Synthesis and biological evaluation of two chemically modified peptide epitopes for the class I MHC protein

MA Jones, Andrew Hislop, John Snaith

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8 Citations (Scopus)


The T-cell receptor of a CD8(+) T-cell recognises peptide epitopes bound by class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC) glycoproteins presented in a groove on their upper surface. Within the groove of the MHC molecule are 6 pockets, two of which mostly display a high degree of specificity for binding amino acids capable of making conserved and energetically favourable contacts with the MHC. One type of MHC molecule, HLA-B*2705, preferentially binds peptides containing an arginine at position 2. In an effort to increase the affinity of peptides for HLA-B*2705, potentially leading to better immune responses to such a peptide, we synthesised two modified epitopes where the amino acid at position 2 involved in anchoring the peptide to the class I molecule was replaced with the alpha-methylated beta,gamma-unsaturated arginine analogue 2-(S)-amino-5-guanidino-2-methyl-pent-3-enoic acid. The latter was prepared via a multi-step synthetic sequence, starting from alpha-methyl serine, and incorporated into dipeptides which were fragment-coupled to resin-bound heptameric peptides yielding the target nonameric sequences. Biological characterisation indicated that the modified peptides were poorer than the native peptides at stabilising empty class I MHC complexes, and cells sensitised with these peptides were not recognised as well by cognate CD8(+) T-cells, where available, compared to those sensitised with the native peptide. We suggest that the modifications made to the peptide have decreased its ability to bind to the peptide binding groove of HLA-B*2705 molecules which may explain the decrease in recognition by cytotoxic T-cells when compared to the native peptide.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3769-3777
Number of pages9
JournalOrganic and Biomolecular Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006


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