Prediction of B-Cell Epitopes in Listeriolysin O, a Cholesterol Dependent Cytolysin Secreted by Listeria monocytogenes
Listeria monocytogenes is a gram-positive, foodborne bacterium responsible for disease in humans and animals. Listeriolysin O (LLO) is a required virulence factor for the pathogenic effects of L. monocytogenes. Bioinformatics revealed conserved putative epitopes of LLO that could be used to develop monoclonal antibodies against LLO. Continuous and discontinuous epitopes were located by using four different B-cell prediction algorithms. Three-dimensional molecular models were generated to more precisely characterize the predicted antigenicity of LLO. Domain 4 was predicted to contain five of eleven continuous epitopes. A large portion of domain 4 was also predicted to comprise discontinuous immunogenic epitopes. Domain 4 of LLO may serve as an immunogen for eliciting monoclonal antibodies that can be used to study the pathogenesis of L. monocytogenes as well as develop an inexpensive assay.