Type- and subcomplex-specific neutralizing antibodies against domain III of dengue virus type 2 envelope protein recognize adjacent epitopes.
ABSTRACT: Neutralization of flaviviruses in vivo correlates with the development of an antibody response against the viral envelope (E) protein. Previous studies demonstrated that monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against an epitope on the lateral ridge of domain III (DIII) of the West Nile virus (WNV) E protein strongly protect against infection in animals. Based on X-ray crystallography and sequence analysis, an analogous type-specific neutralizing epitope for individual serotypes of the related flavivirus dengue virus (DENV) was hypothesized. Using yeast surface display of DIII variants, we defined contact residues of a panel of type-specific, subcomplex-specific, and cross-reactive MAbs that recognize DIII of DENV type 2 (DENV-2) and have different neutralizing potentials. Type-specific MAbs with neutralizing activity against DENV-2 localized to a sequence-unique epitope on the lateral ridge of DIII, centered at the FG loop near residues E383 and P384, analogous in position to that observed with WNV-specific strongly neutralizing MAbs. Subcomplex-specific MAbs that bound some but not all DENV serotypes and neutralized DENV-2 infection recognized an adjacent epitope centered on the connecting A strand of DIII at residues K305, K307, and K310. In contrast, several MAbs that had poor neutralizing activity against DENV-2 and cross-reacted with all DENV serotypes and other flaviviruses recognized an epitope with residues in the AB loop of DIII, a conserved region that is predicted to have limited accessibility on the mature virion. Overall, our experiments define adjacent and structurally distinct epitopes on DIII of DENV-2 which elicit type-specific, subcomplex-specific, and cross-reactive antibodies with different neutralizing potentials.
Project description:The four serotypes of dengue virus (DENV) cause the most important mosquito-borne viral disease in humans. The envelope (E) protein is the major target of neutralizing antibodies and contains 3 domains (domain I [DI], DII, and DIII). Recent studies reported that human monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) recognizing DIII, the D1/DII hinge, the E-dimer epitope, or a quaternary epitope involving DI/DII/DIII are more potently neutralizing than those recognizing the fusion loop (FL) of DII. Due to inefficient cleavage of the premembrane protein, DENV suspensions consist of a mixture of mature, immature, and partially immature particles. We investigated the neutralization and binding of 22 human MAbs to DENV serotype 1 (DENV1) virions with differential maturation status. Compared with FL MAbs, DIII, DI/DII hinge, and E-dimer epitope MAbs showed higher maximum binding and avidity to mature particles relative to immature particles; this feature may contribute to the strong neutralizing potency of such MAbs. FL-specific MAbs required 57 to 87% occupancy on mature particles to achieve half-maximal neutralization (NT50), whereas the potently neutralizing MAbs achieved NT50 states at 20 to 38% occupancy. Analysis of the MAb repertoire and polyclonal sera from patients with primary DENV1 infection supports the immunodominance of cross-reactive anti-E antibodies over type-specific antibodies. After depletion with viral particles from a heterologous DENV serotype, the type-specific neutralizing antibodies remained and showed binding features shared by potent neutralizing MAbs. Taken together, these findings suggest that the use of homogeneous mature DENV particles as an immunogen may induce more potent neutralizing antibodies against DENV than the use of immature or mixed particles.IMPORTANCE With an estimated 390 million infections per year, the four serotypes of dengue virus (DENV) cause the most important mosquito-borne viral disease in humans. The dengue vaccine Dengvaxia was licensed; however, its low efficacy among dengue-naive individuals and increased risk of causing severe dengue in children highlight the need for a better understanding of the role of human antibodies in immunity against DENV. DENV suspensions contain mature, immature, and partially immature particles. We investigated the binding of 22 human monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to the DENV envelope protein on particles with different maturation states. Potently neutralizing MAbs had higher relative maximum binding and avidity to mature particles than weakly neutralizing MAbs. This was supported by analysis of MAb repertoires and polyclonal sera from patients with primary DENV infection. Together, these findings suggest that mature particles may be the optimal form of presentation of the envelope protein to induce more potent neutralizing antibodies against DENV.
Project description:Although prior studies have characterized the neutralizing activities of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against dengue virus (DENV) serotypes 1, 2, and 3 (DENV-1, DENV-2, and DENV-3), few reports have assessed the activity of MAbs against DENV-4. Here, we evaluated the inhibitory activity of 81 new mouse anti-DENV-4 MAbs. We observed strain- and genotype-dependent differences in neutralization of DENV-4 by MAbs mapping to epitopes on domain II (DII) and DIII of the envelope (E) protein. Several anti-DENV-4 MAbs inefficiently inhibited at least one strain and/or genotype, suggesting that the exposure or sequence of neutralizing epitopes varies within isolates of this serotype. Remarkably, flavivirus cross-reactive MAbs, which bound to the highly conserved fusion loop in DII and inhibited infection of DENV-1, DENV-2, and DENV-3, more weakly neutralized five different DENV-4 strains encompassing the genetic diversity of the serotype after preincubation at 37°C. However, increasing the time of preincubation at 37°C or raising the temperature to 40°C enhanced the potency of DII fusion loop-specific MAbs and some DIII-specific MAbs against DENV-4 strains. Prophylaxis studies in two new DENV-4 mouse models showed that neutralization titers of MAbs after preincubation at 37°C correlated with activity in vivo. Our studies establish the complexity of MAb recognition against DENV-4 and suggest that differences in epitope exposure relative to other DENV serotypes affect antibody neutralization and protective activity.
Project description: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.
Project description:Antibody protection against flaviviruses is associated with the development of neutralizing antibodies against the viral envelope (E) protein. Prior studies with West Nile virus (WNV) identified therapeutic mouse and human monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) that recognized epitopes on domain III (DIII) of the E protein. To identify an analogous panel of neutralizing antibodies against DENV type-1 (DENV-1), we immunized mice with a genotype 2 strain of DENV-1 virus and generated 79 new MAbs, 16 of which strongly inhibited infection by the homologous virus and localized to DIII. Surprisingly, only two MAbs, DENV1-E105 and DENV1-E106, retained strong binding and neutralizing activity against all five DENV-1 genotypes. In an immunocompromised mouse model of infection, DENV1-E105 and DENV1-E106 exhibited therapeutic activity even when administered as a single dose four days after inoculation with a heterologous genotype 4 strain of DENV-1. Using epitope mapping and X-ray crystallographic analyses, we localized the neutralizing determinants for the strongly inhibitory MAbs to distinct regions on DIII. Interestingly, sequence variation in DIII alone failed to explain disparities in neutralizing potential of MAbs among different genotypes. Overall, our experiments define a complex structural epitope on DIII of DENV-1 that can be recognized by protective antibodies with therapeutic potential.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Dengue virus (DENV) is a significant public health threat in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. A therapeutic antibody against the viral envelope (E) protein represents a promising immunotherapy for disease control. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We generated seventeen novel mouse monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) with high reactivity against E protein of dengue virus type 2 (DENV-2). The mAbs were further dissected using recombinant E protein domain I-II (E-DI-II) and III (E-DIII) of DENV-2. Using plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) and mouse protection assay with lethal doses of DENV-2, we identified four serotype-specific mAbs that had high neutralizing activity against DENV-2 infection. Of the four, E-DIII targeting mAb DB32-6 was the strongest neutralizing mAb against diverse DENV-2 strains. Using phage display and virus-like particles (VLPs) we found that residue K310 in the E-DIII A-strand was key to mAb DB32-6 binding E-DIII. We successfully converted DB32-6 to a humanized version that retained potency for the neutralization of DENV-2 and did not enhance the viral infection. The DB32-6 showed therapeutic efficacy against mortality induced by different strains of DENV-2 in two mouse models even in post-exposure trials. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We used novel epitope mapping strategies, by combining phage display with VLPs, to identify the important A-strand epitopes with strong neutralizing activity. This study introduced potential therapeutic antibodies that might be capable of providing broad protection against diverse DENV-2 infections without enhancing activity in humans.
Project description:The four serotypes of dengue virus (DENV1-4) pose a serious threat to global health. Cross-reactive and non-neutralizing antibodies enhance viral infection, thereby exacerbating the disease via antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). Studying the epitopes targeted by these enhancing antibodies would improve the immune responses against DENV infection. In order to investigate the roles of antibodies in the pathogenesis of dengue, we generated a panel of 16 new monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against DENV4. Using plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT), we examined the neutralizing activity of these mAbs. Furthermore, we used the in vitro and in vivo ADE assay to evaluate the enhancement of DENV infection by mAbs. The results indicate that the cross-reactive and poorly neutralizing mAbs, DD11-4 and DD18-5, strongly enhance DENV1-4 infection of K562 cells and increase mortality in AG129 mice. The epitope residues of these enhancing mAbs were identified using virus-like particle (VLP) mutants. W212 and E26 are the epitope residues of DD11-4 and DD18-5, respectively. In conclusion, we generated and characterized 16 new mAbs against DENV4. DD11-4 and D18-5 possessed non-neutralizing activities and enhanced viral infection. Moreover, we identified the epitope residues of enhancing mAbs on envelope protein. These results may provide useful information for development of safe dengue vaccine.
Project description:Here we investigated the binding of Dengue virus envelope glycoprotein domain III (DIII) by two broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs), 4E11 and 4E5A. There are four serotypes of Dengue virus (DENV-1 to -4), whose DIII sequences vary by up to 49%. We used combinatorial alanine scanning mutagenesis, a phage display approach, to map functional epitopes (those residues that contribute most significantly to the energetics of antibody-antigen interaction) on these four serotypes. Our results showed that 4E11, which binds strongly to DENV-1, -2, and -3, and moderately to DENV-4, recognized a common conserved core functional epitope involving DIII residues K310, L/I387, L389, and W391. There were also unique recognition features for each serotype, suggesting that 4E11 has flexible recognition requirements. Similar scanning studies for the related bNAb 4E5A, which binds more tightly to DENV-4, identified broader functional epitopes on DENV-1. These results provide useful information for immunogen and therapeutic antibody design.
Project description:Antibodies protect against homologous Dengue virus (DENV) infection but can precipitate severe dengue by promoting heterotypic virus entry via Fc? receptors (Fc?R). We immortalized memory B cells from individuals after primary or secondary infection and analyzed anti-DENV monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) thus generated. MAbs to envelope (E) protein domain III (DIII) were either serotype specific or cross-reactive and potently neutralized DENV infection. DI/DII- or viral membrane protein prM-reactive mAbs neutralized poorly and showed broad cross-reactivity with the four DENV serotypes. All mAbs enhanced infection at subneutralizing concentrations. Three mAbs targeting distinct epitopes on the four DENV serotypes and engineered to prevent Fc?R binding did not enhance infection and neutralized DENV in vitro and in vivo as postexposure therapy in a mouse model of lethal DENV infection. Our findings reveal an unexpected degree of cross-reactivity in human antibodies against DENV and illustrate the potential for an antibody-based therapy to control severe dengue.
Project description:Dengue viruses (DENVs) are emerging, mosquito-borne flaviviruses which cause dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever. The DENV complex consists of 4 serotypes designated DENV1-DENV4. Following natural infection with DENV, individuals develop serotype specific, neutralizing antibody responses. Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) have been used to map neutralizing epitopes on dengue and other flaviviruses. Most serotype-specific, neutralizing MAbs bind to the lateral ridge of domain III of E protein (EDIII). It has been widely assumed that the EDIII lateral ridge epitope is conserved within each DENV serotype and a good target for vaccines. Using phylogenetic methods, we compared the amino acid sequence of 175 E proteins representing the different genotypes of DENV3 and identified a panel of surface exposed amino acids, including residues in EDIII, that are highly variant across the four DENV3 genotypes. The variable amino acids include six residues at the lateral ridge of EDIII. We used a panel of DENV3 mouse MAbs to assess the functional significance of naturally occurring amino acid variation. From the panel of antibodies, we identified three neutralizing MAbs that bound to EDIII of DENV3. Recombinant proteins and naturally occurring variant viruses were used to map the binding sites of the three MAbs. The three MAbs bound to overlapping but distinct epitopes on EDIII. Our empirical studies clearly demonstrate that the antibody binding and neutralization capacity of two MAbs was strongly influenced by naturally occurring mutations in DENV3. Our data demonstrate that the lateral ridge "type specific" epitope is not conserved between strains of DENV3. This variability should be considered when designing and evaluating DENV vaccines, especially those targeting EDIII.
Project description:Dengue viruses (DENV) comprise a family of related positive-strand RNA viruses that infect up to 100 million people annually. Currently, there is no approved vaccine or therapy to prevent infection or diminish disease severity. Protection against DENV is associated with the development of neutralizing antibodies that recognize the viral envelope (E) protein. Here, with the goal of identifying monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) that can function as postexposure therapy, we generated a panel of 82 new MAbs against DENV-3, including 24 highly neutralizing MAbs. Using yeast surface display, we localized the epitopes of the most strongly neutralizing MAbs to the lateral ridge of domain III (DIII) of the DENV type 3 (DENV-3) E protein. While several MAbs functioned prophylactically to prevent DENV-3-induced lethality in a stringent intracranial-challenge model of mice, only three MAbs exhibited therapeutic activity against a homologous strain when administered 2 days after infection. Remarkably, no MAb in our panel protected prophylactically against challenge by a strain from a heterologous DENV-3 genotype. Consistent with this, no single MAb neutralized efficiently the nine different DENV-3 strains used in this study, likely because of the sequence variation in DIII within and between genotypes. Our studies suggest that strain diversity may limit the efficacy of MAb therapy or tetravalent vaccines against DENV, as neutralization potency generally correlated with a narrowed genotype specificity.