The study of peptide-antibody interactions has many applications in biology and medicine. Synthetic peptides corresponding to single protein epitopes are used instead of intact proteins as reagents for the diagnosis of viral and autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, antibodies raised against peptides are useful reagents for isolating and characterizing gene products. In this review, methods for analysing the molecular basis of peptide-antibody interactions are described, such as amino acid replacement studies, X-ray crystallography of peptide-antibody complexes and biosensor technology based on surface plasmon resonance. The importance of peptide conformation in antibody recognition is discussed, and the antigenic reactivity of epitopes in synthetic peptides and in cognate, intact proteins is compared.
Keywords: Biosensor Technology, peptide antibody interactions, autoimmune diseases, gliadins, glutenins, surrogate protein epitopes, mimotopes, peptide antigenicity, foot-and-mouthdisease virus fmdv, tobacco mosaic virus protein, cognate proteins