Hepitopes: A live interactive database of HLA class I epitopes in hepatitis B virus
Lumley S., Noble H., Hadley MJ., Callow L., Malik A., Chua YY., Duffey OJ., Grolmusova N., Kumar A., Ravenscroft S., Spencer JI., Neumann-Haefelin C., Thimme R., Andersson M., Klenerman P., Barnes E., Matthews PC.
Increased clinical and scientific scrutiny is being applied to hepatitis B virus (HBV), with focus on the development of new therapeutic approaches, ultimately aiming for cure. Defining the optimum natural CD8+ T cell immune responses that arise in HBV, mediated by HLA class I epitope presentation, may help to inform novel immunotherapeutic strategies. Therefore, we have set out to develop a comprehensive database of these epitopes in HBV, coined ‘Hepitopes’. This undertaking has its foundations in a systematic literature review to identify the sites and sequences of all published class I epitopes in HBV. We also collected information regarding the methods used to define each epitope, and any reported associations between an immune response to this epitope and disease outcome. The results of this search have been collated into a new open-access interactive database that is available at http://www.expmedndm.ox.ac.uk/hepitopes. Over time, we will continue to refine and update this resource, as well as inviting contributions from others in the field to support its development. This unique new database is an important foundation for ongoing investigations into the nature and impact of the CD8+ T cell response to HBV.