Cytotoxic T cell recognition of tegument and regulatory proteins encoded by open reading frames (ORFs) 4, 10, 29, and 62 of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) was evaluated using limiting dilution conditions to estimate the precursor frequencies of memory T cells specific for these proteins in immune subjects. Responder cell frequencies for ORFs 4, 10, and 62 gene products, which are virion tegument components and function as immediate early viral transactivating proteins, were equivalent. CTLp recognition of VZV proteins made in latently infected cells, which include ORF4 and ORF62 proteins, was not maintained preferentially when compared to ORF10 protein, which has not been shown to be expressed during latency. T cell recognition of ORF29 protein, the major DNA binding protein, which is expressed during replication but not incorporated into the virion tegument, was less common than responses to ORFs 4, 10, and 62 gene products. Older individuals had diminished numbers of memory CTLp that lysed autologous targets expressing IE62 protein; these responses were increased after immunization with live attenuated varicella vaccine to the range observed in younger adults. Adaptive immunity to VZV is characterized by a broad repertoire of memory CTL responses to proteins that comprise the virion tegument and regulate viral gene expression in infected cells.
View details for Web of Science ID 000178294800011
View details for PubMedID 12479399