InVivoMAb anti-West Nile/dengue virus E protein (Clone: E60)
Goo, L., et al. (2018). "The Zika virus envelope protein glycan loop regulates virion antigenicity." Virology 515: 191-202. PubMed
Because antibodies are an important component of flavivirus immunity, understanding the antigenic structure of flaviviruses is critical. Compared to dengue virus (DENV), the loop containing the single N-linked glycosylation site on Zika virus (ZIKV) envelope (E) proteins extends further towards the DII fusion loop (DII-FL) on neighboring E proteins within E dimers on mature viruses. Although ZIKV is poorly neutralized by DII-FL antibodies, we demonstrated significantly increased neutralization sensitivity of ZIKV particles incorporating the DENV glycan loop. Increased neutralization sensitivity was independent of E protein glycosylation: ZIKV lacking E protein glycans remained poorly neutralized, whereas ZIKV loop chimeras with or without an E protein glycan were potently neutralized. ZIKV particles lacking the E protein glycan were capable of infecting Raji cells expressing the lectin DC-SIGNR, suggesting the prM glycan of partially mature particles can facilitate entry. Our study provides insight into the determinants of ZIKV E protein function and antigenicity.
Dowd, K. A., et al. (2011). "A dynamic landscape for antibody binding modulates antibody-mediated neutralization of West Nile virus." PLoS Pathog 7(6): e1002111. PubMed
Neutralizing antibodies are a significant component of the host's protective response against flavivirus infection. Neutralization of flaviviruses occurs when individual virions are engaged by antibodies with a stoichiometry that exceeds a required threshold. From this "multiple-hit" perspective, the neutralizing activity of antibodies is governed by the affinity with which it binds its epitope and the number of times this determinant is displayed on the surface of the virion. In this study, we investigated time-dependent changes in the fate of West Nile virus (WNV) decorated with antibody in solution. Experiments with the well-characterized neutralizing monoclonal antibody (MAb) E16 revealed a significant increase in neutralization activity over time that could not be explained by the kinetics of antibody binding, virion aggregation, or the action of complement. Additional kinetic experiments using the fusion-loop specific MAb E53, which has limited neutralizing activity because it recognizes a relatively inaccessible epitope on mature virions, identified a role of virus "breathing" in regulating neutralization activity. Remarkably, MAb E53 neutralized mature WNV in a time- and temperature-dependent manner. This phenomenon was confirmed in studies with a large panel of MAbs specific for epitopes in each domain of the WNV envelope protein, with sera from recipients of a live attenuated WNV vaccine, and in experiments with dengue virus. Given enough time, significant inhibition of infection was observed even for antibodies with very limited, or no neutralizing activity in standard neutralization assays. Together, our data suggests that the structural dynamics of flaviviruses impacts antibody-mediated neutralization via exposure of otherwise inaccessible epitopes, allowing for antibodies to dock on the virion with a stoichiometry sufficient for neutralization.
Oliphant, T., et al. (2006). "Antibody recognition and neutralization determinants on domains I and II of West Nile Virus envelope protein." J Virol 80(24): 12149-12159. PubMed
Previous studies have demonstrated that monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against an epitope on the lateral surface of domain III (DIII) of the West Nile virus (WNV) envelope (E) strongly protect against infection in animals. Herein, we observed significantly less efficient neutralization by 89 MAbs that recognized domain I (DI) or II (DII) of WNV E protein. Moreover, in cells expressing Fc gamma receptors, many of the DI- and DII-specific MAbs enhanced infection over a broad range of concentrations. Using yeast surface display of E protein variants, we identified 25 E protein residues to be critical for recognition by DI- or DII-specific neutralizing MAbs. These residues cluster into six novel and one previously characterized epitope located on the lateral ridge of DI, the linker region between DI and DIII, the hinge interface between DI and DII, and the lateral ridge, central interface, dimer interface, and fusion loop of DII. Approximately 45% of DI-DII-specific MAbs showed reduced binding with mutations in the highly conserved fusion loop in DII: 85% of these (34 of 40) cross-reacted with the distantly related dengue virus (DENV). In contrast, MAbs that bound the other neutralizing epitopes in DI and DII showed no apparent cross-reactivity with DENV E protein. Surprisingly, several of the neutralizing epitopes were located in solvent-inaccessible positions in the context of the available pseudoatomic model of WNV. Nonetheless, DI and DII MAbs protect against WNV infection in mice, albeit with lower efficiency than DIII-specific neutralizing MAbs.
Nybakken, G. E., et al. (2005). "Structural basis of West Nile virus neutralization by a therapeutic antibody." Nature 437(7059): 764-769. PubMed
West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus closely related to the human epidemic-causing dengue, yellow fever and Japanese encephalitis viruses. In establishing infection these icosahedral viruses undergo endosomal membrane fusion catalysed by envelope glycoprotein rearrangement of the putative receptor-binding domain III (DIII) and exposure of the hydrophobic fusion loop. Humoral immunity has an essential protective function early in the course of West Nile virus infection. Here, we investigate the mechanism of neutralization by the E16 monoclonal antibody that specifically binds DIII. Structurally, the E16 antibody Fab fragment engages 16 residues positioned on four loops of DIII, a consensus neutralizing epitope sequence conserved in West Nile virus and distinct in other flaviviruses. The E16 epitope protrudes from the surface of mature virions in three distinct environments, and docking studies predict Fab binding will leave five-fold clustered epitopes exposed. We also show that E16 inhibits infection primarily at a step after viral attachment, potentially by blocking envelope glycoprotein conformational changes. Collectively, our results suggest that a vaccine strategy targeting the dominant DIII epitope may elicit safe and effective immune responses against flaviviral diseases.