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Combined Use of Information Entropy and Bepipred Scores for Screening Ebola Virus Glycoprotein (GP) Sequences
1  Brown University

Abstract: Unprecedented epidemics caused by strains of Ebola virus (EBOV) are associated with extremely high mortality rates. Moreover, an anti-EBOV vaccine is not yet available. Because EBOV glycoprotein (GP) is the precursor of the proteins mediating the binding and internalization of the virus, EBOV GP is an attractive target for vaccine development. It is reported here that by means of combined use of information entropy (H) and Bepipred predictive epitope screening of GP amino acid sequences, four invariant peptide sequences were identified in GP of Zaire ZEBOV and Sudan SEBOV, the two most prominent strains of EBOV. These four peptide sequences were then subsequently used for direct GP search in a strain of EBOV with a GP sequence length different from that of the combined GP (ZEBOV, SEBOV) sequence set. It is concluded that the combined H/Bepipred screening procedure identified invariant peptides [1] that may be of value as components of potential anti-EBOV vaccines and [2] that the identified amino acid sequences enabled direct sequence search, despite differences in GP sequence length that precluded computation of H.
Keywords: Ebola virus; information entropy; Bepipred; peptide; vaccine; epitopes