In the last decade, mass spectrometry has been employed by more and more researchers for identifying the proteins in a macromolecular complex as well as for defining the surfaces of their binding interfaces. This characterization of protein-protein interfaces usually involves at least one of several different methodologies in addition to the actual mass spectrometry. For example, limited proteolysis is often used as a first step in defining regions of a protein that are protected from proteolysis when the protein of interest is part of a macromolecular complex. Other techniques used in conjunction with mass spectrometry for determining regions of a protein involved in protein-protein interactions include chemical modification, such as covalent cross-linking, acetylation of lysines, hydrogen-deuterium exchange, or other forms of modification. In this report, both limited proteolysis and chemical modification were combined with several mass spectrometric techniques in efforts to define the protein surface on the HIV core protein, p24, recognized by two different monoclonal human antibodies that were isolated from HIV+ patients. One of these antibodies, 1571, strongly inhibits the CD4+ T cell proliferative response to a known epitope (PEVIPMFSALSEGATP), while the other antibody, 241-D, does not inhibit as strongly. The epitopes for both of these antibodies were determined to be discontinuous and localized to the N-terminus of p24. Interestingly, the epitope recognized by the strongly inhibiting antibody, 1571, completely overlaps the T cell epitope PEVIPMFSALSEGATP, while the antibody 241-D binds to a region adjacent to the region of p24 recognized by the antibody 1571. These results suggest that, possibly due to epitope competition, antibodies produced during HIV infection can negatively affect CD4+ T cell-mediated immunity against the virus.
|Number of pages
|Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
|Published - Nov 2006