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Virology. 1995 Oct 1;212(2):614-21.

A 10-amino-acid linear sequence of VP1 of foot and mouth disease virus containing B- and T-cell epitopes induces protection in mice.

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Instituto de Virologia, C.I.C.V., INTA-Castelar, Pcia, Buenos Aires, Rep. Argentina.


The area of foot and mouth disease virus (FMDV) comprising residues 140 and 160 of capsid protein VP1 has been used extensively as an immunogen in natural and experimental hosts. A detailed epitope mapping of this region, however, has not been reported. For this purpose a synthetic peptide containing the residues 135 to 160 (p135-160) of VP1 of FMDV O1 Campos was analyzed for its T- and B-cell epitopes. The p135-160 is highly immunogenic, either by itself or coupled to a carrier protein (BSA), elicits a long-lasting neutralizing antibody response in mice, and provides solid protection against virulent challenge. By using a set of synthetic 10mer overlapping peptides, which cover the entire sequence 135-160 of VP1, we have shown that at least four discrete B epitopes are regularly distributed along the peptide. Although immunization with each of the 10mers coupled with BSA as a carrier protein induced peptide-specific antibody responses, individually none of the 10mers was able to induce neutralizing antibodies. However, anti-135-160 antibodies sorted by immunoaffinity chromatography using each of the 10mers revealed the existence of at least four discrete neutralizing sites: one spanning residues 135-144, at least two more between residues 140 and 154, and another in the region 150-160. Moreover, T-cell epitopes were identified, both by antigen-dependent proliferation assays and by adoptive cell transfer. By both methods, a T-cell epitope was located in the area comprising residues 135-144; the cell transfer experiment, which seems to be more sensitive, also identified a second T-cell epitope between residues 150 and 160. Interestingly, when the region 135-144, which contains both B- and T-cell epitopes, was in a tandem repeat configuration it induced a strong neutralizing antibody response in mice and solid protection against the challenge.

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