Aspects of antigen mimicry revealed by immunization with a peptide mimetic of Cryptococcus neoformans polysaccharide

Philippe Valadon, Gabriel Nussbaum, Jin Oh, Matthew D. Scharff

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51 Scopus citations


We have recently identified peptide mimetics of the Cryptococcus neoformans capsular polysaccharide by screening phage display peptide libraries. 2H1, one of a large family of mAbs against the glucuronoxylomannan fraction (GXM), is highly protective and binds several peptide motifs. This study analyzes the immunologic properties of P601E (SYSWMYE), a peptide from the low affinity motif (W/YXWM/LYE) that has an extended cross-reactivity among anti-GXM mAbs and whose binding correlates with the protective potential of mAbs in experimental infection. P601E is a mimetic, since it competes for GXM binding to 2H1, but not a mimotope, since it does not elicit an anti-GXM response. Sequence analysis of 14 anti-P601E mAbs indicates that anti-P601E mAbs elicited in BALB/c mice have an order of homology with 2H1 of Vκ> Jκ >> V(H) > J(H) > D. Further screening of a peptide library with anti-P601E mAbs isolated peptides having a motif almost identical to the peptide motif selected by 2H1. When these results are compared to the crystal structure of a related peptide in complex with 2H1, there is a clear correlation between the ability to elicit V region components of 2H1 Ab and peptide association with the V region, suggesting that the completeness of the fit in the binding site is an important driving force for mimicry. As a consequence, improving affinity of a mimetic for the Ab binding site seems to be the most logical way to insure that all of the appropriate V region segments are elicited and that useful mimotopes are created.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1829-1836
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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