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Immunity. 1994 Dec;1(9):751-61.

Development of high potency universal DR-restricted helper epitopes by modification of high affinity DR-blocking peptides.

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Cytel Corporation, San Diego, California 92121.


Pan DR-binding peptides engineered by introducing anchor residues for different DR motifs within a polyalanine backbone bound 10 of 10 DR molecules tested, with affinities, in most cases, in the nanomolar range. Because of the small methyl group exposed for T cell recognition, these peptides were poor immunogens but effective blockers of DR-restricted antigen presentation. Introduction of bulky and charged residues at positions accessible for T cell recognition yielded extremely powerful Pan DR epitope peptides (PADRE). These peptides elicited powerful responses in vitro from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Because these cells also cross-react on certain mouse class II alleles, we could also demonstrate that PADRE peptides are active in vivo. In one example of their capacity to elicit T help, they were approximately 1000 times more powerful than natural T cell epitopes. We propose that PADRE peptides may be useful in the development of subunit vaccines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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