Eva Borras

Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, Port St. Lucie, Florida, United States

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Publications (6)39.76 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Studies on the elucidation of the specificity of the T cell receptor (TCR) at the antigen and peptide level have contributed to the current understanding of T cell cross-reactivity. Historically, most studies of T cell specificity and degeneracy have relied on the determination of the effects on T cell recognition of amino acid changes at individual positions or MHC binding residues, and thus they have been limited to a small set of possible ligands. Synthetic combinatorial libraries (SCLs), and in particular positional scanning synthetic combinatorial libraries (PS-SCLs) represent collections of millions to trillions of peptides which allow the unbiased elucidation of T cell ligands that stimulate clones of both known and unknown specificity. PS-SCLs have been used successfully to study T cell recognition and to identify and optimize T cell clone (TCC) epitopes in infectious diseases, autoimmune disorders and tumor antigens. PS-SCL-based biometrical analysis represents a further refinement in the analysis of the data derived from the screening of a library with a TCC. It combines this data with information derived from protein sequence databases to identify natural peptide ligands. PS-SCL-based biometrical analysis provides a method for the determination of new microbial antigen and autoantigen sequences based solely on functional data rather than sequence homology or motifs, making the method ideally suited for the prediction and identification of both native and cross-reactive epitopes by virtue of its ability to integrate the examination of trillions of peptides in a systematic manner with all of the protein sequences in a given database. We review here the application of PS-SCLs and biometrical analysis to identify cross-reactive T cell epitopes, as well as the current efforts to refine this strategy.
    Molecular Immunology 03/2004; 40(14-15):1063-74. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Limited success with antigen-specific immunotherapies has led to the identification of novel approaches which consider the degeneracy of the T cell response, i.e. their ability to respond to multiple antigenic peptides. Random complex mixtures of polypeptides such as glatiramer acetate (GA) were among the first to be applied as immunodulators that take into account T cell degeneracy. While the mechanisms of action are not completely understood, the immunogenicity of GA, its strong major histocompatability complex (MHC) binding, immune deviation and bystander suppression all appear to be important. In the present study we have designed peptidic complex mixtures (CM) of varied lengths and compositions to test their potential as immunomodulating agents. CM were synthesized that had defined lengths and contained aa corresponding to binding motifs of MHC class II molecules relevant in multiple sclerosis (MS) and its animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), specifically HLA-DRB1*1501 and HLA-DRB5*0101, which are related to MS, and H2-IA(s) associated with EAE in SJL mice. Additional CM were designed based on specificity profiles derived from positional scanning synthetic combinatorial library (PS-SCL) testing of a GA-specific T cell clone (TCC). Several mixtures were strongly stimulatory for peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from MS patients and healthy donors suggesting a high degree of cross-reactivity with other peptide antigens. A subset of these mixtures exhibited cross-reactivity to myelin antigens and prophylactic efficacy in reducing the severity of EAE. Based on these observations we envision mixture-based peptidic compounds can be developed not only for immunotherapeutic purposes in autoimmune diseases and cancer, but also in vaccine development.
    Molecular Immunology 03/2004; 40(14-15):1075-87. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: For Abstract see ChemInform Abstract in Full Text.
    Nature Medicine 02/2003; 9(1):118-22. · 22.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In an effort to improve the quantification of the low levels of cytokines released in response to antigenic stimulation of T cells, a sandwich dissociation-enhanced lanthanide fluoroimmunoassay (DELFIA) was developed and compared to a standard sandwich ELISA. The DELFIA enhanced the sensitivity of a mouse IL-2 assay 8- to 27-fold, and a human GM-CSF assay 10-fold, as compared to colorimetric ELISA. The increase in sensitivity allows for the use of lower sample volumes per well, and the ability to run more assays per supernatant sample. This sensitive, nonisotopic alternative to other cytokine detection methods will be useful for those researchers wanting to quantitate low levels of antigen-driven cytokine production.
    Journal of Immunoassay and Immunochemistry 02/2003; 24(4):345-58. · 0.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Combinatorial libraries and in particular positional scanning synthetic combinatorial libraries (PS-SCL) allow the study of T cell specificity. This is a systematic and unbiased approach that does not require any previous knowledge about the clones to be studied, neither their specificity nor they major histocompatibility complex (MHC) restriction. Two different types of T cell clone ligands can be identified: (1) peptides that do not necessarily correspond to proteins described in the databases, and (2) peptides that are fragments of natural proteins. In this paper, relevant examples of the application of PS-SCL and the deconvolution strategies followed to identify T cell epitopes for clones of known and unknown specificity will be reviewed. Also, important issues like the immunogenicity of such T cell ligands will be discussed.
    Journal of Immunological Methods 10/2002; 267(1):79-97. · 2.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The use of synthetic combinatorial peptide libraries in positional scanning format (PS-SCL) has emerged recently as an alternative approach for the identification of peptides recognized by T lymphocytes. The choice of both the PS-SCL used for screening experiments and the method used for data analysis are crucial for implementing this approach. With this aim, we tested the recognition of different PS-SCL by a tyrosinase 368-376-specific CTL clone and analyzed the data obtained with a recently developed biometric data analysis based on a model of independent and additive contribution of individual amino acids to peptide antigen recognition. Mixtures defined with amino acids present at the corresponding positions in the native sequence were among the most active for all of the libraries. Somewhat surprisingly, a higher number of native amino acids were identifiable by using amidated COOH-terminal rather than free COOH-terminal PS-SCL. Also, our data clearly indicate that when using PS-SCL longer than optimal, frame shifts occur frequently and should be taken into account. Biometric analysis of the data obtained with the amidated COOH-terminal nonapeptide library allowed the identification of the native ligand as the sequence with the highest score in a public human protein database. However, the adequacy of the PS-SCL data for the identification for the peptide ligand varied depending on the PS-SCL used. Altogether these results provide insight into the potential of PS-SCL for the identification of CTL-defined tumor-derived antigenic sequences and may significantly implement our ability to interpret the results of these analyses.
    Cancer Research 05/2002; 62(7):2058-63. · 8.65 Impact Factor