Engineering MHC recognition and biological kinetics of peptides by novel chemistry

Cartoon of a synthetic peptide bound in the MHC-I recognition groove

The binding of peptides to MHC-I and MHC-II is a key immunological event. In the present project, peptides will be modified to achieve a modulation of the peptide–MHC binding kinetics. Guided by design considerations, partially based on available structures of MHC–peptide complexes, we will introduce targeted modifications into MHC ligands, such as modifications of the termini, cyclizations, and unconventional sidechains. The obtained peptide derivatives will be characterized in immunological assay formats of variable complexity to evaluate potential applications in immunotherapy and as biological and diagnostic tools.