What is the "universal epitope"?

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sisterzero
sisterzero's picture
What is the "universal epitope"?

I'd like to use some peptides as T lymphocyte activator. They may work as universal epitope. But I can't found a percise statement to describe the
1. The defination of "universal epitope"
2. characters of "universal epitope"

Are there anyone who have experiences with this "universal epitope" could give me some help?
Thanks

xm833
xm833's picture
In my experience, a

In my experience, a 'universal' T cell epitope is generally defined as a peptide sequence that is bound and displayed by many different HLA/MHC and therefore is assumed to activate the immune system of many individuals (that is the 'universal' part). There can be class I or class II universal epitopes, although I've heard arguments that there are a few overlapping sequences that combine both class I and II.

One of the theories about universal epitopes is that they are an adaptation of the immune response to provide rapid protection against infectious diseases. Thus many (but not all) universal epitopes originate from viral proteins.

Technologically, universal epitopes have been used to try to increase immunogenicity of less or non-immunogenic proteins for use in vaccines or creation of antibodies. Based on my own use I found that 'universal' epitopes weren't always universal and that the context (what they are fused to, where they are fused etc) had a lot of influence on their function. If using them I would recommend trying a couple in different positions (N- and C-term)

sisterzero
sisterzero's picture
Thanks. Your reply is useful.

Thanks. Your reply is useful.