Complexity among constituents of the HLA-B*1501 peptide motif

Immunogenetics. 1998 Jul;48(2):89-97. doi: 10.1007/s002510050408.


Analysis of peptides derived from HLA class I molecules indicates that thousands of unique peptides are bound by a single molecular type, and sequence examination of the pooled constituents yields a motif which collectively defines the peptides bound by a given class I molecule. Motifs resulting from pooled sequencing are then used to infer whether particular viral and tumor protein fragments might serve as class I-presented peptide therapeutics. Still undetermined from a pooled motif is the breadth or range of peptides in the population which are brought together to form the pooled motif, and it is therefore not yet known how representative of the population a pooled motif is. By employing hollow fiber bioreactors for large-scale production of HLA class I molecules, sufficient peptides are produced to investigate individual subsets of peptides comprising a motif. Edman sequencing and mass spectrometric analysis of peptides eluted from HLA-B*1501 reveal that many peptide sequences fail to align with either the N- or C-terminal anchors predicted for the B*1501 peptide motif through whole pool sequencing. These analyses further reveal auxiliary anchors not previously detected and peptides significantly larger and smaller than the predicted nonamer, ranging from 6 to 12 amino acids in length. These results demonstrate that constituents of the B*1501 peptide pool vary markedly in comparison with one another and therefore in comparison with previously established B*1501 motifs, and such complexity indicates that many of the peptide ligands presented to CTL cannot be predicted using class I consensus motifs as search criteria.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antigen Presentation*
  • Consensus Sequence
  • HLA-B Antigens / chemistry*
  • HLA-B Antigens / metabolism
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / chemistry
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligopeptides / chemistry*
  • Oligopeptides / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Sequence Analysis


  • HLA-B Antigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Oligopeptides