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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.
An atomic-detail model of the Marburg virus glycoprotein in complex with a neutralizing human monoclonal antibody designated MR78 was constructed using Phenix.Rosetta starting from a 3.6Å crystallographic density map. The Asp at T6 in the HCDR3's bulged torso cannot form the canonical salt bridge as position T2 lacks an Arg or Lys residue. It instead engages in a hydrogen bond interaction with a Tyr contributed by the HCDR1 loop. This inter-CDR loop interaction stabilizes the bulged conformation needed for binding to the viral glycoprotein: a Tyr to Phe mutant displays a binding affinity reduced by a factor of at least 10. We found that 5% of a database of 465 million human antibody sequences has the same residues at T2 and T6 positions in HCDR3 and Tyr in HCDR1 that could potentially form this Asp-Tyr interaction, and that this interaction might contribute to a non-canonical bulged torso conformation.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Uncovering mechanisms of antibody-mediated neutralization for viral infections requires epitope and paratope mapping in the context of whole viral particle interactions with the antibody in solution. In this study, we use amide hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry to describe the interface of a dengue virus-neutralizing antibody, 2D22, with its target epitope. 2D22 binds specifically to DENV2, a serotype showing strain-specific structural expansion at human host physiological temperatures of 37°C. Our results identify the heavy chain of 2D22 to be the primary determinant for binding DENV2. Temperature-mediated expansion alters the mode of interaction of 2D22 binding. Importantly, 2D22 interferes with the viral expansion process and offers a basis for its neutralization mechanism. The relative magnitude of deuterium exchange protection upon antibody binding across the various epitope loci allows a deconstruction of the antibody-viral interface in host-specific environments and offers a robust approach for targeted antibody engineering.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
is a clinically significant pathogen that causes mild-to-severe (and often recurrent) colon infections. Disease symptoms stem from the activities of two large, multidomain toxins known as TcdA and TcdB. The toxins can bind, enter, and perturb host cell function through a multistep mechanism of receptor binding, endocytosis, pore formation, autoproteolysis, and glucosyltransferase-mediated modification of host substrates. Monoclonal antibodies that neutralize toxin activity provide a survival benefit in preclinical animal models and prevent recurrent infections in human clinical trials. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in these neutralizing activities are unclear. To this end, we performed structural studies on a neutralizing monoclonal antibody, PA50, a humanized mAb with both potent and broad-spectrum neutralizing activity, in complex with TcdA. Electron microscopy imaging and multiangle light-scattering analysis revealed that PA50 binds multiple sites on the TcdA C-terminal combined repetitive oligopeptides (CROPs) domain. A crystal structure of two PA50 Fabs bound to a segment of the TcdA CROPs helped define a conserved epitope that is distinct from previously identified carbohydrate-binding sites. Binding of TcdA to the host cell surface was directly blocked by either PA50 mAb or Fab and suggested that receptor blockade is the mechanism by which PA50 neutralizes TcdA. These findings highlight the importance of the CROPs C terminus in cell-surface binding and a role for neutralizing antibodies in defining structural features critical to a pathogen's mechanism of action. We conclude that PA50 protects host cells by blocking the binding of TcdA to cell surfaces.
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.
Avian H7N9 influenza viruses are group 2 influenza A viruses that have been identified as the etiologic agent for a current major outbreak that began in China in 2013 and may pose a pandemic threat. Here, we examined the human H7-reactive antibody response in 75 recipients of a monovalent inactivated A/Shanghai/02/2013 H7N9 vaccine. After 2 doses of vaccine, the majority of donors had memory B cells that secreted IgGs specific for H7 HA, with dominant responses against single HA subtypes, although frequencies of H7-reactive B cells ranged widely between donors. We isolated 12 naturally occurring mAbs with low half-maximal effective concentrations for binding, 5 of which possessed neutralizing and HA-inhibiting activities. The 5 neutralizing mAbs exhibited narrow breadth of reactivity with influenza H7 strains. Epitope-mapping studies using neutralization escape mutant analysis, deuterium exchange mass spectrometry, and x-ray crystallography revealed that these neutralizing mAbs bind near the receptor-binding pocket on HA. All 5 neutralizing mAbs possessed low numbers of somatic mutations, suggesting the clones arose from naive B cells. The most potent mAb, H7.167, was tested as a prophylactic treatment in a mouse intranasal virus challenge study, and systemic administration of the mAb markedly reduced viral lung titers.
Previous human antibody studies have shown that the human VH1-46 antibody variable gene segment encodes much of the naturally occurring human B cell response to rotavirus and is directed to virus protein 6 (VP6). It is currently unknown why some of the VH1-46-encoded human VP6 monoclonal antibodies inhibit viral transcription while others do not. In part, there are affinity differences between antibodies that likely affect inhibitory activity, but we also hypothesize that there are differing modes of binding to VP6 that affect the ability to block the transcriptional pore on double-layered particles. Here, we used a hybrid method approach for antibody epitope mapping, including single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and enhanced amide hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (DXMS) to determine the location and mode of binding of a VH1-46-encoded antibody, RV6-25. The structure of the RV6-25 antibody-double-layered particle (DLP) complex indicated a very complex binding pattern that revealed subtle differences in accessibility of the VP6 epitope depending on its position in the type I, II, or III channels. These subtle variations in the presentation or accessibility of the RV VP6 capsid layer led to position-specific differences in occupancy for binding of the RV6-25 antibody. The studies also showed that the location of binding of the noninhibitory antibody RV6-25 on the apical surface of RV VP6 head domain does not obstruct the transcription pore upon antibody binding, in contrast to binding of an inhibitory antibody, RV6-26, deeper in the transcriptional pore.
Influenza virus is a global health concern due to its unpredictable pandemic potential. This potential threat was realized in 2009 when an H1N1 virus emerged that resembled the 1918 virus in antigenicity but fortunately was not nearly as deadly. 5J8 is a human antibody that potently neutralizes a broad spectrum of H1N1 viruses, including the 1918 and 2009 pandemic viruses. Here, we present the crystal structure of 5J8 Fab in complex with a bacterially expressed and refolded globular head domain from the hemagglutinin (HA) of the A/California/07/2009 (H1N1) pandemic virus. 5J8 recognizes a conserved epitope in and around the receptor binding site (RBS), and its HCDR3 closely mimics interactions of the sialic acid receptor. Electron microscopy (EM) reconstructions of 5J8 Fab in complex with an HA trimer from a 1986 H1 strain and with an engineered stabilized HA trimer from the 2009 H1 pandemic virus showed a similar mode of binding. As for other characterized RBS-targeted antibodies, 5J8 uses avidity to extend its breadth and affinity against divergent H1 strains. 5J8 selectively interacts with HA insertion residue 133a, which is conserved in pandemic H1 strains and has precluded binding of other RBS-targeted antibodies. Thus, the RBS of divergent HAs is targeted by 5J8 and adds to the growing arsenal of common recognition motifs for design of therapeutics and vaccines. Moreover, consistent with previous studies, the bacterially expressed H1 HA properly refolds, retaining its antigenic structure, and presents a low-cost and rapid alternative for engineering and manufacturing candidate flu vaccines.
Molecularly engineered antibodies with fit-for-purpose properties will differentiate next generation antibody therapeutics from traditional IgG1 scaffolds. One requirement for engineering the most appropriate properties for a particular therapeutic area is an understanding of the intricacies of the target microenvironment in which the antibody is expected to function. Our group and others have demonstrated that proteases secreted by invasive tumors and pathological microorganisms are capable of cleaving human IgG1, the most commonly adopted isotype among monoclonal antibody therapeutics. Specific cleavage in the lower hinge of IgG1 results in a loss of Fc-mediated cell-killing functions without a concomitant loss of antigen binding capability or circulating antibody half-life. Proteolytic cleavage in the hinge region by tumor-associated or microbial proteases is postulated as a means of evading host immune responses, and antibodies engineered with potent cell-killing functions that are also resistant to hinge proteolysis are of interest. Mutation of the lower hinge region of an IgG1 resulted in protease resistance but also resulted in a profound loss of Fc-mediated cell-killing functions. In the present study, we demonstrate that specific mutations of the CH2 domain in conjunction with lower hinge mutations can restore and sometimes enhance cell-killing functions while still retaining protease resistance. By identifying mutations that can restore either complement- or Fcγ receptor-mediated functions on a protease-resistant scaffold, we were able to generate a novel protease-resistant platform with selective cell-killing functionality.
Most monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to the influenza A virus hemagglutinin (HA) head domain exhibit very limited breadth of inhibitory activity due to antigenic drift in field strains. However, mAb 1F1, isolated from a 1918 influenza pandemic survivor, inhibits select human H1 viruses (1918, 1943, 1947, and 1977 isolates). The crystal structure of 1F1 in complex with the 1918 HA shows that 1F1 contacts residues that are classically defined as belonging to three distinct antigenic sites, Sa, Sb and Ca(2). The 1F1 heavy chain also reaches into the receptor binding site (RBS) and interacts with residues that contact sialoglycan receptors and determine HA receptor specificity. The 1F1 epitope is remarkably similar to the previously described murine HC63 H3 epitope, despite significant sequence differences between H1 and H3 HAs. Both antibodies potently inhibit receptor binding, but only HC63 can block the pH-induced conformational changes in HA that drive membrane fusion. Contacts within the RBS suggested that 1F1 may be sensitive to changes that alter HA receptor binding activity. Affinity assays confirmed that sequence changes that switch the HA to avian receptor specificity affect binding of 1F1 and a mAb possessing a closely related heavy chain, 1I20. To characterize 1F1 cross-reactivity, additional escape mutant selection and site-directed mutagenesis were performed. Residues 190 and 227 in the 1F1 epitope were found to be critical for 1F1 reactivity towards 1918, 1943 and 1977 HAs, as well as for 1I20 reactivity towards the 1918 HA. Therefore, 1F1 heavy-chain interactions with conserved RBS residues likely contribute to its ability to inhibit divergent HAs.