We have tested the abilities of various polypeptides of A/PR/8/34 (H1N1) virus, constructed by recombinant DNA techniques, to induce influenza virus-specific secondary cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses. A hybrid protein (c13 protein), consisting of the first 81 amino acids of viral nonstructural protein (NS1) and the HA2 subunit of viral hemagglutinin (HA), induced H-2-restricted, influenza virus subtype-specific secondary CTL in vitro, although other peptides did not. Using a recombinant virus, the viral determinant responsible for recognition was mapped to the HA2 portion of c13 protein. Immunization of mice with c13 protein induced the generation of memory CTL in vivo. The CTL precursor frequencies of A/PR/8/34 virus- and c13 protein-immune mice were estimated as one in 8,047 and 50,312, respectively. These results indicate that c13 protein primed recipient mice, even though the level of precursor frequency was below that observed in virus-immune mice.

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