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J Virol 2012 Dec;86(23):12686-94

Amino Acid residue-specific neutralization and nonneutralization of hepatitis C virus by monoclonal antibodies to the e2 protein.

Duan H, Kachko A, Zhong L, Struble E, Pandey S, Yan H, Harman C, Virata-Theimer ML, Deng L, Zhao Z, Major M, Feinstone S, Zhang P


Antibodies to epitopes in the E2 protein of hepatitis C virus (HCV) reduce the viral infectivity in vivo and in vitro. However, the virus can persist in patients in the presence of neutralizing antibodies. In this study, we generated a panel of monoclonal antibodies that bound specifically to the region between residues 427 and 446 of the E2 protein of HCV genotype 1a, and we examined their capacity to neutralize HCV in a cell culture system. Of the four monoclonal antibodies described here, two were able to neutralize the virus in a genotype 1a-specific manner. The other two failed to neutralize the virus. Moreover, one of the nonneutralizing antibodies could interfere with the neutralizing activity of a chimpanzee polyclonal antibody at E2 residues 412 to 426, as it did with an HCV-specific immune globulin preparation, which was derived from the pooled plasma of chronic hepatitis C patients. Mapping the epitope-paratope contact interfaces revealed that these functionally distinct antibodies shared binding specificity for key amino acid residues, including W(437), L(438), L(441), and F(442), within the same epitope of the E2 protein. These data suggest that the effectiveness of antibody-mediated neutralization of HCV could be deduced from the interplay between an antibody and a specific set of amino acid residues. Further understanding of the molecular mechanisms of antibody-mediated neutralization and nonneutralization should provide insights for designing a vaccine to control HCV infection in vivo.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #22973024 DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00994-12
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Biologics
Entry Created: 2012-03-30 Entry Last Modified: 2013-01-15