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Hydrogen exchange nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy mapping of antibody epitopes on the house dust mite allergen Der p 2.

journal contribution
posted on 23.03.2001, 00:00 by Geoffrey A. Mueller, Alisa M. Smith, Martin D. Chapman, Gordon RuleGordon Rule, David C. Benjamin

New strategies for allergen-specific immunotherapy have focused on reducing IgE reactivity of purified recombinant allergens while maintaining T-cell epitopes. Previously, we showed that disrupting the disulfide bonds of the major house dust mite allergen Der p 2 resulted in 10-100-fold less skin test reactivity in mite-allergic subjects but did not change in vitro T-cell proliferative responses. To provide a more complete picture of the antigenic surface of Der p 2, we report here the identification of three epitopes using hydrogen protection nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The epitopes are defined by monoclonal antibodies that are able to inhibit IgE antibody binding to the allergen. Each monoclonal antibody affected the amide exchange rate of 2-3 continuous residues in different regions of Der p 2. Based on these data, a number of other residues were predicted to belong to each epitope, and this prediction was tested for monoclonal antibody 7A1 by generating alanine point mutants. The results indicate that only a small number of residues within the predicted epitope are functionally important for antibody binding. The molecular definition of these three epitopes will enable us to target limited positions for mutagenesis and to expand our studies of hypoallergenic variants for immunotherapy.