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J Immunol. 1994 Apr 15;152(8):3904-12.

Role of HLA-A motifs in identification of potential CTL epitopes in human papillomavirus type 16 E6 and E7 proteins.

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Department of Immunohematology, University Hospital Leiden, The Netherlands.


We have measured the binding affinity for five HLA-A alleles: HLA-A1 (A*0101), A2.1 (A*0201), A3 (A*0301), A11 (A*1101), and A24 (A*2401); of a set of all possible nonamer peptides (n = 240) of human papillomavirus type 16 E6 and E7 proteins. High affinity binding peptides were identified for each of the alleles, thus allowing us to select several candidates for CTL-based vaccines. Moreover, this unbiased set of peptides allowed an evaluation of the predictive value of HLA motifs derived either from the analysis of sequencing of pools of naturally processed peptides or from the binding analysis of polyalanine nonameric peptides that differed in the amino acids (aa) present at the anchor positions. Whereas pool sequencing-derived motifs were present in only 27% of high affinity binders, the more expanded motif, based on analysis of different aa substitutions at the anchor positions, was present in 73% of high affinity binders. Furthermore, it was found that the presence of anchor residues in a peptide was in itself not sufficient to determine binding to MHC class I molecules, because the majority of motif-containing peptides failed to bind to the relevant MHC. Finally, specific HLA motifs were used to predict peptide binders of 8, 10, and 11 aa in length. Several high affinity binding peptides were identified for each of the various peptide lengths, indicating a significant size heterogeneity in peptides capable of high affinity binding to HLA-A molecules.

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