Characterization of a discontinuous epitope of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) core protein p24 by epitope excision and differential chemical modification followed by mass spectrometric peptide mapping analysis

Elisabeth O. Hochleitner, Christoph Borchers, Carol Parker, Rachelle J. Bienstock, Kenneth B. Tomer

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48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A combination of epitope excision, epitope extraction, and differential chemical modification followed by mass spectrometric peptide mapping was used for the characterization of a discontinuous epitope that is recognized by the mouse anti-HIV-p24 monoclonal antibody 5E2.A3. In epitope excision, the protein is first bound to fin immobilized antibody and then digested with proteolytic enzymes. In epitope extraction, the protein is first digested and subsequently allowed to react with the antibody. After epitope excision of the p24-5E2.A3 complex with endoproteinase Lys-C, a large fragment remained affinity bound corresponding to amino acids 1-158 of HIV-p24 (fragment 1- 158). Further digestion, however, resulted in loss of affinity. Moreover, no affinity-bound fragments were observed after an epitope extraction experiment. These data from the epitope excision and extraction experiments suggest that the epitope is discontinuous. For the further characterization of the epitope, amino groups in the epitope-containing fragment were acetylated in both the affinity bound and free states followed by mass spectrometric analysis. Two successive acetylation reactions were performed: (1) the first used a low molar excess of acetic anhydride, and (2) the second, after separation from the antibody, a high molar excess of its hexadeuteroderivative. This isotopic labeling procedure, in combination with high resolution mass spectrometry, allowed the precise determination of relative reactivities of amino groups. In this study, no differences were observed in the ranking of the relative reactivities of five lysine residues. However, the N-terminal amino group was found to be part of the discontinuous epitope.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-496
Number of pages10
JournalProtein Science
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Acetylation
  • Differential chemical modification
  • Discontinuous epitope
  • HIV-p24
  • Mass spectrometry

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