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Oncogene. 1994 Jul;9(7):2071-6.

Linear antigenic sites defined by the B-cell response to human p53 are localized predominantly in the amino and carboxy-termini of the protein.

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U 301 INSERM, Institut de Génétique Moléculaire, Paris, France.


Using a set of overlapping peptides of the human p53 protein, we analysed the epitopes recognized by 18 monoclonal antibodies specific for human p53. We showed that most of these epitopes correspond to linear antigenic determinants which lie predominantly in the amino- or carboxy-terminus of the p53 protein. Using either truncated p53 or the set of human p53 peptides, we directly analysed the sera of animals immunized with human p53. These sera contained antibodies which also recognized the regions corresponding to the extremity of the p53 protein. These p53 regions were similar to those recognized by p53-specific antibodies present in sera of patients with cancer. Preferential recognition of these regions by antibodies specific for non conformational epitopes suggested that these regions are localized at the surface of the p53 protein as unfolded structures.

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