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While progress has been made in characterizing humoral immunity to Zika virus (ZIKV) in humans, little is known regarding the corresponding T cell responses to ZIKV. Here, we investigate the kinetics and viral epitopes targeted by T cells responding to ZIKV and address the critical question of whether preexisting dengue virus (DENV) T cell immunity modulates these responses. We find that memory T cell responses elicited by prior infection with DENV or vaccination with tetravalent dengue attenuated vaccines (TDLAV) recognize ZIKV-derived peptides. This cross-reactivity is explained by the sequence similarity of the two viruses, as the ZIKV peptides recognized by DENV-elicited memory T cells are identical or highly conserved in DENV and ZIKV. DENV exposure prior to ZIKV infection also influences the timing and magnitude of the T cell response. ZIKV-reactive T cells in the acute phase of infection are detected earlier and in greater magnitude in DENV-immune patients. Conversely, the frequency of ZIKV-reactive T cells continues to rise in the convalescent phase in DENV-naive donors but declines in DENV-preexposed donors, compatible with more efficient control of ZIKV replication and/or clearance of ZIKV antigen. The quality of responses is also influenced by previous DENV exposure, and ZIKV-specific CD8 T cells from DENV-preexposed donors selectively upregulated granzyme B and PD1, unlike DENV-naive donors. Finally, we discovered that ZIKV structural proteins (E, prM, and C) are major targets of both the CD4 and CD8 T cell responses, whereas DENV T cell epitopes are found primarily in nonstructural proteins. The issue of potential ZIKV and DENV cross-reactivity and how preexisting DENV T cell immunity modulates Zika T cell responses is of great relevance, as the two viruses often cocirculate and Zika virus has been spreading in geographical regions where DENV is endemic or hyperendemic. Our data show that memory T cell responses elicited by prior infection with DENV recognize ZIKV-derived peptides and that DENV exposure prior to ZIKV infection influences the timing, magnitude, and quality of the T cell response. Additionally, we show that ZIKV-specific responses target different proteins than DENV-specific responses, pointing toward important implications for vaccine design against this global threat.
Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.
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.
The four dengue virus (DENV) serotypes are mosquito-borne flaviviruses responsible for dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever. People exposed to DENV develop antibodies (Abs) that strongly neutralize the serotype responsible for infection. Historically, infection with DENV serotype 4 (DENV4) has been less common and less studied than infections with the other three serotypes. However, DENV4 has been responsible for recent large and sustained epidemics in Asia and Latin America. The neutralizing antibody responses and the epitopes targeted against DENV4 have not been characterized in human infection. In this study, we mapped and characterized epitopes on DENV4 recognized by neutralizing antibodies in people previously exposed to DENV4 infections or to a live attenuated DENV4 vaccine. To study the fine specificity of DENV4 neutralizing human antibodies, B cells from two people exposed to DENV4 were immortalized and screened to identify DENV-specific clones. Two human monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) that neutralized DENV4 were isolated, and their epitopes were finely mapped using recombinant viruses and alanine scan mutation array techniques. Both antibodies bound to quaternary structure epitopes near the hinge region between envelope protein domain I (EDI) and EDII. In parallel, to characterize the serum neutralizing antibody responses, convalescence-phase serum samples from people previously exposed to primary DENV4 natural infections or a monovalent DENV4 vaccine were analyzed. Natural infection and vaccination also induced serum-neutralizing antibodies that targeted similar epitope domains at the EDI/II hinge region. These studies defined a target of neutralizing antigenic site on DENV4 targeted by human antibodies following natural infection or vaccination. The four serotypes of dengue virus are the causative agents of dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever. People exposed to primary DENV infections develop long-term neutralizing antibody responses, but these principally recognize only the infecting serotype. An effective vaccine against dengue should elicit long-lasting protective antibody responses to all four serotypes simultaneously. We and others have defined antigenic sites on the envelope (E) protein of viruses of dengue virus serotypes 1, 2, and 3 targeted by human neutralizing antibodies. The epitopes on DENV4 E protein targeted by the human neutralizing antibodies and the mechanisms of serotype 4 neutralization are poorly understood. Here, we report the properties of human antibodies that neutralize dengue virus serotype 4. People exposed to serotype 4 infections or a live attenuated serotype 4 vaccine developed neutralizing antibodies that bound to similar sites on the viral E protein. These studies have provided a foundation for developing and evaluating DENV4 vaccines.
Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.
Megakaryocyte-erythrocyte progenitor (MEP) cells are potential in vivo targets of dengue virus (DENV); the virus has been found associated with megakaryocytes ex vivo and platelets during DENV-induced thrombocytopenia. We report here that DENV serotype 2 (DENV2) propagates well in human nondifferentiated MEP cell lines (Meg01 and K562). In comparison to virus propagated in Vero cells, viruses from MEP cell lines had similar structure and buoyant density. However, differences in MEP-DENV2 stability and composition were suggested by distinct protein patterns in western blot analysis. Also, antibody neutralization of envelope domain I/II on MEP-DENV2 was reduced relative to that on Vero-DENV2. Infectious DENV2 was produced at comparable kinetics and magnitude in MEP and Vero cells. However, fewer virion structures appeared in electron micrographs of MEP cells. We propose that DENV2 infects and produces virus efficiently in megakaryocytes and that megakaryocyte impairment might contribute to dengue disease pathogenesis.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
UNLABELLED - The four dengue virus (DENV) serotypes, DENV1 through 4, are endemic throughout tropical and subtropical regions of the world. While first infection confers long-term protective immunity against viruses of the infecting serotype, a second infection with virus of a different serotype carries a greater risk of severe dengue disease, including dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome. Recent studies demonstrate that humans exposed to DENV infections develop neutralizing antibodies that bind to quaternary epitopes formed by the viral envelope (E) protein dimers or higher-order assemblies required for the formation of the icosahedral viral envelope. Here we show that the quaternary epitope target of the human DENV3-specific neutralizing monoclonal antibody (MAb) 5J7 can be partially transplanted into a DENV1 strain by changing the core residues of the epitope contained within a single monomeric E molecule. MAb 5J7 neutralized the recombinant DENV1/3 strain in cell culture and was protective in a mouse model of infection with the DENV1/3 strain. However, the 5J7 epitope was only partially recreated by transplantation of the core residues because MAb 5J7 bound and neutralized wild-type (WT) DENV3 better than the DENV1/3 recombinant. Our studies demonstrate that it is possible to transplant a large number of discontinuous residues between DENV serotypes and partially recreate a complex antibody epitope, while retaining virus viability. Further refinement of this approach may lead to new tools for measuring epitope-specific antibody responses and new vaccine platforms.
IMPORTANCE - Dengue virus is the most important mosquito-borne pathogen of humans worldwide, with approximately one-half the world's population living in regions where dengue is endemic. Dengue immunity following infection is robust and thought to be conferred by antibodies raised against the infecting virus. However, the specific viral components that these antibodies recognize and how they neutralize the virus have been incompletely described. Here we map a region on dengue virus serotype 3 recognized by the human neutralizing antibody 5J7 and then test the functional significance of this region by transplanting it into a serotype 1 virus. Our studies demonstrate a region on dengue virus necessary for 5J7 binding and neutralization. Our work also demonstrates the technical feasibility of engineering dengue viruses to display targets of protective antibodies. This technology can be used to develop new dengue vaccines and diagnostic assays.
Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
UNLABELLED - The proposed antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) mechanism for severe dengue virus (DENV) disease suggests that non-neutralizing serotype cross-reactive antibodies generated during a primary infection facilitate entry into Fc receptor bearing cells during secondary infection, resulting in enhanced viral replication and severe disease. One group of cross-reactive antibodies that contributes considerably to this serum profile target the premembrane (prM) protein. We report here the isolation of a large panel of naturally occurring human monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) obtained from subjects following primary DENV serotype 1, 2, or 3 or secondary natural DENV infections or following primary DENV serotype 1 live attenuated virus vaccination to determine the antigenic landscape on the prM protein that is recognized by human antibodies. We isolated 25 prM-reactive human MAbs, encoded by diverse antibody-variable genes. Competition-binding studies revealed that all of the antibodies bound to a single major antigenic site on prM. Alanine scanning-based shotgun mutagenesis epitope mapping studies revealed diverse patterns of fine specificity of various clones, suggesting that different antibodies use varied binding poses to recognize several overlapping epitopes within the immunodominant site. Several of the antibodies interacted with epitopes on both prM and E protein residues. Despite the diverse genetic origins of the antibodies and differences in the fine specificity of their epitopes, each of these prM-reactive antibodies was capable of enhancing the DENV infection of Fc receptor-bearing cells.
IMPORTANCE - Antibodies may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of enhanced DENV infection and disease during secondary infections. A substantial proportion of enhancing antibodies generated in response to natural dengue infection are directed toward the prM protein. The fine specificity of human prM antibodies is not understood. Here, we isolated a panel of dengue prM-specific human monoclonal antibodies from individuals after infection in order to define the mode of molecular recognition by enhancing antibodies. We found that only a single antibody molecule can be bound to each prM protein at any given time. Distinct overlapping epitopes were mapped, but all of the epitopes lie within a single major antigenic site, suggesting that this antigenic domain forms an immunodominant region of the protein. Neutralization and antibody-dependent enhanced replication experiments showed that recognition of any of the epitopes within the major antigenic site on prM was sufficient to cause enhanced infection of target cells.
Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
UNLABELLED - Dengue virus serotype 2 (DENV2) is widespread and responsible for severe epidemics. While primary DENV2 infections stimulate serotype-specific protective responses, a leading vaccine failed to induce a similar protective response. Using human monoclonal antibodies (hMAbs) isolated from dengue cases and structure-guided design of a chimeric DENV, here we describe the major site on the DENV2 envelope (E) protein targeted by neutralizing antibodies. DENV2-specific neutralizing hMAb 2D22 binds to a quaternary structure epitope. We engineered and recovered a recombinant DENV4 that displayed the 2D22 epitope. DENV2 neutralizing antibodies in people exposed to infection or a live vaccine tracked with the 2D22 epitope on the DENV4/2 chimera. The chimera remained sensitive to DENV4 antibodies, indicating that the major neutralizing epitopes on DENV2 and -4 are at different sites. The ability to transplant a complex epitope between DENV serotypes demonstrates a hitherto underappreciated structural flexibility in flaviviruses, which could be harnessed to develop new vaccines and diagnostics.
IMPORTANCE - Dengue virus causes fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever. Dengue serotype 2 (DENV2) is widespread and frequently responsible for severe epidemics. Natural DENV2 infections stimulate serotype-specific neutralizing antibodies, but a leading DENV vaccine did not induce a similar protective response. While groups have identified epitopes of single monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), the molecular basis of DENV2 neutralization by polyclonal human immune sera is unknown. Using a recombinant DENV displaying serotype 2 epitopes, here we map the main target of DENV2 polyclonal neutralizing antibodies induced by natural infection and a live DENV2 vaccine candidate. Proper display of the epitope required the assembly of viral envelope proteins into higher-order structures present on intact virions. Despite the complexity of the epitope, it was possible to transplant the epitope between DENV serotypes. Our findings have immediate implications for evaluating dengue vaccines in the pipeline as well as designing next-generation vaccines.
Copyright © 2015 Gallichotte et al.
Dengue virus is a major global health threat and can lead to life-threatening hemorrhagic complications due to immune activation and cytokine production. Cross-reactive antibodies to an earlier dengue virus infection are a recognized risk factor for severe disease. These antibodies bind heterologous dengue serotypes and enhance infection into Fc-receptor-bearing cells, a process known as antibody-dependent enhancement of infection. One crucial cytokine seen elevated in severe dengue patients is IL-1β, a potent inflammatory cytokine matured by the inflammasome. We used a highly-physiologic system by studying antibody-dependent enhancement of IL-1β in primary human monocytes with anti-dengue human monoclonal antibodies isolated from patients. Antibody-enhancement increased viral replication in primary human monocytes inoculated with supernatant harvested from Vero cells infected with dengue virus serotype 2 (DENV-2) 16681. Surprisingly, IL-1β secretion induced by infectious supernatant harvested from two independent Vero cell lines was not enhanced by antibody. Secretion of multiple other inflammatory cytokines was also independent of antibody signaling. However, IL-1β secretion did require NLRP3 and caspase-1 activity. Immunodepletion of dengue virions from the infectious supernatant confirmed that virus was not the main IL-1β-inducing agent, suggesting that a supernatant component(s) not associated with the virion induced IL-1β production. We excluded RNA, DNA, contaminating LPS, viral NS1 protein, complement, and cytokines. In contrast, purified Vero-derived DENV-2 16681 exhibited antibody-enhancement of both infection and IL-1β induction. Furthermore, C6/36 mosquito cells did not produce such an inflammatory component, as crude supernatant harvested from insect cells infected with DENV-2 16681 induced antibody-dependent IL-1β secretion. This study indicates that Vero cells infected with DENV-2 16681 may produce inflammatory components during dengue virus propagation that mask the virus-specific immune response. Thus, the choice of host cell and viral purity should be carefully considered, while insect-derived virus represents a system that elicits antibody-dependent cytokine responses to dengue virus with fewer confounding issues.
There are four closely-related dengue virus (DENV) serotypes. Infection with one serotype generates antibodies that may cross-react and enhance infection with other serotypes in a secondary infection. We demonstrated that DENV serotype 2 (DENV2)-specific human monoclonal antibody (HMAb) 2D22 is therapeutic in a mouse model of antibody-enhanced severe dengue disease. We determined the cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structures of HMAb 2D22 complexed with two different DENV2 strains. HMAb 2D22 binds across viral envelope (E) proteins in the dimeric structure, which probably blocks the E protein reorganization required for virus fusion. HMAb 2D22 "locks" two-thirds of or all dimers on the virus surface, depending on the strain, but neutralizes these DENV2 strains with equal potency. The epitope defined by HMAb 2D22 is a potential target for vaccines and therapeutics.
Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Approximately 500,000 people are hospitalized with severe dengue illness annually. Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) of dengue virus (DENV) infection is believed to contribute to the pathogenic cytokine storm described in severe dengue patients, but the precise signaling pathways contributing to elevated cytokine production are not elucidated. IL-1β is a potent inflammatory cytokine that is frequently elevated during severe dengue, and the unique dual regulation of IL-1β provides an informative model to study ADE-induced cytokines. This work utilizes patient-derived anti-DENV mAbs and primary human monocytes to study ADE-induced IL-1β and other cytokines. ADE of DENV serotype 2 (DENV-2) elevates mature IL-1β secretion by monocytes independent of DENV replication by 4 h postinoculation (hpi). Prior to this, DENV immune complexes activate spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) within 1 hpi. Syk induces elevated IL1B, TNF, and IL6 mRNA by 2 hpi. Syk mediates elevated IL-1β secretion by activating ERK1/2, and both Syk and ERK1/2 inhibitors ablated ADE-induced IL-1β secretion. Maturation of pro-IL-1β during ADE requires caspase-1 and NLRP3, but caspase-1 is suboptimally increased by ADE and can be significantly enhanced by a typical inflammasome agonist, ATP. Importantly, this inflammatory Syk-ERK signaling axis requires DENV immune complexes, because DENV-2 in the presence of serotype-matched anti-DENV-2 mAb, but not anti-DENV-1 mAb, activates Syk, ERK, and IL-1β secretion. This study provides evidence that DENV-2 immune complexes activate Syk to mediate elevated expression of inflammatory cytokines. Syk and ERK may serve as new therapeutic targets for interfering with ADE-induced cytokine expression during severe dengue.
© 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.