Journal article

The self antigen heme evades immune recognition by sequestration in some hemoproteins.

RM Sutherland, S Brassell, Q Liu, Y Paterson

Eur J Immunol | Published : 1995


Heme is a non-protein autoantigen which is ubiquitous in vivo, primarily complexed in various hemoproteins or bound to specialized carrier molecules. Nevertheless, heme is able to stimulate a high frequency of CD4+, class II-restricted T cells, freshly explanted from unprimed mice, to proliferate in vitro. In this study, we show that heme incorporated into various species of mammalian cytochrome c (cyt c), including murine cyt c, represents a facultative cryptic determinant, able to be recalled only at high doses of native cyt c. By contrast, avian cyt c is of comparable antigenicity to free heme. Artificially denatured carboxymethylated (CM) mammalian cyt c exhibited greatly increased antig..

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University of Melbourne Researchers