Presentation of a viral T cell epitope expressed in the CDR3 region of a self immunoglobulin molecule

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Science  08 Jan 1993:
Vol. 259, Issue 5092, pp. 224-227
DOI: 10.1126/science.7678469


Synthetic peptides corresponding to microbial epitopes stimulate T cell immunity but their immunogenicity is poor and their half-lives are short. A viral epitope inserted into the complementarity-determining region 3 (CDR3) loop of the heavy chain of a self immunoglobulin (Ig) molecule was generated from the Ig context and was presented by I-Ed class II molecules to virus-specific, CD4+ T cells. Chimeric Ig-peptide was presented 100 to 1000 times more efficiently than free synthetic peptide and was able to prime virus-specific T cells in vivo. These features suggest that antigenized Ig can provide an improved and safe vaccine for the presentation of microbial and other peptides.