Synthetic Peptides in Virology

The Use of Synthetic Peptides in Retrovirus Diagnosis
  • A. Närvänen
  • M. Korkolainen
  • S. Kontio
  • M.-L. Huhtala
  • X. Imai
  • M. Hayami
Part of the Applied Virology Research book series (AVIR, volume 3)


The first great milestone in the history of synthetic peptides as tools in the biological sciences was achieved at the beginning of 1960’s, when Merrifield published the method of solid phase peptide synthesis (Merrifield, 1963). Although, peptides had been synthetized earlier, the new technology made it possible to synthetize peptides in milligram quantities during few weeks instead of several months. On the other hand the revolution in DNA technology during the decade of 1970 increased dramatically and is increasing continuously the data base of amino acid sequences of biologically important proteins. However, limitations on the systematic use of synthetic peptides to identify all possible sequential epitopes to a given protein sequence remained until the 1980s. Several attempts to rely on guess-work or predictive algorithms to determine, for instance, the loci of antigenic epitopes in viral proteins have been published in the literature (Pfaff et al., 1982; Tainer et al., 1984; Hopp et al., 1986; Thornton et al., 1986). However, the reliability of these predictive algorithms for sequential antigenic epitopes has been shown to be not better than by chance alone (Westhof et al., 1984; Getzoff et al., 1987, 1988). The first and thus far the most effective and practical procedure allowing the systematic synthesis of all possible sequential epitopes is the so called “Multipin Peptide Synthesis System” developed by Geysen et al. (1984). These developments have extensively increased the use of synthetic peptides in the fields of immunology and vaccine research during the last few years.


Synthetic Peptide Epitope Mapping Solid Phase Peptide Synthesis Predictive Algorithm Sequential Epitope 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Närvänen
    • 1
  • M. Korkolainen
    • 1
  • S. Kontio
    • 1
  • M.-L. Huhtala
    • 1
  • X. Imai
    • 2
  • M. Hayami
    • 2
  1. 1.Labsystems ResearchLaboratories OyHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Institute for Virus ResearchKyoto University606 KyotoJapan

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