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Dengue Virus (DENV) associated disease is a major public health problem. Assessment of HLA class II restricted DENV-specific responses is relevant for immunopathology and definition of correlates of protection. While previous studies characterized responses restricted by the HLA-DRB1 locus, the responses associated with other class II loci have not been characterized to date. Accordingly, we mapped HLA-DP, DQ, and DRB3/4/5 restricted DENV-specific CD4 T cell epitopes in PBMCs derived from the DENV endemic region Sri Lanka. We studied 12 DP, DQ, and DRB3/4/5 alleles that are commonly expressed and provide worldwide coverage >82% for each of the loci analyzed and >99% when combined. CD4+ T cells purified by negative selection were stimulated with pools of HLA-predicted binders for 2 weeks with autologous APC. Epitope reactive T cells were enumerated using IFNγ ELISPOT assay. This strategy was previously applied to identify DRB1 restricted epitopes. In parallel, membrane expression levels of HLA-DR, DP, and DQ proteins was assessed using flow cytometry. Epitopes were identified for all DP, DQ, and DRB3/4/5 allelic variants albeit with magnitudes significantly lower than the ones previously observed for the DRB1 locus. This was in line with lower membrane expression of HLA-DP and DQ molecules on the PBMCs tested, as compared to HLA-DR. Significant differences between loci were observed in antigen immunodominance. Capsid responses were dominant for DRB1/3/4/5 and DP alleles but negligible for the DQ alleles. NS3 responses were dominant in the case of DRB1/3/4/5 and DQ but absent in the case of DP. NS1 responses were prominent in the case of the DP alleles, but negligible in the case of DR and DQ. In terms of epitope specificity, repertoire was largely overlapping between DRB1 and DRB3/4/5, while DP and DQ loci recognized largely distinct epitope sets. The HLA-DP, DQ, and DRB3/4/5 loci mediate DENV-CD4 specific immune responses of lower magnitude as compared to HLA-DRB1, consistent with their lower levels of expression. The responses are associated with distinct and characteristic patterns of immunodominance, and variable epitope overlap across loci.
Seasonal influenza virus infections can cause significant morbidity and mortality, but the threat from the emergence of a new pandemic influenza strain might have potentially even more devastating consequences. As such, there is intense interest in isolating and characterizing potent neutralizing antibodies that target the hemagglutinin (HA) viral surface glycoprotein. Here, we use cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) to decipher the mechanism of action of a potent HA head-directed monoclonal antibody (mAb) bound to an influenza H7 HA. The epitope of the antibody is not solvent accessible in the compact, prefusion conformation that typifies all HA structures to date. Instead, the antibody binds between HA head protomers to an epitope that must be partly or transiently exposed in the prefusion conformation. The "breathing" of the HA protomers is implied by the exposure of this epitope, which is consistent with metastability of class I fusion proteins. This structure likely therefore represents an early structural intermediate in the viral fusion process. Understanding the extent of transient exposure of conserved neutralizing epitopes also may lead to new opportunities to combat influenza that have not been appreciated previously.
The role that broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) play in natural clearance of human hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Here, we investigate the mechanism by which bNAbs, isolated from two humans who spontaneously cleared HCV infection, contribute to HCV control. Using viral gene sequences amplified from longitudinal plasma of the two subjects, we found that these bNAbs, which target the front layer of the HCV envelope protein E2, neutralized most autologous HCV strains. Acquisition of resistance to bNAbs by some autologous strains was accompanied by progressive loss of E2 protein function, and temporally associated with HCV clearance. These data demonstrate that bNAbs can mediate clearance of human HCV infection by neutralizing infecting strains and driving escaped viruses to an unfit state. These immunopathologic events distinguish HCV from HIV-1 and suggest that development of an HCV vaccine may be achievable.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Goodpasture syndrome (GP) is a pulmonary-renal syndrome characterized by autoantibodies directed against the NC1 domains of collagen IV in the glomerular and alveolar basement membranes. Exposure of the cryptic epitope is thought to occur disruption of sulfilimine crosslinks in the NC1 domain that are formed by peroxidasin-dependent production of hypobromous acid. Peroxidasin, a heme peroxidase, has significant structural overlap with myeloperoxidase (MPO), and MPO-ANCA is present both before and at GP diagnosis in some patients. We determined whether autoantibodies directed against peroxidasin are also detected in GP.
METHODS - We used ELISA and competitive binding assays to assess the presence and specificity of autoantibodies in serum from patients with GP and healthy controls. Peroxidasin activity was fluorometrically measured in the presence of partially purified IgG from patients or controls. Clinical disease severity was gauged by Birmingham Vasculitis Activity Score.
RESULTS - We detected anti-peroxidasin autoantibodies in the serum of patients with GP before and at clinical presentation. Enriched anti-peroxidasin antibodies inhibited peroxidasin-mediated hypobromous acid production . The anti-peroxidasin antibodies recognized peroxidasin but not soluble MPO. However, these antibodies did crossreact with MPO coated on the polystyrene plates used for ELISAs. Finally, peroxidasin-specific antibodies were also found in serum from patients with anti-MPO vasculitis and were associated with significantly more active clinical disease.
CONCLUSIONS - Anti-peroxidasin antibodies, which would previously have been mischaracterized, are associated with pulmonary-renal syndromes, both before and during active disease, and may be involved in disease activity and pathogenesis in some patients.
Copyright © 2018 by the American Society of Nephrology.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major human pathogen that infects the majority of children by two years of age. The RSV fusion (F) protein is a primary target of human antibodies, and it has several antigenic regions capable of inducing neutralizing antibodies. Antigenic site IV is preserved in both the pre-fusion and post-fusion conformations of RSV F. Antibodies to antigenic site IV have been described that bind and neutralize both RSV and human metapneumovirus (hMPV). To explore the diversity of binding modes at antigenic site IV, we generated a panel of four new human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and competition-binding suggested the mAbs bind at antigenic site IV. Mutagenesis experiments revealed that binding and neutralization of two mAbs (3M3 and 6F18) depended on arginine (R) residue R429. We discovered two R429-independent mAbs (17E10 and 2N6) at this site that neutralized an RSV R429A mutant strain, and one of these mAbs (17E10) neutralized both RSV and hMPV. To determine the mechanism of cross-reactivity, we performed competition-binding, recombinant protein mutagenesis, peptide binding, and electron microscopy experiments. It was determined that the human cross-reactive mAb 17E10 binds to RSV F with a binding pose similar to 101F, which may be indicative of cross-reactivity with hMPV F. The data presented provide new concepts in RSV immune recognition and vaccine design, as we describe the novel idea that binding pose may influence mAb cross-reactivity between RSV and hMPV. Characterization of the site IV epitope bound by human antibodies may inform the design of a pan-Pneumovirus vaccine.
While the HIV-1-glycan shield is known to shelter Env from the humoral immune response, its quantitative impact on antibody elicitation has been unclear. Here, we use targeted deglycosylation to measure the impact of the glycan shield on elicitation of antibodies against the CD4 supersite. We engineered diverse Env trimers with select glycans removed proximal to the CD4 supersite, characterized their structures and glycosylation, and immunized guinea pigs and rhesus macaques. Immunizations yielded little neutralization against wild-type viruses but potent CD4-supersite neutralization (titers 1: >1,000,000 against four-glycan-deleted autologous viruses with over 90% breadth against four-glycan-deleted heterologous strains exhibiting tier 2 neutralization character). To a first approximation, the immunogenicity of the glycan-shielded protein surface was negligible, with Env-elicited neutralization (ID) proportional to the exponential of the protein-surface area accessible to antibody. Based on these high titers and exponential relationship, we propose site-selective deglycosylated trimers as priming immunogens to increase the frequency of site-targeting antibodies.
Published by Elsevier Inc.
A goal for an HIV-1 vaccine is to overcome virus variability by inducing broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs). One key target of bnAbs is the glycan-polypeptide at the base of the envelope (Env) third variable loop (V3). We have designed and synthesized a homogeneous minimal immunogen with high-mannose glycans reflective of a native Env V3-glycan bnAb epitope (Man-V3). V3-glycan bnAbs bound to Man-V3 glycopeptide and native-like gp140 trimers with similar affinities. Fluorophore-labeled Man-V3 glycopeptides bound to bnAb memory B cells and were able to be used to isolate a V3-glycan bnAb from an HIV-1-infected individual. In rhesus macaques, immunization with Man-V3 induced V3-glycan-targeted antibodies. Thus, the Man-V3 glycopeptide closely mimics an HIV-1 V3-glycan bnAb epitope and can be used to isolate V3-glycan bnAbs.
Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Computational neutralization fingerprinting, NFP, is an efficient and accurate method for predicting the epitope specificities of polyclonal antibody responses to HIV-1 infection. Here, we present next-generation NFP algorithms that substantially improve prediction accuracy for individual donors and enable serologic analysis for entire cohorts. Specifically, we developed algorithms for: (a) selection of optimized virus neutralization panels for NFP analysis, (b) estimation of NFP prediction confidence for each serum sample, and (c) identification of sera with potentially novel epitope specificities. At the individual donor level, the next-generation NFP algorithms particularly improved the ability to detect multiple epitope specificities in a sample, as confirmed both for computationally simulated polyclonal sera and for samples from HIV-infected donors. Specifically, the next-generation NFP algorithms detected multiple specificities in twice as many samples of simulated sera. Further, unlike the first-generation NFP, the new algorithms were able to detect both of the previously confirmed antibody specificities, VRC01-like and PG9-like, in donor CHAVI 0219. At the cohort level, analysis of ~150 broadly neutralizing HIV-infected donor samples suggested a potential connection between clade of infection and types of elicited epitope specificities. Most notably, while 10E8-like antibodies were observed in infections from different clades, an enrichment of such antibodies was predicted for clade B samples. Ultimately, such large-scale analyses of antibody responses to HIV-1 infection can help guide the design of epitope-specific vaccines that are tailored to take into account the prevalence of infecting clades within a specific geographic region. Overall, the next-generation NFP technology will be an important tool for the analysis of broadly neutralizing polyclonal antibody responses against HIV-1.
Dengue virus (DENV) is responsible for growing numbers of infections worldwide and has proven to be a significant challenge for vaccine development. We previously demonstrated that CD8 T cell responses elicited by a dengue live attenuated virus (DLAV) vaccine resemble those observed after natural infection. In this study, we screened peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from donors vaccinated with a tetravalent DLAV vaccine (TV005) with pools of dengue virus-derived predicted major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II binding peptides. The definition of CD4 T cell responses after live vaccination is important because CD4 T cells are known contributors to host immunity, including cytokine production, help for CD8 T and B cells, and direct cytotoxicity against infected cells. While responses to all antigens were observed, DENV-specific CD4 T cells were focused predominantly on the capsid and nonstructural NS3 and NS5 antigens. Importantly, CD4 T cell responses in vaccinees were similar in magnitude and breadth to those after natural infection, recognized the same antigen hierarchy, and had similar profiles of HLA restriction. We conclude that TV005 vaccination has the capacity to elicit CD4 cell responses closely mirroring those observed in a population associated with natural immunity. The development of effective vaccination strategies against dengue virus infection is of high global public health interest. Here we study the CD4 T cell responses elicited by a tetravalent live attenuated dengue vaccine and show that they resemble responses seen in humans naturally exposed to dengue virus. This is an important issue, since it is likely that optimal immunity induced by a vaccine requires induction of CD4 responses against the same antigens as those recognized as dominant in natural infection. Detailed knowledge of the T cell response may further contribute to the identification of robust correlates of protection against dengue virus.
Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.
Detailed studies of the broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) that underlie the best available examples of the humoral immune response to HIV are providing important information for the development of therapies and prophylaxis for HIV-1 infection. Here, we report a CD4-binding site (CD4bs) antibody, named N6, that potently neutralized 98% of HIV-1 isolates, including 16 of 20 that were resistant to other members of its class. N6 evolved a mode of recognition such that its binding was not impacted by the loss of individual contacts across the immunoglobulin heavy chain. In addition, structural analysis revealed that the orientation of N6 permitted it to avoid steric clashes with glycans, which is a common mechanism of resistance. Thus, an HIV-1-specific bNAb can achieve potent, near-pan neutralization of HIV-1, making it an attractive candidate for use in therapy and prophylaxis.
Published by Elsevier Inc.