The rational design of artificial carriers for anchoring multiple copies of B and/or T cell epitopes, built-in vaccine adjuvants and "promiscuous" T cell epitopes for the construction of conjugates as antigenic substrates or potent immunogens has been the stimulus of intensive efforts nowadays. The unambiguous composition, the reliability and the versatility of the production of reconstituted antigens or immunogens has found a great number of biochemical applications in developing immunoassays of high sensitivity, specificity and reproducibility and in generating site-specific antibodies for usage as human vaccine candidates. In this review are summarized different types of artificial carriers currently used as dendrimers bearing branching segments, multimeric core matrices and templates with built-in folding devices. Emphasis is given to the construction and application of a helicoid-type Sequential Oligopeptide Carrier (SOCn) developed in our laboratory. The beneficial structural elements of SOCn induce a favorable arrangement of the conjugated peptides, which also retain their initial "active" conformation, so that potent antigens and immunogens are generated.
Keywords: Dendrimers, multimeric core matrices, templates with built-in folding devices, Sequential Oligopeptide Carriers, artificial conjugates, immunoassays, site specific antibodies
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