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Immunol Lett. 1991 Sep;30(1):59-68.

Rapid "tea-bag" peptide synthesis using 9-fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl (Fmoc) protected amino acids applied for antigenic mapping of viral proteins.

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Department of Virology, National Bacteriological Laboratory, Stockholm, Sweden.


The role of individual amino acids in binding human and macaque antibodies were determined in the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) gp41, residues 594-613, and for human antibodies in the hepatitis B (HB) virus core/e antigens (HBc/eAg), residues 121-140. Decapeptides with 9 amino acids (aa) overlap were synthesised using a rapid method for simultaneous multiple peptide synthesis with 9-fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl (Fmoc) protection for the alpha-amino group of the aas. One coupling cycle including washing steps was performed within 60-90 min. The crude products were analysed by reversed-phase HPLC and PD-mass spectrometry. With the 11 decapeptides covering residues 594-613 of HIV-1 gp41, the sequences SGKLI at aa 599-603 was found to be the main recognition site for 19 human anti-HIV positive sera. Two macaques repeatedly immunized with a peptide covering aa 594-613 of gp41, preferentially recognised the sequence CTTAVPW at residues 604-610 after 1-2 months of immunisation. One macaque also recognised the sequence CSGKLI, with sera sampled greater than 10 months after start of immunisation. Out of 9 human sera from patients with chronic HB, and reactive to a peptide covering residues 121-140 of HBc/eAg, 8 were found to recognise the sequence TPPA at residues 128-131, with an individual variation within residues 125-133 in regard to N- and C-terminal ends of the recognised antigenic site. Thus, human recognition of this antigenic site overlaps the reported T- and the B-cell recognition site found in mice. We believe that this simple and rapid approach to obtain large numbers of immunologically active peptides can be useful for most laboratories interested in the immunological characterisation of proteins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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