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Engineered topographic determinants with alpha beta, beta alpha beta, and beta alpha beta alpha topologies show high affinity binding to native protein antigen (lactate dehydrogenase-C4)

Engineered topographic determinants with alpha beta, beta alpha beta, and beta alpha beta alpha topologies show high affinity binding to native protein antigen (lactate dehydrogenase-C4)

Journal of Biological Chemistry 268(34): 25285-25295

The use of peptides has attracted much interest in the development of synthetic vaccines. Although our current understanding of peptide antigens as immunogens has been greatly advanced recently, there still remain many obstacles. The B cell response elicited by a peptide antigen is governed by a number of poorly understood events such as epitope structure, T cell dependency and major histocompatibility complex restriction, adjuvancy, route of immunization, and immunogen stability. In this paper, we extend our previous studies on the problem of the topographical nature of antigenic sites on native protein antigens, in terms of how much molecular mimicry must be maintained in an antigenic determinant for the induction of high affinity antibodies specific for native protein. We show here that an antigenic epitope from the model contraceptive vaccine candidate lactate dehydrogenase (LDH-C4) can be rationally engineered into a highly structured conformation that mimics the corresponding site in the native three-dimensional protein. Our strategy is based on the selection of an antigenic segment which exhibits certain secondary structural properties and by design principles is fixed in three dimensions by appropriate grafting onto a supersecondary structural motif such as alpha beta, beta alpha beta, or beta alpha beta alpha. The biophysical data are consistent with the proposed secondary structures, and antibodies raised to the various construct show high affinity for the native protein. These studies lend further credence to the conformational nature of peptide epitopes and provide a basis for the rational design of peptide vaccines.

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Accession: 045965192

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PMID: 8244959

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