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A General Method to Discover Epitopes from Sera

Description

Antigen-antibody complexes are central players in an effective immune response. However, finding those interactions relevant to a particular disease state can be arduous. Nonetheless many paths to discovery have been

Antigen-antibody complexes are central players in an effective immune response. However, finding those interactions relevant to a particular disease state can be arduous. Nonetheless many paths to discovery have been explored since deciphering these interactions can greatly facilitate the development of new diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. In silico B cell epitope mapping approaches have been widely pursued, though success has not been consistent. Antibody mixtures in immune sera have been used as handles for biologically relevant antigens, but these and other experimental approaches have proven resource intensive and time consuming. In addition, these methods are often tailored to individual diseases or a specific proteome, rather than providing a universal platform. Most of these methods are not able to identify the specific antibody’s epitopes from unknown antigens, such as un-annotated neo antigens in cancer. Alternatively, a peptide library comprised of sequences unrestricted by naturally-found protein space provides for a universal search for mimotopes of an antibody’s epitope. Here we present the utility of such a non-natural random sequence library of 10,000 peptides physically addressed on a microarray for mimotope discovery without sequence information of the specific antigen. The peptide arrays were probed with serum from an antigen-immunized rabbit, or alternatively probed with serum pre-absorbed with the same immunizing antigen. With this positive and negative screening scheme, we identified the library-peptides as the mimotopes of the antigen. The unique library peptides were successfully used to isolate antigen-specific antibodies from complete immune serum. Sequence analysis of these peptides revealed the epitopes in the immunized antigen. We present this method as an inexpensive, efficient method for identifying mimotopes of any antibody’s targets. These mimotopes should be useful in defining both components of the antigen-antibody complex.

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Date Created
  • 2016-06-14

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Using antibodies to characterize healthy, disease, and age states

Description

The advent of new high throughput technology allows for increasingly detailed characterization of the immune system in healthy, disease, and age states. The immune system is composed of two main

The advent of new high throughput technology allows for increasingly detailed characterization of the immune system in healthy, disease, and age states. The immune system is composed of two main branches: the innate and adaptive immune system, though the border between these two states is appearing less distinct. The adaptive immune system is further split into two main categories: humoral and cellular immunity. The humoral immune response produces antibodies against specific targets, and these antibodies can be used to learn about disease and normal states. In this document, I use antibodies to characterize the immune system in two ways: 1. I determine the Antibody Status (AbStat) from the data collected from applying sera to an array of non-natural sequence peptides, and demonstrate that this AbStat measure can distinguish between disease, normal, and aged samples as well as produce a single AbStat number for each sample; 2. I search for antigens for use in a cancer vaccine, and this search results in several candidates as well as a new hypothesis. Antibodies provide us with a powerful tool for characterizing the immune system, and this natural tool combined with emerging technologies allows us to learn more about healthy and disease states.

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Date Created
  • 2014