Is the difference only in its structure? Like conformational epitope has 3D structure while sequential has a linear structure?

(I have not studied biology since last 8 years and now I am going through it because I need it for my research. So if someone can describe it in simple language it would be very helpful)


1 Answer 1


Yes, the difference is "only" in the 3D structure. This makes some differences when proteins change their shape; antibodies which recognize conformational epitopes are usually not well suited for lab work, as proteins are often denatured here.

The different epitopes are also called linear epitopes (for the sequential) and discontinous epitope (for the conformational). Schematically this look like this:

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Nice diagram. Where did you get it from ? $\endgroup$
    Sep 16, 2014 at 16:51
  • $\begingroup$ From a book: Immunology for Medical Students. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Sep 16, 2014 at 16:59

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