Recent research publication by NKUA on the role of polymorphic variation of the immune system on the production of antigenic petpides from SARS-CoV-2

Cellular adaptive immune responses are an important component of our immunity against SARS-CoV-2 and play important roles in vaccine efficacy and the development of severe COVID-19. The adaptive immune system can eradicate infected cells by recognizing small peptides (called antigenic peptides) presented on their surface, that originate from proteins of the virus that infects the cell. In a recent paper, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, scientists from the Chemistry Department of the National Kapodistrian University of Athens, the National Centre for Scientific Research “Demokritos” and the Biomedical Sciences Research Center “Alexander Fleming”, collaborated to demonstrate how common genetic variations (called polymorphisms) in a key enzyme that regulates recognition of infected cells by the immune system, can affect the generation of antigenic peptides from the spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2. This frequent variability between individuals may contribute to the observed variable immune responses in COVID-19 and thus constitute a useful biomarker for severe COVID-19.

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Figure: Heat-plot showing the processing of peptides form the SARS-CoV-2 glycoprotein by 10 different allotypes of Endoplasmic Reticulum Aminopeptidase 1.



Allotypic variation in antigen processing controls antigenic peptide generation from SARS-CoV-2 S1 Spike Glycoprotein

Stamatakis G, Samiotaki M, Temponeras I, Panayotou G, Stratikos E.*

Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2021, Oct 21:101329. doi: 10.1016/j.jbc.2021.101329.