Experimental allergic encephalomyelitis could be induced in rabbits by injection in Freund's complete adjuvant of either peptide 1-44 or peptide 45-87 of rabbit myelin basic protein. In order to localize the encephalitogenic determinant present in peptide 1-44, several smaller derivative peptides were prepared and examined. Peptic peptide 15-44 and thrombic peptide 1-31 were as active as peptide 1-44, whereas peptic peptides 1-14 and 18-38 and BrCN peptide 22-44 were virtually inactive. Weak activity was shown by BrCN peptide 1-21. These results provide evidence that a major encephalitogenic determinant present in peptide 1-44 lies within sequence 15-31. The encephalitogenic activity of peptide 15-44 was essentially destroyed by oxidation of methionine-21 to methionine sulfoxide; methylation of Met-21, on the other hand, appeared to be relatively ineffective in eliminating the encephalitogenicity of peptide 1-44.
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