A region of the alpha-subunit of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) of the Torpedo electric organ, containing residues 161-166, has been proposed to be a major antigenic site in the native AChR protein. We report the synthesis of a peptide corresponding to residues 159-169, which contains the proposed antigenic region. In quantitative radiometric titrations, radiolabelled anti-(native AChR) antibodies from three different species, rabbit, rat and dog, exhibited considerable binding (approx. 15% relative to native AChR) to Sepharose-immobilized peptide 159-169, but did not bind significantly to Sepharose-immobilized unrelated proteins or peptides. Specificity was further confirmed by the finding that no rabbit anti-AChR antibodies bound to the peptide after absorption with native AChR. These data indicate that the region 159-169 contains an antigenic site that is readily accessible in solubilized native Torpedo AChR.

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