Immunoinformatic and systems biology approaches to predict and validate peptide vaccines against Epstein–Barr virus (EBV)

Arif Ali, Abbas Khan, Aman Chandra Kaushik, Yanjie Wang, Syed Shujait Ali, Muhammad Junaid, Shoaib Saleem, William C.S. Cho, Xueying Mao, Dong Qing Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Epstein–Barr virus (EBV), also known as human herpesvirus 4 (HHV-4), is a member of the Herpesviridae family and causes infectious mononucleosis, Burkitt’s lymphoma, and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Even in the United States of America, the situation is alarming, as EBV affects 95% of the young population between 35 and 40 years of age. In this study, both linear and conformational B-cell epitopes as well as cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) epitopes were predicted by using the ElliPro and NetCTL.1.2 webservers for EBV proteins (GH, GL, GB, GN, GM, GP42 and GP350). Molecular modelling tools were used to predict the 3D coordinates of peptides, and these peptides were then docked against the MHC molecules to obtain peptide-MHC complexes. Studies of their post-docking interactions helped to select potential candidates for the development of peptide vaccines. Our results predicted a total of 58 T-cell epitopes of EBV; where the most potential were selected based on their TAP, MHC binding and C-terminal Cleavage score. The top most peptides were subjected to MD simulation and stability analysis. Validation of our predicted epitopes using a 0.45 µM concentration was carried out by using a systems biology approach. Our results suggest a panel of epitopes that could be used to immunize populations to protect against multiple diseases caused by EBV.

Original languageEnglish
Article number720
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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