The invention provides therapeutic compositions useful in the treatment of bacterial superantigen mediated conditions, such as Toxic Shock Syndrome. The compositions comprise genetically engineered bifunctional polypeptides containing a specific T-cell receptor binding domain and a specific MHC class II receptor binding domain, each targeting non-overlapping epitopes on a superantigen molecule against which they are designed. The anti-superantigen "receptor mimetics" or "chimeras" are rationally designed to recreate the modality of superantigen binding directly to both the TCR and the MHC-II receptor, and are capable of acting as decoys for superantigen binding, effectively out-competing the host T-cell and MHC-II receptors, the natural host receptors.
STATEMENT REGARDING GOVERNMENT RIGHTS
This invention was made with government support under grant number DE-FG02-98ER62647 from the United States Department of Energy and Contract No. W-7405-ENG-36 awarded by the United States Department of Energy to The Regents of The University of California. The government has certain rights in this invention.