Résumé : Cytotoxic T cell determinants should be an important component of an anti-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vaccine. The epitopes of proteins can be defined with short synthetic peptides for class I-restricted CTLs. An immunodominant CTL epitope from the HIV-1 IIIB envelope protein gp160 comprising 15 amino acids (residues 315-329: RIQRGPGRAFVTIGK) (P18IIIB) has been identified that is recognized by class I MHC molecule H-2d-restricted murine CD8+ CTLs. We have investigated the epitope specificity of anti-HIV-1 CTLs in immunized individuals and we found that the CTL response was restricted by more than one class I MHC molecule, including HLA-A2 and HLA-A3. In the present work, we also show that the response against P18IIIB peptide is restricted by the HLA-A11 molecule in an individual immunized by vaccinia virus expressing gp160 protein. This peptide could thus be recognized in association with different HLA class I allotypes. This work has implications for vaccine strategies, using the P18 peptide. © 1994, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. All rights reserved.