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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Mar 2;96(5):2373-8.

Induction of autoantibodies to mouse CCR5 with recombinant papillomavirus particles.

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Laboratory of Cellular Oncology, National Institutes of Health, Building 36, Room 1D-32, Bethesda, MD 20892-4040, USA.


The vertebrate immune system has evolved to respond vigorously to microbial infection but to ignore self-antigens. Evidence has emerged that B cell responses to viruses are initiated by immune recognition of ordered arrays of antigen on the viral surface. To test whether autoantibodies against a self-antigen can be induced by placing it in a context that mimics the ordered surface of a viral particle, a peptide representing an extracellular loop of the mouse chemokine receptor CCR5 was incorporated into an immunodominant site of the bovine papillomavirus virus L1 coat protein, which self-assembles into virus-like particles. Mice inoculated with chimeric L1-CCR5 particles generated autoantibodies that bound to native mouse CCR5, inhibited binding of its ligand RANTES, and blocked HIV-1 infection of an indicator cell line expressing a human-mouse CCR5 chimera. These results suggest a general method for inducing autoantibodies against self-antigens, with diverse potential basic research and clinical applications.

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