Sören Buus, professor, MD, PhD, Laboratory of Experimental Immunology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Thursday February 9th at 4 p.m. in Lecture Hall, CRC, entr 72, SUS Malmö.
Large-scale immune epitope discovery
Identifying the epitopes recognized by the immune system is important for understanding the nature of immunity, and characterizing the targerts involved in neutralization and/or rejection of a foreign threat is instrumental for monitoring and/or manipulating specific immune responses. The two arms of the immune system differs widely in the recognition mechanisms. The cellular immune system, T cells, are specific for processed protein antigens (i.e. Peptides) presented in the context of self-MHC molecules.
The Human MHC Project aims at mapping the specificities of all human MHC class I and II molecules. We have generated a) fully functional recombinant MHC class I and II molecules, b) the corresponding high-throughput peptide binding assays and c) bioinformatics predictors, and d) robust end-user friendly MHC class I and II tetramer technologies.
We are currently using these resources successfylly to map T cell responses against Yellow Fever virus using vaccinated individuals as model system. The humoral immune system, B cells (antibodies), are specific for three-dimensional antigen structures with proteins being a particularly important target. These are traditionally viewed as being either discontinuous/conformational or continuous/linear epitopes.
We have employed novel ultrahigh-density peptide microarrays to map linear antibody epitopes. These allow a comprehensive analysis of epitope length and of the fine specificity of antibody interactions. Peptide microarrays capable of expressing the entire human proteome as overlapping peptides is becoming a reality.
Last updated: January 31, 2012
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