The structure of an antigenic determinant in a protein

Cell. 1984 Jul;37(3):767-78. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(84)90412-4.


The immunogenic and antigenic determinants of a synthetic peptide and the corresponding antigenic determinants in the parent protein have been elucidated. Four determinants have been defined by reactivity of a large panel of antipeptide monoclonal antibodies with short, overlapping peptides (7-28 amino acids), the immunizing peptide (36 amino acids), and the intact parent protein (the influenza virus hemagglutinin, HA). The majority of the antipeptide antibodies that also react strongly with the intact protein recognize one specific nine amino acid sequence. This immunodominant peptide determinant is located in the subunit interface in the HA trimeric structure. The relative inaccessibility of this site implies that antibody binding to the protein is to a more unfolded HA conformation. This antigenic determinant differs from those previously described for the hemagglutinin and clearly demonstrates the ability of synthetic peptides to generate antibodies that interact with regions of the protein not immunogenic or generally accessible when the protein is the immunogen.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Epitopes*
  • Hemagglutinins, Viral / immunology*
  • Influenza A virus / immunology
  • Models, Molecular
  • Oligopeptides / immunology
  • Protein Conformation


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Epitopes
  • Hemagglutinins, Viral
  • Oligopeptides