Screening for COVID-19 T-cell peptides and immune monitoring with MHC tetramers in a single assay

COVID-19 infected cells can be recognized by T-cells only after SARS-CoV-2 peptides are processed and presented in the context of self MHCs.

Identifying these peptides have essential utilities:

  • Immune monitoring: Using peptide-MHC tetramers to assess vaccine-induced immunity
  • Designing potent vaccines that elicit durable responses
T-cells are activated only by interacting with processed peptides (e.g. of SARS-CoV-2) that sit in the groove of MHC Class I and II molecules. Identifying these peptides can be used (in forms of peptide-MHC tetramers) to assess vaccine induced immunity and assist in designing potent vaccines with durable responses.

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MBL International can assist companies and academic investigators who are actively developing coronavirus vaccines with our unique QuickSwitch™ custom tetramer platform.  QuickSwitch™ is a peptide screening plug and play platform that identifies peptides that are more likely to be immunogenic and yet generates corresponding Class I and Class II MHC tetramers.  These platforms can identify and validate multi-epitope candidates of SARS-CoV-2 proteins that can potentially elicit for both CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell immune responses. In fact, the QuickSwitch™ custom tetramer kit has been used in peer-reviewed journals by Stephen J. Elledge and Steven A. Rosenberg teams 1,2

Briefly, the protein sequence of SARS-CoV-2 is known and the predicted epitopes are identified and available published/reviewed by recent articles including one by Dr. Alex Sette: 

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.12.946087v2.full.pdf; https://marlin-prod.literatumonline.com/pb-assets/journals/research/cell-host-microbe/PDFs/CHOM_2264_S50.pdf

By using MBLI’s peptide screening MHC tetramer exchange QuickSwitch™ platform, you can identify/validate the binding of predicted peptide sequences of the COVID-19 viral proteins in most common alleles: H2Kb, A2, A11, A24, A3 and DR1, DR4, DR15. 

We can help to evaluate hundreds of predicted peptides for their ability to sit in the groove of MHC Class I and II with answers to the following points of inquiry:

1. Does your vaccine elicit T-cell responses in hosts?     

     a. Validating peptide binding affinities to multiple MHC Class I and II alleles.

     b. MHC tetramers for assessing and monitoring immune responses to individual                   peptides.

2. Information on immunogenic / protective peptides (vaccine design/fine tuning)

     a. Identifying and validating promiscuous MHC class II epitopes.

     b.Testing modified peptides on anchoring amino acids for optimal MHC binding and           T-cell activation.

3. In addition, this platform can also be used in in vitro assays to identify immune-potentiating candidate agents for their ability to enhance vaccines potency.

Please contact us today for a personalized discussion to see how we can quickly help you gather accurate and relevant information for your research against COVID-19.

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1.Kula, Tomasz, et al. “T-Scan: A Genome-Wide Method for the Systematic Discovery of T Cell Epitopes.” Cell, vol. 178, no. 4, 2019, doi:10.1016/j.cell.2019.07.009.
2.Lo, Winifred, et al. “Immunologic Recognition of a Shared p53 Mutated Neoantigen in a Patient with Metastatic Colorectal Cancer.” Cancer Immunology Research, vol. 7, no. 4, 2019, pp. 534–543., doi:10.1158/2326-6066.cir-18-0686.



 

 

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