Modified VLPs/LPs that lack gp110 are antigenic and stimulate multiple EBV-specific T cells.
(A) VLPs/LPs and EBV that contain EBNA3C (E3C) and EBNA1 (E1) bind to B cells to a similar degree. Equal quantities of EBV-E3-E1 (1 x 106 geq) and VLPs/LPs-E3C-E1 (1 x 106 particles) were incubated with Elijah B cells, stained with α-gp350 (72A1) and α-mouse IgG-Cy3 antibodies and then analysed with flow cytometry. The values displayed on plots indicate the percentage of B cells that were bound by virus or VLPs/LPs. (B) VLPs/LPs-E3C-E1 retain their antigenic character in the absence of gp110. Autologous LCLs were pulsed with control peptides, VLPs/LPs-E3C-E1 (1 x 106 particles) or EBV-E3C-E1 (1 x 106 geq) and cultured with T cells that were specific for gp350 1D6 (65–69 aa), BNRF1 VSD (1006–1017 aa), EBNA3C 5H11 (325–339 aa) or EBNA1 3E10 (475–489 aa) epitopes. T-cell activity was determined by quantifying IFN-γ release with ELISA. The data illustrated in the graphs are average of triplicate values and error bars represent standard deviation. Furthermore, each graph is a representative experiment of at least three.