conformational exposureA technique of identification of abnormal proteins in which conformational epitopes that become exposed when a protein is misfolded are identified. The most impressive recent use of this technique was revealed in late 2003 when a method of detecting the protease-resistant prion protein PrPSc was published. Researchers found three amino acid residues, Arg-Arg-Tyr, that occurred twice in this protein. Rabbits were immunized with peptides based on this motif and were used to generate a polyclonal antibody that was able to identify PrPSc, in vitro, from cows, sheep and humans.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005