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The human B cell response to natural filovirus infections early after recovery is poorly understood. Previous serologic studies suggest that some Ebola virus survivors exhibit delayed antibody responses with low magnitude and quality. Here, we sought to study the population of individual memory B cells induced early in convalescence. We isolated monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) from memory B cells from four survivors treated for Ebola virus disease (EVD) 1 or 3 months after discharge from the hospital. At the early time points postrecovery, the frequency of Ebola-specific B cells was low and dominated by clones that were cross-reactive with both Ebola glycoprotein (GP) and with the secreted GP (sGP) form. Of 25 MAbs isolated from four donors, only one exhibited neutralization activity. This neutralizing MAb, designated MAb EBOV237, recognizes an epitope in the glycan cap of the surface glycoprotein. murine lethal challenge studies showed that EBOV237 conferred protection when given prophylactically at a level similar to that of the ZMapp component MAb 13C6. The results suggest that the human B cell response to EVD 1 to 3 months postdischarge is characterized by a paucity of broad or potent neutralizing clones. However, the neutralizing epitope in the glycan cap recognized by EBOV237 may play a role in the early human antibody response to EVD and should be considered in rational design strategies for new Ebola virus vaccine candidates. The pathogenesis of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in humans is complex, and the mechanisms contributing to immunity are poorly understood. In particular, it appears that the quality and magnitude of the human B cell response early after recovery from EVD may be reduced compared to most viral infections. Here, we isolated human monoclonal antibodies from B cells of four survivors of EVD at 1 or 3 months after hospital discharge. Ebola-specific memory B cells early in convalescence were low in frequency, and the antibodies they encoded demonstrated poor neutralizing potencies. One neutralizing antibody that protected mice from lethal infection, EBOV237, was identified in the panel of 25 human antibodies isolated. Recognition of the glycan cap epitope recognized by EBOV237 suggests that this antigenic site should be considered in vaccine design and treatment strategies for EVD.
Copyright © 2019 American Society for Microbiology.
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a major human pathogen and member of the genus in the Flaviviridae family. In contrast to most other insect-transmitted flaviviruses, ZIKV also can be transmitted sexually and from mother to fetus in humans. During recent outbreaks, ZIKV infections have been linked to microcephaly, congenital disease, and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Neutralizing antibodies have potential as therapeutic agents. We report here a 4-Å-resolution cryo-electron microscopy structure of the ZIKV virion in complex with Fab fragments of the potently neutralizing human monoclonal antibody ZIKV-195. The footprint of the ZIKV-195 Fab fragment expands across two adjacent envelope (E) protein protomers. ZIKV neutralization by this antibody is presumably accomplished by cross-linking the E proteins, which likely prevents formation of E protein trimers required for fusion of the viral and cellular membranes. A single dose of ZIKV-195 administered 5 days after virus inoculation showed marked protection against lethality in a stringent mouse model of infection.
Influenza is a yearly threat to global public health. Rapid changes in influenza surface proteins resulting from antigenic drift and shift events make it difficult to readily identify antibodies with broadly neutralizing activity against different influenza subtypes with high frequency, specifically antibodies targeting the receptor binding domain (RBD) on influenza HA protein. We developed an optimized computational design method that is able to optimize an antibody for recognition of large panels of antigens. To demonstrate the utility of this multistate design method, we used it to redesign an antiinfluenza antibody against a large panel of more than 500 seasonal HA antigens of the H1 subtype. As a proof of concept, we tested this method on a variety of known antiinfluenza antibodies and identified those that could be improved computationally. We generated redesigned variants of antibody C05 to the HA RBD and experimentally characterized variants that exhibited improved breadth and affinity against our panel. C05 mutants exhibited improved affinity for three of the subtypes used in design by stabilizing the CDRH3 loop and creating favorable electrostatic interactions with the antigen. These mutants possess increased breadth and affinity of binding while maintaining high-affinity binding to existing targets, surpassing a major limitation up to this point.
Copyright © 2019 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.
The diversity of Ag-specific adaptive receptors on the surface of B cells and in the population of secreted Abs is enormous, but increasingly, we are acquiring the technical capability to interrogate Ab repertoires in great detail. These Ab technologies have been especially pointed at understanding the complex issues of immunity to infection and disease caused by influenza virus, one of the most common and vexing medical problems in man. Influenza immunity is particularly interesting as a model system because the antigenic diversity of influenza strains and proteins is high and constantly evolving. Discovery of canonical features in the subset of the influenza repertoire response that is broadly reactive for diverse influenza strains has spurred the recent optimism for creating universal influenza vaccines. Using new technologies for sequencing Ab repertoires at great depth is helping us to understand the central features of influenza immunity.
Copyright © 2019 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
Ebolaviruses Zaire (EBOV), Bundibugyo (BDBV), and Sudan (SUDV) cause human disease with high case fatality rates. Experimental monovalent vaccines, which all utilize the sole envelope glycoprotein (GP), do not protect against heterologous ebolaviruses. Human parainfluenza virus type 3-vectored vaccines offer benefits, including needle-free administration and induction of mucosal responses in the respiratory tract. Multiple approaches were taken to induce broad protection against the three ebolaviruses. While GP consensus-based antigens failed to elicit neutralizing antibodies, polyvalent vaccine immunization induced neutralizing responses to all three ebolaviruses and protected animals from death and disease caused by EBOV, SUDV, and BDBV. As immunization with a cocktail of antigenically related antigens can skew the responses and change the epitope hierarchy, we performed comparative analysis of antibody repertoire and Fc-mediated protective mechanisms in animals immunized with monovalent versus polyvalent vaccines. Compared to sera from guinea pigs receiving the monovalent vaccines, sera from guinea pigs receiving the trivalent vaccine bound and neutralized EBOV and SUDV at equivalent levels and BDBV at only a slightly reduced level. Peptide microarrays revealed a preponderance of binding to amino acids 389 to 403, 397 to 415, and 477 to 493, representing three linear epitopes in the mucin-like domain known to induce a protective antibody response. Competition binding assays with monoclonal antibodies isolated from human ebolavirus infection survivors demonstrated that the immune sera block the binding of antibodies specific for the GP glycan cap, the GP1-GP2 interface, the mucin-like domain, and the membrane-proximal external region. Thus, administration of a cocktail of three ebolavirus vaccines induces a desirable broad antibody response, without skewing of the response toward preferential recognition of a single virus. The symptoms of the disease caused by the ebolaviruses Ebola, Bundibugyo, and Sudan are similar, and their areas of endemicity overlap. However, because of the limited antigenic relatedness of the ebolavirus glycoprotein (GP) used in all candidate vaccines against these viruses, they protect only against homologous and not against heterologous ebolaviruses. Therefore, a broadly specific pan-ebolavirus vaccine is required, and this might be achieved by administration of a cocktail of vaccines. The effects of cocktail administration of ebolavirus vaccines on the antibody repertoire remain unknown. Here, an in-depth analysis of the antibody responses to administration of a cocktail of human parainfluenza virus type 3-vectored vaccines against individual ebolaviruses was performed, which included analysis of binding to GP, neutralization of individual ebolaviruses, epitope specificity, Fc-mediated functions, and protection against the three ebolaviruses. The results demonstrated potent and balanced responses against individual ebolaviruses and no significant reduction of the responses compared to that induced by individual vaccines.
Copyright © 2019 American Society for Microbiology.
Dengue virus (DENV) particles are released from cells in different maturation states. Fully immature DENV (immDENV) is generally non-infectious, but can become infectious when complexed with anti-precursor membrane (prM) protein antibodies. It is unknown how anti-prM antibody-coated particles can undergo membrane fusion since the prM caps the envelope (E) protein fusion loop. Here, we determined cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) maps of the immDENV:anti-prM complex at different pH values, mimicking the extracellular (pH 8.0) or endosomal (pH 5.0) environments. At pH 5.0, there are two structural classes with fewer antibodies bound than at pH 8.0. These classes may represent different maturation states. Molecular simulations, together with the measured high-affinity pr:antibody interaction (versus the weak pr:E interaction) and also the low pH cryo-EM structures, suggest how antibody:pr complex can dislodge from the E protein at low pH. This exposes the E protein fusion loop enhancing virus interaction with endosomes.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
West Nile virus (WNV), a member of the Flavivirus genus, is a leading cause of viral encephalitis in the United States. The development of neutralizing antibodies against the flavivirus envelope (E) protein is critical for immunity and vaccine protection. Previously identified candidate therapeutic mouse and human neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) target epitopes within the E domain III lateral ridge and the domain I-II hinge region, respectively. To explore the neutralizing antibody repertoire elicited by WNV infection for potential therapeutic application, we isolated ten mAbs from WNV-infected individuals. mAb WNV-86 neutralized WNV with a 50% inhibitory concentration of 2 ng ml, one of the most potently neutralizing flavivirus-specific antibodies ever isolated. WNV-86 targets an epitope in E domain II, and preferentially recognizes mature virions lacking an uncleaved form of the chaperone protein prM, unlike most flavivirus-specific antibodies. In vitro selection experiments revealed a neutralization escape mechanism involving a glycan addition to E domain II. Finally, a single dose of WNV-86 administered two days post-infection protected mice from lethal WNV challenge. This study identifies a highly potent human neutralizing mAb with therapeutic potential that targets an epitope preferentially displayed on mature virions.
Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) is a mosquito-transmitted alphavirus with a high case mortality rate in humans. EEEV is a biodefence concern because of its potential for aerosol spread and the lack of existing countermeasures. Here, we identify a panel of 18 neutralizing murine monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against the EEEV E2 glycoprotein, several of which have 'elite' activity with 50 and 99% effective inhibitory concentrations (EC and EC) of less than 10 and 100 ng ml, respectively. Alanine-scanning mutagenesis and neutralization escape mapping analysis revealed epitopes for these mAbs in domains A or B of the E2 glycoprotein. A majority of the neutralizing mAbs blocked infection at a post-attachment stage, with several inhibiting viral membrane fusion. Administration of one dose of anti-EEEV mAb protected mice from lethal subcutaneous or aerosol challenge. These experiments define the mechanistic basis for neutralization by protective anti-EEEV mAbs and suggest a path forward for treatment and vaccine design.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) vaccine efforts are hampered by the extensive genetic diversity of HCV envelope glycoproteins E1 and E2. Structures of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) (e.g., HEPC3, HEPC74) isolated from individuals who spontaneously cleared HCV infection facilitate immunogen design to elicit antibodies against multiple HCV variants. However, challenges in expressing HCV glycoproteins previously limited bNAb-HCV structures to complexes with truncated E2 cores. Here we describe crystal structures of full-length E2 ectodomain complexes with HEPC3 and HEPC74, revealing lock-and-key antibody-antigen interactions, E2 regions (including a target of immunogen design) that were truncated or disordered in E2 cores, and an antibody CDRH3 disulfide motif that exhibits common interactions with a conserved epitope despite different bNAb-E2 binding orientations. The structures display unusual features relevant to common genetic signatures of HCV bNAbs and demonstrate extraordinary plasticity in antibody-antigen interactions. In addition, E2 variants that bind HEPC3/HEPC74-like germline precursors may represent candidate vaccine immunogens.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The four serotypes of dengue virus (DENV) cause the most important mosquito-borne viral disease in humans. The envelope (E) protein is the major target of neutralizing antibodies and contains 3 domains (domain I [DI], DII, and DIII). Recent studies reported that human monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) recognizing DIII, the D1/DII hinge, the E-dimer epitope, or a quaternary epitope involving DI/DII/DIII are more potently neutralizing than those recognizing the fusion loop (FL) of DII. Due to inefficient cleavage of the premembrane protein, DENV suspensions consist of a mixture of mature, immature, and partially immature particles. We investigated the neutralization and binding of 22 human MAbs to DENV serotype 1 (DENV1) virions with differential maturation status. Compared with FL MAbs, DIII, DI/DII hinge, and E-dimer epitope MAbs showed higher maximum binding and avidity to mature particles relative to immature particles; this feature may contribute to the strong neutralizing potency of such MAbs. FL-specific MAbs required 57 to 87% occupancy on mature particles to achieve half-maximal neutralization (NT), whereas the potently neutralizing MAbs achieved NT states at 20 to 38% occupancy. Analysis of the MAb repertoire and polyclonal sera from patients with primary DENV1 infection supports the immunodominance of cross-reactive anti-E antibodies over type-specific antibodies. After depletion with viral particles from a heterologous DENV serotype, the type-specific neutralizing antibodies remained and showed binding features shared by potent neutralizing MAbs. Taken together, these findings suggest that the use of homogeneous mature DENV particles as an immunogen may induce more potent neutralizing antibodies against DENV than the use of immature or mixed particles. With an estimated 390 million infections per year, the four serotypes of dengue virus (DENV) cause the most important mosquito-borne viral disease in humans. The dengue vaccine Dengvaxia was licensed; however, its low efficacy among dengue-naive individuals and increased risk of causing severe dengue in children highlight the need for a better understanding of the role of human antibodies in immunity against DENV. DENV suspensions contain mature, immature, and partially immature particles. We investigated the binding of 22 human monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to the DENV envelope protein on particles with different maturation states. Potently neutralizing MAbs had higher relative maximum binding and avidity to mature particles than weakly neutralizing MAbs. This was supported by analysis of MAb repertoires and polyclonal sera from patients with primary DENV infection. Together, these findings suggest that mature particles may be the optimal form of presentation of the envelope protein to induce more potent neutralizing antibodies against DENV.
Copyright © 2018 American Society for Microbiology.