial tetramer staining and mass cytometry analysis facilitate T-cell epitope mapping and characterization
Newell, E.W., Sigal, N., Nair, N. et al.
It is currently not possible to predict which epitopes will be recognized by T cells in different individuals. This is a barrier to the thorough analysis and understanding of T-cell responses after vaccination or infection. Here, by combining mass cytometry with combinatorial peptide-MHC tetramer staining, we have developed a method allowing the rapid and simultaneous identification and characterization of T cells specific for many epitopes. We use this to screen up to 109 different peptide-MHC tetramers in a single human blood sample, while still retaining at least 23 labels to analyze other markers of T-cell phenotype and function. Among 77 candidate rotavirus epitopes, we identified six T-cell epitopes restricted to human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A*0201 in the blood of healthy individuals. T cells specific for epitopes in the rotavirus VP3 protein displayed a distinct phenotype and were present at high frequencies in intestinal epithelium. This approach should be useful for the comprehensive analysis of T-cell responses to infectious diseases or vaccines.
Newell, E.W., Sigal, N., Nair, N. et al. "Combinatorial tetramer staining and mass cytometry analysis facilitate T-cell epitope mapping and characterization" Nature Biotechnology (2013): 623–9