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Structural and Immunogenic Effects of Multiple Hapten Loading on Carrier Protein

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Haptens are low-molecular-weight compounds that are usually nonimmunogenic in nature. These compounds are, in general, conjugated with carrier proteins to elicit an immune response for antibody production. In this work, we report the effect of multiple hapten loading on carrier protein after conjugation by monitoring the structural and immunogenic properties of the protein. Biochemical conjugation of carboxylated hapten (atrazine derivative) to bovine serum albumin via -amino groups of lysine residues was monitored by the intrinsic fluorescence intensity of tryptophan residues of protein. A significant blue shift of emission maxima confirmed the conformational changes with increasing molar ratio of hapten:protein. Circular dichroism spectroscopy suggested a decreasing trend for -helical and increased formation of -sheet structures in hapten-loaded protein. A further insight was sought by using molecular modeling methods for understanding of structural changes in the native protein post-hapten conjugation. A sequential approach for hapten loading on the carrier confirmed that initial binding could affect the possible binding sites for subsequent incorporation of hapten molecules. These changes play a major role in the immunogenic response of hapten-carrier conjugate. The approach taken to develop this model is promising, and can be generalized for studies with other protein-hapten combinations.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Panjab University, Department of Biophysics, Sector 14, Chandigarh 160014, India and Institute of Microbial Technology, Sector 39A, Chandigarh 160036, India. 2: Institute of Microbial Technology, Sector 39A, Chandigarh 160036, India. 3: Panjab University, Department of Biophysics, Sector 14, Chandigarh 160014, India.

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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