B-cell epitopes:Fact and fiction
Antibodies are present as integral membrane receptors on cells of the B lymphocyte lineage and as proteins secreted by members of this cell family. As such they represent one of several macromolecular complexes used by the immune system in the specific recognition of antigenic molecules. In addition to antibody these include T-cell receptors and the class I and class II molecules encoded by genes within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). In humans, antibodies are produced in response to foreign particles such as infectious organisms, transplantation antigens and, in genetically deficient individuals, to human or animal proteins provided as therapeutic agents in the treatment of certain diseases. Of particular interest at this symposium are antibodies produced to coagulation factors and the nature of the epitopes on these factors. It has become increasingly apparent that a significant fraction of patients when provided with the factor, isolated either from natural sources or from recombinant material, respond by producing antibody that inhibits the function of that factor. In order to fully understand the mechanisms of the production of these antibody inhibitors to coagulation factors and to have a hope of successfully treating these individuals, one must have a better understanding of the nature of the antigenic sites on the factors to which the immune response is directed.
KeywordsHuman Immune Response Human Growth Hormone Protein Antigen Structural Epitope Functional Epitope
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