Exact prediction of a natural T cell epitope

Eur J Immunol. 1991 Nov;21(11):2891-4. doi: 10.1002/eji.1830211136.


T lymphocytes recognize their antigen as peptides associated with major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules. Peptides naturally presented by MHC class I molecules are uniform in length and have a specific motif, both defined by the respective MHC allele (Falk, K. et al. Nature 1991. 351:290). These allele-specific motifs should allow exact prediction of natural T cell epitopes. H-2Kb-restricted epitopes, for example, have a length of eight amino acid residues and conserved anchor residues at positions 5 and 8. According to this information, we predicted the natural Kb-restricted epitope of ovalbumin, thought to be contained in the 19-mer IINFEKLTEWTSSNVMEER, to be SIINFEKL. Here we show that this prediction is correct. Thus, exact prediction of natural T cell epitopes is possible.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antigens / chemistry*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Epitopes
  • H-2 Antigens / immunology
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Ovalbumin / immunology
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*


  • Antigens
  • Epitopes
  • H-2 Antigens
  • Peptides
  • Ovalbumin