Antibody Binding Modulates Conformational Exchange in Domain III of Dengue Virus E Protein.
ABSTRACT: Domain III of dengue virus E protein (DIII) participates in the recognition of cell receptors and in structural rearrangements required for membrane fusion and ultimately viral infection; furthermore, it contains epitopes for neutralizing antibodies and has been considered a potential vaccination agent. In this work, we addressed various structural aspects of DIII and their relevance for both the dengue virus infection mechanism and antibody recognition. We provided a dynamic description of DIII at physiological and endosomal pHs and in complex with the neutralizing human antibody DV32.6. We observed conformational exchange in the isolated DIII, in regions important for the packing of E protein dimers on the virus surface. This conformational diversity is likely to facilitate the partial detachment of DIII from the other E protein domains, which is required to achieve fusion to the host cellular membranes and to expose the epitopes of many anti-DIII antibodies. A comparison of DIII of two dengue virus serotypes revealed many common features but also some possibly unexpected differences. Antibody binding to DIII of dengue virus serotype 4 attenuated the conformational exchange in the epitope region but, surprisingly, generated exchange in other parts of DIII through allosteric effects.Many studies have provided extensive structural information on the E protein and particularly on DIII, also in complex with antibodies. However, there is very scarce information regarding the molecular dynamics of DIII, and almost nothing is available on the dynamic effect of antibody binding, especially at the quantitative level. This work provides one of the very rare descriptions of the effect of antibody binding on antigen dynamics.
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:There is still no safe and effective vaccine against dengue virus infection. Epidemics of dengue virus infection are increasingly a threat to human health around the world. Antibodies generated in response to dengue infection have been shown to impact disease development and effectiveness of dengue vaccine. In this study, we investigated monoclonal antibody responses to an experimental dengue vaccine in rhesus macaques. Variable regions of both heavy chain (VH) and light chain (VL) were cloned from single antibody-secreting B cells. A total of 780 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) composed of paired VH and VL were characterized. Results show that the vaccination induces mAbs with diverse germline sequences and a wide range of binding affinities. Six potent neutralizing mAbs were identified among 130 dengue envelope protein binders. Critical amino acids for each neutralizing antibody binding to the dengue envelope protein were identified by alanine scanning of mutant libraries. Diverse epitopes were identified, including epitopes on the lateral ridge of DIII, the I-III hinge, the bc loop adjacent to the fusion loop of DII, and the ?-strands and loops of DI. Significantly, one of the neutralizing mAbs has a previously unknown epitope in DII at the interface of the envelope and membrane protein and is capable of neutralizing all four dengue serotypes. Taken together, the results of this study not only provide preclinical validation for the tested experimental vaccine, but also shed light on a potential application of the rhesus macaque model for better dengue vaccine evaluation and design of vaccines and immunization strategies.
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: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:Dengue, a mosquito borne viral disease caused by dengue virus has emerged as a major health problem during the last few decades. The envelope domain III (DIII) protein of dengue virus is highly immunogenic and capable of inducing neutralizing antibodies against wild-type dengue virus. The envelope domain III protein is a potential subunit vaccine candidate as well as a diagnostic reagent for dengue. This report describes the high yield production and immunogenicity of recombinant DIII proteins of dengue virus type 1 and 2. The subunit DIII proteins were produced in Escherichia coli using batch and fed-batch fermentation process. Immobilized metal affinity chromatography was used to capture DIII proteins of dengue virus type 1 and 2. The purified proteins were refolded by diafiltration to achieve biologically active proteins. After fed-batch fermentation, the recombinant E. coli resulted in purified DIII proteins of about 10.06 mg and 47.70 mg per gram of dry cell weight for recombinant dengue virus type 1 and 2 respectively with more than 95% purity. Biological function of the purified DIII proteins were confirmed by their ability to generate DIII specific antibodies in mice. The DIII antigens in combination with adjuvant resulted antibody endpoint titers of 1:64,000 and 1:1,28,000 for recombinant dengue virus type 1 and 2 respectively. These findings establish that the DIII proteins in combination with adjuvant are immunogenic, which suggests that refolded and purified DIII proteins can be a potential vaccine candidates.
Project description: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.
Project description:Although dengue virus (DENV) infection severely threatens the health of humans, no specific antiviral drugs are currently approved for clinical use against DENV infection. Attachment and fusion are 2 critical steps for the flavivirus infection, and the corresponding functional epitopes are located at E protein domain III (E-DIII) and domain II (E-DII), respectively. Here, we constructed a bispecific antibody (DVD-1A1D-2A10) based on the 2 well-characterized anti-DENV monoclonal antibodies 1A1D-2 (1A1D) and 2A10G6 (2A10). The 1A1D antibody binds E-DIII and can block the virus attaching to the cell surface, while the 2A10 antibody binds E-DII and is able to prevent the virus from fusing with the endosomal membrane. Our data showed that DVD-1A1D-2A10 retained the antigen-binding activity of both parental antibodies. Importantly, it was demonstrated to be significantly more effective at neutralizing DENV than its parental antibodies both in vitro and in vivo, even better than the combination of them. To eliminate the potential antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) effect, this bispecific antibody was successfully engineered to prevent Fc-?-R interaction. Overall, we generated a bispecific anti-DENV antibody targeting both attachment and fusion stages, and this bispecific antibody broadly neutralized all 4 serotypes of DENV without risk of ADE, suggesting that it has great potential as a novel antiviral strategy against DENV.
Project description:Vaccines against dengue virus (DV) are commercially nonexistent. A subunit vaccination strategy may be of value, especially if a safe viral vector acts as biologically active adjuvant. In this paper, we focus on an immunoglobulin-like, independently folded domain III (DIII) from DV 2 envelope protein (E), which contains epitopes that elicits highly specific neutralizing antibodies. We modified the hepatitis B small surface antigen (HBsAg, S) in order to display DV 2 DIII on a virus-like particle (VLP), thus generating the hybrid antigen DIII-S. Two varieties of measles virus (MV) vectors were developed to express DIII-S. The first expresses the hybrid antigen from an additional transcription unit (ATU) and the second additionally expresses HBsAg from a separate ATU. We found that this second MV vectoring the hybrid VLPs displaying DIII-S on an unmodified HBsAg scaffold were immunogenic in MV-susceptible mice (HuCD46Ge-IFNar(k)(o)), eliciting robust neutralizing responses (averages) against MV (1:1280 NT90), hepatitis B virus (787 mIU/mL), and DV2 (1:160 NT50) in all of the tested animals. Conversely, the MV vector expressing only DIII-S induced immunity against MV alone. In summary, DV2 neutralizing responses can be generated by displaying E DIII on a scaffold of HBsAg-based VLPs, vectored by MV.
Project description:The viral E proteins of dengue virus (DENV) and Zika virus (ZIKV) are the major viral proteins involved in receptor binding and fusion, and for the induction of protective antibodies against viral infections. DIII of the E proteins is an independent domain and stretches out on the virion surface that can elicit type-specific neutralizing antibodies. For recombinant DIII vaccine development, prime-boost immunizations can provide an advantage of eliciting more type-specific neutralizing antibodies by recalling DIII antigens after DIII booster to improve protection. Methods: The DIII of the E genes of DENV and ZIKV were fused with bacterial fliC gene for the expression of flagellin-DIII (FliC-DIII) fusion proteins. Prime-boost immunization strategies by the second-dose booster of four DENV serotype or ZIKV FliC-DIII fusion proteins were used to investigate the induction of neutralizing antibodies and protection against viral infections. Cross-reactive non-neutralizing antibodies in each group of antisera were also examined using in vitro antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) assay. A series of glycan-masking E antigens were finally constructed for prime-boost immunizations to abolish the elicitation of cross-reactive non-neutralizing antibodies for ADE activity. Results: We showed that inclusion of a bivalent live-attenuated vaccine with a FliC-DIII booster is superior in eliciting neutralization titers and protection in vivo against all four-serotype DENVs. We also demonstrated that recombinant adenovirus vectors encoding four-serotype DENV prMEs with a FliC-DIII prime-boost scheme is capable of eliciting good antibody responses. In contract, recombinant adenovirus vector of ZIKV prME gene priming, followed by ZIKV FliC-DIII booster did not improve vaccine efficacy. The glycan-masking mutation on the ZIKV E protein ij loop (E-248NHT), but not on DENV2 E protein ij loop (E-242NHT), resulted in abolishing the elicitation of cross-reactive antibodies for DENV and ZIKV infection enhancements. Conclusions: Our findings can provide useful information for designing novel immunogens and vaccination strategies in an attempt to develop a safe and efficacious DENV or ZIKV vaccine.