A mouse anti-anti-anti-idiotypic (Id) IgM monoclonal antibody (mAb K20, Ab4), functionally mimicking a Wyckerhamomyces anomalus (Pichia anomala) killer toxin (KT) characterized by fungicidal activity against yeasts presenting specific cell wall receptors (KTR) mainly constituted by b-1,3-glucan, was produced from animals presenting anti-KT Abs (Ab3) following immunization with a rat IgM anti-Id KT-like mAb (mAb K10, Ab2). MAb K10 was produced by immunization with a KT- neutralizing mAb (mAb KT4, Ab1) bearing the internal image of KTR. MAb K20, likewise mAb K10, proved to be fungicidal in vitro against KT-sensitive Candida albicans cells, an activity neutralized by mAb KT4, and was capable of binding to b-1,3- glucan. MAb K20 and mAb K10 competed with each other and with KT for binding to C. albicans KTR. MAb K20 was used to identify peptide mimics of KTR by the selection of phage clones from random peptide phage display libraries. Using this strategy, four peptides (TK 1-4) were selected and used as immunogen in mice in the form of either keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) conjugates or peptide-encoding minigenes. Peptide and DNA immunization could induce serum Abs characterized by candidacidal activity, which was inhibited by laminarin, a soluble b-1,3-glucan, but not by pustulan, a b-1,6- glucan. These findings show that the idiotypic cascade can not only overcome the barrier of animal species but also the nature of immunogens and the type of technology adopted.
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