Nov 1, 1989

Expression of tetanus toxin subfragments in vitro and characterization of epitopes

Infection and Immunity
B Andersen-BeckhH Niemann


To define epitopes of tetanus toxin, we compared four different in vitro systems in terms of their ability to produce tetanus toxin-specific subfragments from cloned DNA. A transcription-translation system developed from a nontoxigenic strain of Clostridium tetani was found to yield predominantly full-sized peptides. Such peptides were used to map six different epitopes for eight monoclonal antibodies. The toxin-neutralizing properties of the antibodies were determined in an in vitro assay, based on the toxin-mediated inhibition of norepinephrine release from rat brain particles. Two monoclonal antibodies recognizing epitopes within the regions Ser-744 to Ser-864 and Ile-1224 to Asp-1315 could neutralize the toxin. A third nonneutralizing antibody was shown to recognize the synthetic peptide Phe-947 to Glu-967 derived from the tetanus toxin sequence. This peptide contains a human T-cell epitope.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Monoclonal Antibodies
Chimeric Proteins, Recombinant
Antigenic Specificity
Norepinephrine, (+, -)-Isomer
Protein Biosynthesis
Clostridium tetani
Clostridial Neurotoxin
Western Blot

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