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.
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