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Molecular characterization of two sub-family specific monoclonal antibodies to meningococcal Factor H binding protein.

ABSTRACT: Factor H binding protein (FHbp) is a component of two licensed vaccines for prevention of sepsis and meningitis caused by serogroup B meningococci. FHbp binds human Factor H (FH), which contributes to evasion of host immunity and FHbp sequence variants can be classified into two sub-families. Antibodies against FHbp elicit complement-mediated killing and can inhibit recruitment of FH to the bacterial surface. We report epitope mapping studies of two murine IgG mAbs, designated JAR 31 and JAR 36, isolated from a mouse immunized with FHbp in sub-family A, which is present in ?30-40% of invasive isolates. In the present study, we tested the reactivity of mAbs JAR 31 and JAR 36 with seven natural FHbp sequence variants from different phylogenic groups. We screened bacteriophage-displayed peptide libraries to identify amino acid residues contributing to the JAR 36 epitope. Based on the reactivities of mAbs JAR 31 and JAR 36 with the seven FHbp variants, and the frequent occurrences of aspartate (D) and lysine (K) residues in the JAR 36-bound phage peptides, we selected six residues in the carboxyl-terminal region of FHbp for replacement with alanine (A). The D201A and K203A substitutions respectively eliminated and decreased binding of mAbs JAR 31 and JAR 36 to FHbp. These substitutions did not affect binding of the control mAb JAR 33 or of human FH. JAR 31 or JAR 36 mediated cooperative complement-mediated bactericidal activity with other anti-FHbp mAbs. The identification of two amino acid residues involved in the epitopes recognized by these anti-FHbp mAbs may contribute to a more complete understanding of the spatial requirements for cooperative anti-FHbp mAb bactericidal activity.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5889710 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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