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Defining Peptide Sequences: From Antigenicity to Immunogenicity Through Redundancy

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The molecular biology era has allowed the exact definition of the disease-associated-proteins (DAPs). The computational era has analyzed full-length DAPs by antigenicity prediction algorythms based on physico-chemical parameters. Today, proteomics is providing a global comprehensive analysis of defined peptide portions of DAPs. The fine profiling of the disease-associated peptide repertoire is of particular importance in the definition of qualities as antigenicity and immunogenicity, and is a concrete promise of a bench-to-bedside translational research. Identifying the peptide sequences within the DAPs, which may potentially provoke (auto)immune responses, more than ever emerges as the key strategy for effective immunotherapeutical treatments in cancer diseases as well as infectious or autoimmune pathologies. Here I draw a schematic picture of the experimental attempts to define immunogenic peptide portions, describe the principle of sequence uniqueness as a rationale for the subproteomic analysis of DAPs and delineate the possible advantages of a peptide-vaccine approach to the treatment of degenerative, infectious and autoimmune diseases that might be effective and devoid of collateral harmful effects.

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Keywords: MHC binding motifs; autoimmune diseases; disease-associated proteins (DAPs); epitopes; vaccine immunobiology

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Bari, 70126 Bari, Italy.

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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  • Current Pharmacogenomics provides comprehensive overviews of all current research on pharmacogenomics and pharmacogenetics. All areas of the field from pre-clinical to clinical research are covered, including related areas such as genomics, proteomics, target discovery, bioinformatics and novel diagnostics. This international journal is peer-reviewed and publishes both mini- and full review articles.

    The journal has become essential reading for all researchers and clinicians with interests in pharmacogenomics and pharmacogenetics.
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