Silencing of immunodominant epitopes by contiguous sequences in complex synthetic peptides

Academic Article


  • We have previously shown that the T cell response to the synthetic peptide cI12-26:NP365-380 (covalently linked epitopes of λ repressor (cI) and influenza A nucleoprotein (NP) polypeptides) requires amino acid sequences located in the junctional region between the cI12-26 and NP365-380 epitopes in the H-2d and H-2k haplotypes. In this study, we show that the dominant epitope of cI12-26:NP365-380 in H-2b mice is also located within the junctional region of the peptide, indicating that the same amino acid sequence is immunodominant in three different H-2 haplotypes. Based on results using fixed APC, there was no qualitative difference in epitope recognition due to antigen processing. In addition, antigen presentation by APC expressing mutant I-A molecules constructed by hemiexon shuffling of regions of the molecule containing primarily β sheet or α helix showed that many different substitutions were permissive for at least one of the T hybridomas. More importantly, however, when the junctional sequences are covalently linked in composite synthetic peptides containing additional previously defined T cell epitopes, antigenicity of the immunodominant junctional region was silenced and a new epitope assumed immunodominance. Thus, immunodominance does not correlate with the primary amino acid sequence of the potential epitope. Instead, the immunodominant epitope is determined by complex interactions among the epitopes, which most likely depend on the structural conformation of the composite peptide. © 1992.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wang Y; Smith JA; Kamradt T; Gefter ML; Perkins DL
  • Start Page

  • 284
  • End Page

  • 297
  • Volume

  • 143
  • Issue

  • 2