Epitope

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Definition
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Region of an allergen/antigen that reacts with the binding sites of antibodies or T-cell receptors. B lymphocytes secrete antibodies ( immunoglobulins) having binding sites against epitopes, whereas T lymphocytes have heterodimeric T cell receptors (ab, gd) having binding sites against epitopes.

IgE antibodies react preferentially with allergenic regions which are caused by their native spatial structure (conformation-dependent epitopes).

The T-cells only react with peptide fragments of the allergens, which must also be bound to the body's own MHC class II molecules.

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020