B and T Cell Epitope-Based Peptides Predicted from Evolutionarily Conserved and Whole Protein Sequences of Ebola Virus as Vaccine Targets

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Abstract

Ebola virus (EBV) has become a serious threat to public health. Different approaches were applied to predict continuous and discontinuous B cell epitopes as well as T cell epitopes from the sequence-based and available three-dimensional structural analyses of each protein of EBV. Peptides ‘79VPSATKRWGFRSGVPP94’ from GP1 and ‘515LHYWTTQDEGAAIGLA530’ from GP2 of Ebola were found to be the consensus peptidic sequences predicted as linear B cell epitope of which the latter contains a region 519TTQDEG524 that fulfilled all the criteria of accessibility, hydrophilicity, flexibility and beta turn region for becoming an ideal B cell epitope. Different nonamers as T cell epitopes were obtained that interacted with different numbers of MHC class I and class II alleles with a binding affinity of <100 nm. Interestingly, these alleles also bound to the MHC class I alleles mostly prevalent in African and South Asian regions. Of these, ‘LANETTQAL’ and ‘FLYDRLAST’ nonamers were predicted to be the most potent T cell epitopes and they, respectively, interacted with eight and twelve class I alleles that covered 63.79% and 54.16% of world population, respectively. These nonamers were found to be the core sequences of 15mer peptides that interacted with the most common class II allele, HLA-DRB1*01:01. They were further validated for their binding to specific class I alleles using docking technique. Thus, these predicted epitopes may be used as vaccine targets against EBV and can be validated in model hosts to verify their efficacy as vaccine.

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