ResearchPad - epitope-mapping https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[When two are better than one: Modeling the mechanisms of antibody mixtures]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14641 With the rise of new antibody combinations in therapeutic regimens, it is important to understand how antibodies work together as well as individually. Here, we investigate the specific case of monoclonal antibodies targeting a cancer-causing receptor or the influenza virus and develop a statistical mechanical framework that predicts the effectiveness of a mixture of antibodies. The power of this model lies in its ability to make a large number of predictions based on a limited amount of data. For example, once 10 antibodies have been individually characterized and their epitopes have been mapped, our model can predict how any of the 210 = 1024 combinations will behave. This predictive power can aid therapeutic efforts by assessing which combinations of antibodies will elicit the most effective response.

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<![CDATA[Proteomic Characterization of Helicobacter pylori CagA Antigen Recognized by Child Serum Antibodies and Its Epitope Mapping by Peptide Array]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa1ab0ee8fa60ba5f2d

Serum antibodies against pathogenic bacteria play immunologically protective roles, and can be utilized as diagnostic markers of infection. This study focused on Japanese child serum antibodies against Helicobacter pylori, a chronically-infected gastric bacterium which causes gastric cancer in adults. Serological diagnosis for H. pylori infection is well established for adults, but it needs to be improved for children. Serum samples from 24 children, 22 H. pylori (Hp)-positive and 2 Hp-negative children, were used to catalogue antigenic proteins of a Japanese strain CPY2052 by two-dimensional electrophoresis followed by immunoblot and LC-MS/MS analysis. In total, 24 proteins were identified as candidate antigen proteins. Among these, the major virulence factor, cytotoxin-associated gene A protein (CagA) was the most reactive antigen recognized by all the Hp-positive sera even from children under the age of 3 years. The major antigenic part of CagA was identified in the middle region, and two peptides containing CagA epitopes were identified using a newly developed peptide/protein-combined array chip method, modified from our previous protein chip method. Each of the epitopes was found to contain amino acid residue(s) unique to East Asian CagA. Epitope analysis of CagA indicated importance of the regional CagA antigens for serodiagnosis of H. pylori infection in children.

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<![CDATA[Pooled-Peptide Epitope Mapping Strategies Are Efficient and Highly Sensitive: An Evaluation of Methods for Identifying Human T Cell Epitope Specificities in Large-Scale HIV Vaccine Efficacy Trials]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac7ab0ee8fa60bb2f03

The interferon gamma, enzyme-linked immunospot (IFN-γ ELISpot) assay is widely used to identify viral antigen-specific T cells is frequently employed to quantify T cell responses in HIV vaccine studies. It can be used to define T cell epitope specificities using panels of peptide antigens, but with sample and cost constraints there is a critical need to improve the efficiency of epitope mapping for large and variable pathogens. We evaluated two epitope mapping strategies, based on group testing, for their ability to identify vaccine-induced T-cells from participants in the Step HIV-1 vaccine efficacy trial, and compared the findings to an approach of assaying each peptide individually. The group testing strategies reduced the number of assays required by >7-fold without significantly altering the accuracy of T-cell breadth estimates. Assays of small pools containing 7–30 peptides were highly sensitive and effective at detecting single positive peptides as well as summating responses to multiple peptides. Also, assays with a single 15-mer peptide, containing an identified epitope, did not always elicit a response providing validation that 15-mer peptides are not optimal antigens for detecting CD8+ T cells. Our findings further validate pooling-based epitope mapping strategies, which are critical for characterizing vaccine-induced T-cell responses and more broadly for informing iterative vaccine design. We also show ways to improve their application with computational peptide:MHC binding predictors that can accurately identify the optimal epitope within a 15-mer peptide and within a pool of 15-mer peptides.

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<![CDATA[Reverse epitope mapping of the E2 glycoprotein in antibody associated hepatitis C virus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be00df

The humoral immune system responds to chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection by producing neutralising antibodies (nAb). In this study we generated three HCV pseudoparticles in which E1E2 glycoprotein sequence was targeted by the host humoral immune system. We used patient derived virus free Fabs (VF-Fabs) obtained from HCV genotype 1a (n = 3), genotype 1b (n = 7) and genotype 3a (n = 1) for neutralisation of HCVpp produced in this study both individually and in combination. Based on the available anti-HCV monoclonal nAb mapping information we selected amino acid region 384–619 for conformational epitope mapping. Amongst our notable findings, we observed significant reduction in HCVpp infectivity (p<0.05) when challenged with a combination of inter genotype and subtype VF-Fabs. We also identified five binding motifs targeted by patient derived VF-Fab upon peptide mapping, of which two shared the residues with previously reported epitopes. One epitope lies within an immunodominant HVR1 and two were novel. In summary, we used a reverse epitope mapping strategy to identify preferred epitopes by the host humoral immune system. Additionally, we have combined different VF-Fabs to further reduce the HCVpp infectivity. Our data indicates that combining the antigen specificity of antibodies may be a useful strategy to reduce (in-vitro) infectivity.

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<![CDATA[Cross-Neutralising Nanobodies Bind to a Conserved Pocket in the Hemagglutinin Stem Region Identified Using Yeast Display and Deep Mutational Scanning]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da06ab0ee8fa60b75ccd

Cross-neutralising monoclonal antibodies against influenza hemagglutinin (HA) are of considerable interest as both therapeutics and diagnostic tools. We have recently described five different single domain antibodies (nanobodies) which share this cross-neutralising activity and suggest their small size, high stability, and cleft binding properties may present distinct advantages over equivalent conventional antibodies. We have used yeast display in combination with deep mutational scanning to give residue level resolution of positions in the antibody-HA interface which are crucial for binding. In addition, we have mapped positions within HA predicted to have minimal effect on antibody binding when mutated. Our cross-neutralising nanobodies were shown to bind to a highly conserved pocket in the HA2 domain of A(H1N1)pdm09 influenza virus overlapping with the fusion peptide suggesting their mechanism of action is through the inhibition of viral membrane fusion. We also note that the epitope overlaps with that of CR6261 and F10 which are human monoclonal antibodies in clinical development as immunotherapeutics. Although all five nanobodies mapped to the same highly conserved binding pocket we observed differences in the size of the epitope footprint which has implications in comparing the relative genetic barrier each nanobody presents to a rapidly evolving influenza virus. To further refine our epitope map, we have re-created naturally occurring mutations within this HA stem epitope and tested their effect on binding using yeast display. We have shown that a D46N mutation in the HA2 stem domain uniquely interferes with binding of R2b-E8. Further testing of this substitution in the context of full length purified HA from 1918 H1N1 pandemic (Spanish flu), 2009 H1N1 pandemic (swine flu) and highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 demonstrated binding which correlated with D46 whereas binding to seasonal H1N1 strains carrying N46 was absent. In addition, our deep sequence analysis predicted that binding to the emerging H1N1 strain (A/Christchurch/16/2010) carrying the HA2-E47K mutation would not affect binding was confirmed experimentally. This demonstrates yeast display, in combination with deep sequencing, may be able to predict antibody reactivity to emerging influenza strains so assisting in the preparation for future influenza pandemics.

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<![CDATA[Antibodies Targeting Closely Adjacent or Minimally Overlapping Epitopes Can Displace One Another]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dabbab0ee8fa60baec7a

Here we describe how real-time label-free biosensors can be used to identify antibodies that compete for closely adjacent or minimally overlapping epitopes on their specific antigen via a mechanism of antibody displacement. By kinetically perturbing one another’s binding towards their antigen via the formation of a transient trimolecular complex, antibodies can displace one another in a fully reversible and dose-dependent manner. Displacements can be readily identified when epitope binning assays are performed in a classical sandwich assay format whereby a solution antibody (analyte) is tested for binding to its antigen that is first captured via an immobilized antibody (ligand) because an inverted sandwiching response is observed when an analyte displaces a ligand, signifying the antigen’s unusually rapid dissociation from its ligand. In addition to classifying antibodies within a panel in terms of their ability to block or sandwich pair with one another, displacement provides a hybrid mechanism of competition. Using high-throughput epitope binning studies we demonstrate that displacements can be observed on any target, if the antibody panel contains appropriate epitope diversity. Unidirectional displacements occurring between disparate-affinity antibodies can generate apparent asymmetries in a cross-blocking experiment, confounding their interpretation. However, examining competition across a wide enough concentration range will often reveal that these displacements are reversible. Displacement provides a gentle and efficient way of eluting antigen from an otherwise high affinity binding partner which can be leveraged in designing reagents or therapeutic antibodies with unique properties.

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<![CDATA[High Resolution Mapping of Bactericidal Monoclonal Antibody Binding Epitopes on Staphylococcus aureus Antigen MntC]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da76ab0ee8fa60b96a00

The Staphylococcus aureus manganese transporter protein MntC is under investigation as a component of a prophylactic S.aureus vaccine. Passive immunization with monoclonal antibodies mAB 305-78-7 and mAB 305-101-8 produced using MntC was shown to significantly reduce S. aureus burden in an infant rat model of infection. Earlier interference mapping suggested that a total of 23 monoclonal antibodies generated against MntC could be subdivided into three interference groups, representing three independent immunogenic regions. In the current work binding epitopes for selected representatives of each of these interference groups (mAB 305-72-5 – group 1, mAB 305-78-7 – group 2, and mAB 305-101-8 – group 3) were mapped using Hydrogen-Deuterium Exchange Mass Spectrometry (DXMS). All of the identified epitopes are discontinuous, with binding surface formed by structural elements that are separated within the primary sequence of the protein but adjacent in the context of the three-dimensional structure. The approach was validated by co-crystallizing the Fab fragment of one of the antibodies (mAB 305-78-7) with MntC and solving the three-dimensional structure of the complex. X-ray results themselves and localization of the mAB 305-78-7 epitope were further validated using antibody binding experiments with MntC variants containing substitutions of key amino acid residues. These results provided insight into the antigenic properties of MntC and how these properties may play a role in protecting the hostagainst S. aureus infection by preventing the capture and transport of Mn2+, a key element that the pathogen uses to evade host immunity.

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<![CDATA[Isolation of a Defective Prion Mutant from Natural Scrapie]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9fab0ee8fa60ba51df

It is widely known that prion strains can mutate in response to modification of the replication environment and we have recently reported that prion mutations can occur in vitro during amplification of vole-adapted prions by Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification on bank vole substrate (bvPMCA). Here we exploited the high efficiency of prion replication by bvPMCA to study the in vitro propagation of natural scrapie isolates. Although in vitro vole-adapted PrPSc conformers were usually similar to the sheep counterpart, we repeatedly isolated a PrPSc mutant exclusively when starting from extremely diluted seeds of a single sheep isolate. The mutant and faithful PrPSc conformers showed to be efficiently autocatalytic in vitro and were characterized by different PrP protease resistant cores, spanning aa ∼155–231 and ∼80–231 respectively, and by different conformational stabilities. The two conformers could thus be seen as different bona fide PrPSc types, putatively accounting for prion populations with different biological properties. Indeed, once inoculated in bank vole the faithful conformer was competent for in vivo replication while the mutant was unable to infect voles, de facto behaving like a defective prion mutant. Overall, our findings confirm that prions can adapt and evolve in the new replication environments and that the starting population size can affect their evolutionary landscape, at least in vitro. Furthermore, we report the first example of “authentic” defective prion mutant, composed of brain-derived PrPC and originating from a natural scrapie isolate. Our results clearly indicate that the defective mutant lacks of some structural characteristics, that presumably involve the central region ∼90–155, critical for infectivity but not for in vitro replication. Finally, we propose a molecular mechanism able to account for the discordant in vitro and in vivo behavior, suggesting possible new paths for investigating the molecular bases of prion infectivity.

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<![CDATA[T Cell Epitope Mapping of the E-Protein of West Nile Virus in BALB/c Mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f6ab0ee8fa60b701d3

West Nile virus (WNV) is a zoonotic virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes. It is the causative agent of the disease syndrome called West Nile fever. In some human cases, a WNV infection can be associated with severe neurological symptoms. The immune response to WNV is multifactorial and includes both humoral and cellular immunity. T-cell epitope mapping of the WNV envelope (E) protein has been performed in C57BL/6 mice, but not in BALB/c mice. Therefore, we performed in BALB/c mice a T-cell epitope mapping using a series of peptides spanning the WNV envelope (E) protein. To this end, the WNV-E specific T cell repertoire was first expanded by vaccinating BALB/c mice with a DNA vaccine that generates subviral particles that resemble West Nile virus. Furthermore, the WNV structural protein was expressed in Escherichia coli as a series of overlapping 20-mer peptides fused to a carrier-protein. Cytokine-based ELISPOT assays using these purified peptides revealed positive WNV-specific T cell responses to peptides within the different domains of the E-protein.

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<![CDATA[Recognition of Highly Diverse Type-1 and -2 Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Viruses (PRRSVs) by T-Lymphocytes Induced in Pigs after Experimental Infection with a Type-2 PRRSV Strain]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9efab0ee8fa60b6def9

Background/Aim

Live attenuated vaccines confer partial protection in pigs before the appearance of neutralizing antibodies, suggesting the contribution of cell-mediated immunity (CMI). However, PRRSV-specific T-lymphocyte responses and protective mechanisms need to be further defined. To this end, the hypothesis was tested that PRRSV-specific T-lymphocytes induced by exposure to type-2 PRRSV can recognize diverse isolates.

Methods

An IFN-gamma ELISpot assay was used to enumerate PRRSV-specific T-lymphocytes from PRRSVSD23983-infected gilts and piglets born after in utero infection against 12 serologically and genetically distinct type-1 and -2 PRRSV isolates. The IFN-gamma ELISpot assay using synthetic peptides spanning all open reading frames of PRRSVSD23983 was utilized to localize epitopes recognized by T-lymphocytes. Virus neutralization tests were carried out using the challenge strain (type-2 PRRSVSD23983) and another strain (type-2 PRRSVVR2332) with high genetic similarity to evaluate cross-reactivity of neutralizing antibodies in gilts after PRRSVSD23983 infection.

Results

At 72 days post infection, T-lymphocytes from one of three PRRSVSD23983-infected gilts recognized all 12 diverse PRRSV isolates, while T-lymphocytes from the other two gilts recognized all but one isolate. Furthermore, five of nine 14-day-old piglets infected in utero with PRRSVSD23983 had broadly reactive T-lymphocytes, including one piglet that recognized all 12 isolates. Overlapping peptides encompassing all open reading frames of PRRSVSD23983 were used to identify ≥28 peptides with T-lymphocyte epitopes from 10 viral proteins. This included one peptide from the M protein that was recognized by T-lymphocytes from all three gilts representing two completely mismatched MHC haplotypes. In contrast to the broadly reactive T-lymphocytes, neutralizing antibody responses were specific to the infecting PRRSVSD23983 isolate.

Conclusion

These results demonstrated that T-lymphocytes recognizing antigenically and genetically diverse isolates were induced by infection with a type 2 PRRSV strain (SD23983). If these reponses have cytotoxic or other protective functions, they may help overcome the suboptimal heterologous protection conferred by conventional vaccines.

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<![CDATA[Antibody Binding Studies Reveal Conformational Flexibility of the Bacillus cereus Non-Hemolytic Enterotoxin (Nhe) A-Component]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dadeab0ee8fa60bbb05e

The non-hemolytic enterotoxin complex (Nhe) is supposed to be the main virulence factor of B. cereus causing a diarrheal outcome of food poisoning. This tripartite toxin consists of the single components NheA, -B and -C all of them being necessary for maximum toxicity. In the past, research activities aiming to elucidate the mode-of-action of Nhe were mostly focused on the B- and C-component. In this study the generation of novel monoclonal antibodies (mAb) and their thorough characterization enabled the determination of key features for NheA. By the means of immunoaffinity chromatography it could be shown that NheA does not interact with -B and -C in solution. Additionally, the establishment of a highly sensitive sandwich-EIA now enables the detection of NheA in B. cereus supernatants down to 20 pg ml-1.Peptide-based epitope mapping in combination with partially deleted recombinant NheA fragments allowed the allocation of the binding regions for the three mAbs under study. Furthermore, by different EIA set-ups the conformational flexibility of NheA could be shown. For two of the antibodies under study different mechanisms of NheA neutralization were proven. Due to prevention of complete pore formation by one of the antibodies, NheA could be detected in an intermediate stage of the tripartite complex on the cell surface. Taken together, the results obtained in the present study allow a refinement of the mode-of-action for the Nhe toxin-complex.

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<![CDATA[Novel, in-natural-infection subdominant HIV-1 CD8+ T-cell epitopes revealed in human recipients of conserved-region T-cell vaccines]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db59ab0ee8fa60bdf1f1

Background

Fine definition of targeted CD8+ T-cell epitopes and their human leucocyte antigen (HLA) class I restriction informs iterative improvements of HIV-1 T-cell vaccine designs and may predict early vaccine success or failure. Here, lymphocytes from volunteers, who had received candidate HIVconsv vaccines expressing conserved sub-protein regions of HIV-1, were used to define the optimum-length target epitopes and their HLA restriction. In HIV-1-positive patients, CD8+ T-cell responses predominantly recognize immunodominant, but hypervariable and therefore less protective epitopes. The less variable, more protective epitopes in conserved regions are typically subdominant. Therefore, induction of strong responses to conserved regions by vaccination provides an opportunity to discover novel important epitopes.

Methods

Cryopreserved lymphocytes from vaccine recipients were expanded by stimulation with 15-mer responder peptides for 10 days to establish short term-cell-line (STCL) effector cells. These were subjected to intracellular cytokine staining using serially truncated peptides and peptide-pulsed 721.221 cells expressing individual HLA class I alleles to define minimal epitope length and HLA restriction by stimulation of IFN-γ and TNF-α production and surface expression of CD107a.

Results

Using lymphocyte samples of 12 vaccine recipients, we defined 14 previously unreported optimal CD8+ T-cell HIV-1 epitopes and their four-digit HLA allele restriction (6 HLA-A, 7 HLA-B and 1 HLA-C alleles). Further 13 novel targets with incomplete information were revealed.

Conclusions

The high rate of discovery of novel CD8+ T-cell effector epitopes warrants further epitope mining in recipients of the conserved-region vaccines in other populations and informs development of HIV-1/AIDS vaccines.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01151319

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<![CDATA[Dengue virus antibody database: Systematically linking serotype-specificity with epitope mapping in dengue virus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdced4

Background

A majority infections caused by dengue virus (DENV) are asymptomatic, but a higher incidence of severe illness, such as dengue hemorrhagic fever, is associated with secondary infections, suggesting that pre-existing immunity plays a central role in dengue pathogenesis. Primary infections are typically associated with a largely serotype-specific antibody response, while secondary infections show a shift to a broadly cross-reactive antibody response.

Methods/Principal findings

We hypothesized that the basis for the shift in serotype-specificity between primary and secondary infections can be found in a change in the antibody fine-specificity. To investigate the link between epitope- and serotype-specificity, we assembled the Dengue Virus Antibody Database, an online repository containing over 400 DENV-specific mAbs, each annotated with information on 1) its origin, including the immunogen, host immune history, and selection methods, 2) binding/neutralization data against all four DENV serotypes, and 3) epitope mapping at the domain or residue level to the DENV E protein. We combined epitope mapping and activity information to determine a residue-level index of epitope propensity and cross-reactivity and generated detailed composite epitope maps of primary and secondary antibody responses. We found differing patterns of epitope-specificity between primary and secondary infections, where secondary responses target a distinct subset of epitopes found in the primary response. We found that secondary infections were marked with an enhanced response to cross-reactive epitopes, such as the fusion-loop and E-dimer region, as well as increased cross-reactivity in what are typically more serotype-specific epitope regions, such as the domain I-II interface and domain III.

Conclusions/Significance

Our results support the theory that pre-existing cross-reactive memory B cells form the basis for the secondary antibody response, resulting in a broadening of the response in terms of cross-reactivity, and a focusing of the response to a subset of epitopes, including some, such as the fusion-loop region, that are implicated in poor neutralization and antibody-dependent enhancement of infection.

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<![CDATA[ArrayPitope: Automated Analysis of Amino Acid Substitutions for Peptide Microarray-Based Antibody Epitope Mapping]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da19ab0ee8fa60b7c1e1

Identification of epitopes targeted by antibodies (B cell epitopes) is of critical importance for the development of many diagnostic and therapeutic tools. For clinical usage, such epitopes must be extensively characterized in order to validate specificity and to document potential cross-reactivity.

B cell epitopes are typically classified as either linear epitopes, i.e. short consecutive segments from the protein sequence or conformational epitopes adapted through native protein folding. Recent advances in high-density peptide microarrays enable high-throughput, high-resolution identification and characterization of linear B cell epitopes. Using exhaustive amino acid substitution analysis of peptides originating from target antigens, these microarrays can be used to address the specificity of polyclonal antibodies raised against such antigens containing hundreds of epitopes. However, the interpretation of the data provided in such large-scale screenings is far from trivial and in most cases it requires advanced computational and statistical skills. Here, we present an online application for automated identification of linear B cell epitopes, allowing the non-expert user to analyse peptide microarray data. The application takes as input quantitative peptide data of fully or partially substituted overlapping peptides from a given antigen sequence and identifies epitope residues (residues that are significantly affected by substitutions) and visualize the selectivity towards each residue by sequence logo plots. Demonstrating utility, the application was used to identify and address the antibody specificity of 18 linear epitope regions in Human Serum Albumin (HSA), using peptide microarray data consisting of fully substituted peptides spanning the entire sequence of HSA and incubated with polyclonal rabbit anti-HSA (and mouse anti-rabbit-Cy3). The application is made available at: www.cbs.dtu.dk/services/ArrayPitope.

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<![CDATA[Monoclonal Antibody RYSK173 Recognizes the Dinuclear Zn Center of Serum Carnosinase 1 (CN-1): Possible Consequences of Zn Binding for CN-1 Recognition by RYSK173]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da41ab0ee8fa60b89fcb

Background and Aims

The proportion of serum carnosinase (CN-1) recognized by RYSK173 monoclonal antibody negatively correlates with CN-1 activity. We thus hypothesized that the epitope recognized by RYSK173 is accessible only in a catalytically incompetent conformation of the zinc dependent enzyme and we mapped its position in the CN-1 structure. Since patients with kidney failure are often deficient in zinc and other trace elements we also assessed the RYSK173 CN-1 proportion in serum of these patients and studied the influence of hemodialysis hereon in relation to Zn2+ and Cu2+ concentration during hemodialysis.

Methods and Results

Epitope mapping using myc-tagged CN-1 fragments and overlapping peptides revealed that the RYSK173 epitope directly contributes to the formation of the dinuclear Zn center in the catalytic domain of homodimeric CN-1. Binding of RYSK173 to CN-1 was however not influenced by addition of Zn2+ or Cu2+ to serum. In serum of healthy controls the proportion of CN-1 recognized by RYSK173 was significantly lower compared to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients (1.12 ± 0.17 vs. 1.56 ± 0.40% of total CN-1; p<0.001). During hemodialysis the relative proportion of RYSK173 CN-1 decreased in parallel with increased serum Zn2+ and Cu2+ concentrations after dialysis.

Conclusions

Our study clearly indicates that RYSK173 recognizes a sequence within the transition metal binding site of CN-1, thus supporting our hypothesis that metal binding to CN-1 masks the epitope. The CN-1 RYSK173 proportion appears overall increased in ESRD patients, yet it decreases during hemodialysis possibly as a consequence of a relative increase in transition metal bound enzyme.

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<![CDATA[Epitope mapping of recombinant Leishmania donovani virulence factor A2 (recLdVFA2) and canine leishmaniasis diagnosis using a derived synthetic bi-epitope]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be015a

Background

Leishmaniasis is one of the most important zoonotic diseases spread in Latin America. Since many species are involved in dog infection with different clinical manifestations, the development of specific diagnostic tests is mandatory for more accurate disease control and vaccine strategies.

Methodology/Principal findings

Seventy-five 15-mer peptides covering the sequence of recombinant Leishmania donovani virulence factor A2 (recLdVFA2) protein were prepared by Spot synthesis. Membrane-bound peptides immunoreactivity with sera from dogs immunized with recLdVFA2 and with a specific anti-recLdVFA2 monoclonal antibody allowed mapping of continuous B-cell epitopes. Five epitopes corresponding to the N-terminal region of recLdVFA2 (MKIRSVRPLVVLLVC, RSVRPLVVLLVCVAA, RPLVVLLVCVAAVLA, VVLLVCVAAVLALSA and LVCVAAVLALSASAE, region 1–28) and one located within the repetitive units (PLSVGPQAVGLSVG, regions 67–81 and 122–135) were identified. A 34-mer recLdVFA2-derived bi-epitope containing the sequence MKIRSVRPLVVLLVC linked to PLSVGPQAVGLSVG by a Gly-Gly spacer was chemically synthesized in its soluble form. The synthetic bi-epitope was used as antigen to coat ELISA plates and assayed with dog sera for in vitro diagnosis of canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL). The assay proved to be highly sensitive (100%) and specific (100%).

Conclusions/Significance

Our work suggests that synthetic peptide-based ELISA strategy may be useful for the development of a sensitive and highly specific serodiagnosis for CVL or other parasitic diseases.

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<![CDATA[Discovery and Characterization of Phage Display-Derived Human Monoclonal Antibodies against RSV F Glycoprotein]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da22ab0ee8fa60b7f51b

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a leading cause of lower respiratory tract infection in infants, the elderly and in immunosuppressed populations. The vast majority of neutralizing antibodies isolated from human subjects target the RSV fusion (F) glycoprotein, making it an attractive target for the development of vaccines and therapeutic antibodies. Currently, Synagis® (palivizumab) is the only FDA approved antibody drug for the prevention of RSV infection, and there is a great need for more effective vaccines and therapeutics. Phage display is a powerful tool in antibody discovery with the advantage that it does not require samples from immunized subjects. In this study, Morphosys HuCAL GOLD® phage libraries were used for panning against RSV prefusion and postfusion F proteins. Panels of human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against RSV F protein were discovered following phage library panning and characterized. Antibodies binding specifically to prefusion or postfusion F proteins and those binding both conformations were identified. 3B1 is a prototypic postfusion F specific antibody while 2E1 is a prototypic prefusion F specific antibody. 2E1 is a potent broadly neutralizing antibody against both RSV A and B strains. Epitope mapping experiments identified a conformational epitope spanning across three discontinuous sections of the RSV F protein, as well as critical residues for antibody interaction.

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<![CDATA[Epitope Mapping of a Monoclonal Antibody Directed against Neisserial Heparin Binding Antigen Using Next Generation Sequencing of Antigen-Specific Libraries]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da56ab0ee8fa60b8edbc

We explore here the potential of a newly described technology, which is named PROFILER and is based on next generation sequencing of gene-specific lambda phage-displayed libraries, to rapidly and accurately map monoclonal antibody (mAb) epitopes. For this purpose, we used a novel mAb (designated 31E10/E7) directed against Neisserial Heparin-Binding Antigen (NHBA), a component of the anti-group B meningococcus Bexsero® vaccine. An NHBA phage-displayed library was affinity-selected with mAb 31E10/E7, followed by massive sequencing of the inserts present in antibody-selected phage pools. Insert analysis identified an amino acid stretch (D91-A128) in the N-terminal domain, which was shared by all of the mAb-enriched fragments. Moreover, a recombinant fragment encompassing this sequence could recapitulate the immunoreactivity of the entire NHBA molecule against mAb 31E10/E7. These results were confirmed using a panel of overlapping recombinant fragments derived from the NHBA vaccine variant and a set of chemically synthetized peptides covering the 10 most frequent antigenic variants. Furthermore, hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass-spectrometry analysis of the NHBA-mAb 31E10/E7 complex was also compatible with mapping of the epitope to the D91-A128 region. Collectively, these results indicate that the PROFILER technology can reliably identify epitope-containing antigenic fragments and requires considerably less work, time and reagents than other epitope mapping methods.

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<![CDATA[Structure of the Plexin Ectodomain Bound by Semaphorin-Mimicking Antibodies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf6ab0ee8fa60bc3049

Semaphorin family proteins act on cells to mediate both repulsive and attractive guidance via binding to plexin family receptors, thereby playing fundamental roles in the morphogenesis and homeostasis of various tissues. Although semaphorin-plexin signaling is implicated in various diseases and is thus a target of intensive research, our mechanistic understanding of how semaphorins activate plexins on the cell surface is limited. Here, we describe unique anti-plexin-A1 antibodies that can induce a collapsed morphology in mouse dendritic cells as efficiently as the semaphorin 3A (Sema3A) ligand. Precise epitope analysis indicates that these “semaphorin-mimicking” antibodies dimerize cell-surface plexin-A1 by binding to the N-terminal sema domain of the plexin at sites away from the interface used by the Sema3A ligand. Structural analysis of plexin-A1 fragments using negative stain electron microscopy further revealed that this agonistic capacity is closely linked to the location and orientation of antibody binding. In addition, the full-length plexin-A1 ectodomain exhibited a highly curved “C” shape, reinforcing the very unusual dimeric receptor conformation of this protein at the cell surface when engaged with Sema3A or agonistic antibodies.

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