Wang Q, Sun Z, Li J, Qin T, Ma H, Chen S, Peng D,. Identification of a universal antigen epitope of influenza A virus using peptide microarray. BMC Vet Res. 2021 Jan 7;17(1):22
Results: Overlapping peptides of the HA2 protein of the H5N1 IAV A/Mallard/Huadong/S/2005 were synthesized and loaded on modified silica gel film to form a microarray, and antisera against different subtypes of IAVs were used to screen universal epitopes. The selected epitope was further confirmed by western blotting using anti-peptide immune serum and viruses rescued with amino acid substitution. The results showed that 485-FYHKCDNECME-495 of the H5 14th peptide in HA2 had broad-spectrum binding activity with antisera against H1, H3, H4, H5, H6, H7, H8, H9, and H10 subtype IAV. Substitution of amino acids (K or D) in rescued viruses resulted in decreased serum binding, indicating that they were critical residues for serum binding activity. In Immune Epitope Database, some epitopes containing 14-4 peptide were confirmed as MHC-II-restricted CD4 T cell epitope and had effects on releasing IL-2 or IFN.
Conclusion: The identified epitope should be a novel universal target for detection and vaccine design and its ability to generate immune protection needs further exploration.
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