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An Introduction To B-Cell Epitope Mapping And In Silico Epitope Prediction

Lenka Potocnakova, Mangesh Bhide, Lucia Borszekova Pulzova

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Identification of B-cell epitopes is a fundamental step for development of epitope-based vaccines, therapeutic antibodies, and diagnostic tools. Epitope-based antibodies are currently the most promising class of biopharmaceuticals. In the last decade, in-depth in silico analysis and categorization of the experimentally identified epitopes stimulated development of algorithms for epitope prediction. Recently, various in silico tools are employed in attempts to predict B-cell epitopes based on sequence and/or structural data. The main objective of epitope identification is to replace an antigen in the immunization, antibody production, and serodiagnosis. The accurate identification of B-cell epitopes still presents major challenges for immunologists. Advances in B-cell epitope mapping and computational prediction have yielded molecular insights into the process of biorecognition and formation of antigen-antibody complex, which may help to localize B-cell epitopes more precisely. In this paper, we have comprehensively reviewed state-of-the-art experimental methods for B-cell epitope identification, existing databases for epitopes, and novel in silico resources and prediction tools available online. We have also elaborated new trends in the antibody-based epitope prediction. The aim of this review is to assist researchers in identification of B-cell epitopes.