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Anal Biochem. 1995 Mar 20;226(1):15-25.

Simplified high-sensitivity sequencing of a major histocompatibility complex class I-associated immunoreactive peptide using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry.

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Department of Oncology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


Cytotoxic T cells (CTL) are known to recognize small peptide fragments of cytoplasmic proteins bound to major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules on cell surfaces. Recent work indicates that tumor antigens are processed and presented in a manner similar to viral antigens. Identification of the peptides recognized by tumor-specific CTL would provide valuable information about their parent proteins, as well as allowing for the development of recombinant antigen-specific tumor vaccines. While highly represented MHC-bound peptides have been routinely purified by reversed-phase HPLC for Edman degradation sequencing, identification and sequencing of infrequent peptides that represent the biologically relevant targets of tumor-specific CTL have proved elusive. We have combined matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry with on-slide exopeptidase digestion to successfully identify and directly sequence a model tumor-specific peptide antigen derived from an integrated viral gene. The enhanced sensitivity of this technique (femtomolar range) allows for the sequencing of specific MHC-bound peptides derived from as few as 1 x 10(9) cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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