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Neisseria meningitidis, an exclusive human pathogen, is a major cause of mortality due to meningococcal meningitis and sepsis in many developing countries. Three meningococcal serogroup B proteins, i.e. T-cell stimulating protein A (TspA), autotransporter A (AutA), and IgA-specific serine endopeptidase (IGA1) elicits CD4+ T-cell response and may enhance the effectiveness of meningococcal vaccines by acting as protective immunogens. A very limited data on T-helper cell epitopes in MenB proteins is available. Hence, in silico prediction of peptide sequences which may act as helper T lymphocyte epitopes in MenB proteins was carried out by NetMHCIIpan web server. HLA distribution analysis was done by using the population coverage tool of Immune Epitope Database to determine the fraction of individuals in various populations expected to respond to a given set of predicted T-cell epitopes based on HLA genotype frequencies. Six epitopic core sequences, two from each MenB proteins, i.e. AutA, TspA and IgA1 protease were predicted to associate with a large number of HLA-DR alleles. These six peptides may act as T-cell epitope in more than 95% of populations in 8 out of 12 populations considered. The T-cell stimulation potential of these predicted peptides containing the core epitopic sequences is to be validated by using laboratory experiments for their efficient use as peptide vaccine candidates against N. meningitidis serogroup B. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Shishir K Gupta, Suchi Smita, Aditya Narayan Sarangi, Mugdha Srivastava, Bashir A Akhoon, Qamar Rahman, Shailendra K Gupta. In silico CD4+ T-cell epitope prediction and HLA distribution analysis for the potential proteins of Neisseria meningitidis Serogroup B--a clue for vaccine development. Vaccine. 2010 Oct 8;28(43):7092-7

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PMID: 20716448

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