Human immune responses to synthetic peptides from the Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen Article

Rhodes, G, Carson, DA, Valbracht, J et al. (1985). Human immune responses to synthetic peptides from the Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen . JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY, 134(1), 211-216.

cited authors

  • Rhodes, G; Carson, DA; Valbracht, J; Houghten, R; Vaughan, JH


  • Humans infected with Epstein Barr virus (EBV), the causative agent of infectious mononucleosis, develop antibodies against a nuclear antigen (EBNA) that is present in virally transformed B lymphocytes. The EBNA protein contains a unique glycine-alanine repeating sequence. We have synthetized peptides corresponding to various regions of the EBNA molecule within and near this sequence. Rabbit antibodies against the peptides within the sequence reacted directly with the EBNA protein, as detected by Western blotting. The sera of individuals with antibodies against Epstein-Barr virus contained abundant antibodies also reactive with one or several of the synthetic peptides within the sequence. Moreover, human antibodies against these simple peptides were induced specifically early in the course of infectious mononucleosis. When compared with normal controls, antibody levels to the glycine-alanine peptides were significantly higher in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and progressive systemic sclerosis, but not in patients with two other autoimmune diseases. These results document that i) antibodies against the peptides detect the EBNA protein, ii) humans infected with EBV produce high titers of antibodies reactive with these synthetic antigens, and iii) antibody titers against the peptides are abnormally elevated in certain autoimmune diseases.

publication date

  • March 6, 1985

published in

start page

  • 211

end page

  • 216


  • 134


  • 1