Harnessing the autoimmune response

August 01, 2001

Molecular mimicry, structural similarity between viral proteins and host molecules, is thought to explain the genesis of self-specific antibodies in autoimmune disease.

Here, Chackerian and coworkers propose a means to turn this pathological response to clinical advantage. The same group previously showed that one of the major capsid proteins of bovine papillomavirus can assemble spontaneously, even without other viral components, to form a population of viruslike particles (VLPs).

They have now developed a versatile technique by which peptides can be conjugated to VLPs, a form in which even normally nonimmunogenic self epitopes can elicit high titers of specific antibodies.

Vaccination of mice with VLP-conjugated TNF-a peptides yields IgGs that inhibit this cytokine and can block or delay the onset of experimentally induced arthritis -- a disease process that is driven by high levels of TNF-a. This robust immune response, as compared with that seen in control vaccinations with unconjugated TNF-a peptides, seems to reflect relatively late events in the activation of self-specific B cells.

IgM titers are not dramatically different when animals are exposed to the epitope in either conjugated or unconjugated form, but at some point during or after their commitment to IgG production, mature B cells become strongly influenced by the structural context of the epitope.

Presumably, VLP conjugation could be used to generate neutralizing antibodies to, and provide long-term suppression of, a variety of self or foreign molecules.

JCI Journals

Related Peptides Articles from Brightsurf:

Peptides+antibiotic combination may result in a more effective treatment for leishmaniasis
A combination of peptides and antibiotics could be key to eliminating the parasite causing leishmaniasis and avoiding the toxicity to people and animals caused by current drugs.

Designer peptides show potential for blocking viruses, encourage future study
Chemically engineered peptides, designed and developed by a team of researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, could prove valuable in the battle against some of the most persistent human health challenges.

Tracking down cryptic peptides
Using a newly developed method, researchers from the University of Würzburg, in cooperation with the University Hospital of Würzburg, were able to identify thousands of special peptides on the surface of cells for the first time.

Synthesis of prebiotic peptides gives clues to the origin of life on Earth
Coordination Compounds Lab of Kazan Federal University started researching prebiotic peptide synthesis in 2013 with the use of the ASIA-330 flow chemistry system.

Peptides that can be taken as a pill
Peptides represent a billion-dollar market in the pharmaceutical industry, but they can generally only be taken as injections to avoid degradation by stomach enzymes.

Harnessing psyllid peptides to fight citrus greening disease
BTI, USDA and UW scientists have identified peptides in the Asian citrus psyllid, an insect that spreads the bacterium that causes citrus greening disease (huanglongbing, HLB).

New technique has potential to protect oranges from citrus greening
Citrus greening, also called Huanglongbing (HLB), is devastating the citrus industry.

Researchers show what drives a novel, ordered assembly of alternating peptides
A team of researchers has verified that it is possible to engineer two-layered nanofibers consisting of an ordered row of alternating peptides, and has also determined what makes these peptides automatically assemble into this pattern.

Origin of life insight: peptides can form without amino acids
Peptides, one of the fundamental building blocks of life, can be formed from the primitive precursors of amino acids under conditions similar to those expected on the primordial Earth, finds a new UCL study published in Nature.

Ragon Institute study identifies viral peptides critical to natural HIV control
Investigators at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard have used a novel approach to identify specific amino acids in the protein structure of HIV that appear critical to the ability of the virus to function and replicate.

Read More: Peptides News and Peptides Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.