A complementary La/SSB epitope anchored to Sequential Oligopeptide Carrier regulates the anti-La/SSB response in immunized animals
Complementary peptide epitopes, derived from complementary RNA sequences, have been used for suppressing the autoimmune response in experimental autoimmune diseases as myasthenia gravis, allergic neuritis and allergic encephalomyelitis. Aiming at contributing to the development of a tool that could regulate the autoantibody production against La/SSB, which is the main target of autoantibodies in Sjogren's syndrome (SS) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the complementary epitope, cpep349-364, of the minor T/major B cell epitope of La/SSB, pep349-364, was utilized for the induction of neutralizing anti-cpep349-364 antibodies in rabbit immunizations. Complementary peptides were coupled to an artificial carrier, developed in our laboratory, in order to enhance the complementary potency of cpep349-364 and its counterpart. This carrier, named Sequential Oligopeptide Carrier, SOC(n), formed by the repeating tripeptide Lys-Aib-Gly, adopts helical conformation, which allows the anchored peptide epitopes to preserve their initial reactivity such as molecular recognition, antigenicity/immunogenicity. Our study provides proof of evidence of specific interactions between idiotypic (Id)/anti-idiotypic (anti-Id) antibodies generated in immunized animals by the sense epitope (conjugate I) of La/SSB and its complementary counterpart (conjugate II). It was also demonstrated that the Id/anti-Id association is specifically disrupted by adding either the sense epitope (conjugate I) or its complementary counterpart (conjugate II). A mutual neutralization of Id/anti-Id antibodies was observed in vivo, which implies that generation of anti-Id antibodies by immunization with the complementary La/SSB epitope could scavenge the anti-La/SSB response.
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