Peptide immunogen mimicry of a protein-specific structural epitope on human choriogonadotropin

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Science  11 May 1990:
Vol. 248, Issue 4956, pp. 736-739
DOI: 10.1126/science.1692160


It is a challenge to construct synthetic immunogens that elicit antibodies (Abs) both directed to conformational epitopes and specific for a complex protein like human choriogonadotropin (hCG). A monoclonal antibody specific for hCG bound to regions around Lys45 of the alpha subunit (hCG alpha) and Asp112 of the beta subunit (hCG beta). A peptide comprising residues 46 to 55 of hCG alpha and residues 106 to 116 of hCG beta elicited Abs in rabbits that were directed to a discontinuous epitope and were specific for hCG. These Abs inhibited the binding of hCG to its receptor. Thus, a synthetic immunogen can mimic a conformational-specific epitope and can be useful for vaccine development.