Progress toward an antitumor vaccine

carbon atoms coupled together through a sulfur atom). To this end, the carrier protein is first equipped with a spacer, which has an allyl group (two carbon atoms attached by a double bond) at its end. The glycopeptide is coupled to a building block that causes thiols (sulfurhydrogen groups) to protrude from the molecule. In the next, light-initiated (photochemical) reaction, only the desired thioether bonds are formedno side reactions occur at other locations in the peptide chain.

Synthetic glycopeptide antigens containing structural elements typical of tumors in the sugar as well as the protein segment, explains Kunz, can thus be attached to the carrier protein in a controlled fashion. The largely nonimmunogenic thioether bridges could clear the way for the development of vaccines for immunization against tumor cells.


Contact: Horst Kunz
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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