Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

2007

DOI

10.1016/j.clim.2007.03.544

Abstract

Antibodies elicited by protein therapeutics can cause serious side effects in humans. We studied immunogenicity of a recombinant fusion protein (FPX) consisting of two identical, biologically active, peptides attached to human Fc fragment. EpiMatrix, an in silico epitope-mapping tool, predicted promiscuous T-cell epitope(s) within the 14-amino-acid carboxy-terminal region of the peptide portion of FPX. On administration of FPX in 76 healthy human subjects, 37% developed antibodies after a single injection. A memory T-cell response against the above carboxy-terminus of the peptide was observed in antibody-positive but not in antibody-negative subjects. Promiscuity of the predicted T-cell epitope(s) was confirmed by representation of all common HLA alleles in antibody-positive subjects. As predicted by EpiMatrix, HLA haplotype DRB1*0701/1501 was associated with the highest T-cell and antibody response. In conclusion, in silico prediction can be successfully used to identify Class II restricted T-cell epitopes within therapeutic proteins and predict immunogenicity thereof in humans.

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