Prediction of CD8+ Epitopes in Leishmania braziliensis Proteins Using EPIBOT: In Silico Search and In Vivo Validation

Abstract

BACKGROUND Leishmaniasis is caused by intracellular Leishmania parasites that induce a T-cell mediated response associated with recognition of CD4+ and CD8+ T cell Line 1Lineepitopes. Identification of CD8+ antigenic determinants is crucial for vaccine and therapy development. Herein, we developed an open-source software dedicated to search and compile data obtained from currently available on line prediction algorithms. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS We developed a two-phase algorithm and implemented in an open source software called EPIBOT, that consolidates the results obtained with single prediction algorithms, generating a final output in which epitopes are ranked. EPIBOT was initially trained using a set of 831 known epitopes from 397 proteins from IEDB. We then screened 63 Leishmania braziliensis vaccine candidates with the EPIBOT trained tool to search for CD8+ T cell epitopes. A proof-of-concept experiment was conducted with the top eight CD8+ epitopes, elected by EPIBOT. To do this, the elected peptides were synthesized and validated for their in vivo cytotoxicity. Among the tested epitopes, three were able to induce lysis of pulsed-target cells. CONCLUSION Our results show that EPIBOT can successfully search across existing prediction tools, generating a compiled list of candidate CD8+ epitopes. This software is fast and a simple search engine that can be customized to search over different MHC alleles or HLA haplotypes.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0124786

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@inproceedings{Duarte2015PredictionOC, title={Prediction of CD8+ Epitopes in Leishmania braziliensis Proteins Using EPIBOT: In Silico Search and In Vivo Validation}, author={Angelo A. Duarte and Artur Trancoso Lopo de Queiroz and Rafael Tosta and Augusto Marcos Carvalho and Carlos Henrique dos S. Barbosa and Maria Bellio and Camila I de Oliveira and Manoel Barral-Netto}, booktitle={PloS one}, year={2015} }