Research in the Gfeller Lab develops new tools to predict T-cell recognition of infected and malignant cells, as prospectively applied to uncover new SARS-CoV-2 epitopes.
CD8 T cells can eliminate infected or malignant cells by recognizing peptides displayed on MHC-I molecules. For this reason, the identification of such peptides is important and therapeutically relevant.
Research led by David Gfeller, published* in Cell Systems, collected and curated a large dataset of MHC-I ligands and CD8 T-cell epitopes. Tools were then refined to predict binding to MHC-I (MixMHCpred) and TCR recognition (PRIME). These predictions, applied to SARS-CoV-2, identified potent and cross-reactive epitopes that were experimentally validated by co-authors in the group of Dr Alexandre Harari.
This project was supported by the Swiss Cancer Research Foundation (KFS-4961-02-2020).
*Improved predictions of antigen presentation and TCR recognition with MixMHCpred2.2 and PRIME2.0 reveal potent SARS-CoV-2 CD8+ T-cell epitopes