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J Immunol. 1995 May 15;154(10):5216-27.

Myelin basic protein peptide complexes with the class II MHC molecules I-Au and I-Ak form and dissociate rapidly at neutral pH.

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Department of Chemistry, Stanford University, CA 94305, USA.


The acetylated N-terminal peptide of myelin basic protein (MBP) is the immunodominant T cell epitope in the induction of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in the I-Au- and I-Ak-expressing mouse strains. We used a direct binding assay to examine the kinetics of binding and dissociation of a series of MBP peptide analogues with the affinity-purified class II MHC molecules I-Au and I-Ak. We observe much faster in vitro rates of binding and dissociation than has been reported previously for other immunogenic peptides at neutral pH. The kinetics also reveal inactivation of the peptide-free class II MHC molecules. These results are consistent with previously proposed mechanisms for tolerance escape and autoimmune disease.

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