Guinea pig T lymphocyte responses to a decapeptide antigen (NH1-Asp5-Ans6-Glu7-Glu8-Gly9-Phe10-Phe11-Ser12-Ala13-Arg14-OH) of human fibrinopeptide B (hFPB) were examined using various synthetic peptide analogues containing single residue substitutions. Each analogue was examined for antigenicity as determined by an in vitro proliferative responses of hFPN-immune strain 2 guinae pig T cells. In addition, both strain 2 and strain 13 animals were immunized with each analogue and immunogenicity assessed by in vitro T cell-proliferative responses with the homologous immunizing analogue and the parent peptide. Replacement of arginine14 with lysine formed an immunogenic analogue which showed no antigenic cross-reactivity with the native peptide in strain 2 T cell responses. In addition, substitution of arginine14 with blocked lysine again produced a unique immunogenic analogue that showed little or no antigenic identity with the intact lysine analogue or the native peptide. In similar fashion, substitution of resideu phenylalanie10 with tyrosine or Phe(4-NO2) created unique immunogenic analogues with little or no antigenic identity to the native peptide with strain 2 T cells. By contrast, replacement of phenylalanine11 with either tyrosine or Phe(4-NO2) resulted in analogues with a total loss of immunogenicity and antigenicity in strain 2 T cell responses. An analogue in which glutamic acid7,8 were replaced with glutamine retained a small degree of antigenicity with hFPB-immune T cells, but T cells from strain 2 animals immunized with the Gln analogue responded only marginally to the Gln analogue while producing good proliferative responses with the native peptide. On the other hand, an analogue in which asparatic acid5 was replaced with asparagine retained most of the antigenic identity with hFPB for strain 2 T cell responses. None of thee analogues were immunogenic for strain 13 guinea pigs. These observations are discussed with respect to the contribution of each substituted residue to T cell respones, mechanism of Ir gene function, and a model for T cell recognition of small peptide antigens.

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