InVivoMAb anti-WNV E protein DI-DII

Catalog #BE0430

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Product Details

The E53 monoclonal antibody reacts with an epitope in domain I and II of the envelope (E) protein, i.e., within amino acids 1-415 of the ectodomain, on West Nile virus (WNV). Monoclonal antibody clone E53 does not bind domain III of WNV’s E protein, and this high affinity DII-fusion loop-reactive antibody exhibits limited capacity to neutralize mature WNV virions. This is because the recognizable epitope is buried on the surface of the virus particle, hence not accessible to the antibody. Experimental studies showed that the E53 antibody does not exhibit inhibitory activity against viral particles lacking a precursor membrane (prM) fragment, which signified that the neutralizing activity of this antibody is dependent on the maturation state of the virion. Moreover, the neutralization activity of E53 monoclonal antibody has been observed to be temperature dependent. Like other fusion-loop-specific anti-E monoclonal antibodies, the monoclonal antibody E53 preferentially binds to the immature form of WNV as well as DENV particles. WNV antibody clone E53 is commonly used for WNV neutralization experiments through plaque reduction assay or plaque reduction neutralization tests (PRNT) in cultured cells. This antibody has also been shown to block Vero cell infection with WNV in vitro, and several mechanistic studies have established that the E53 antibody has the capability of inhibiting WNV’s attachment to the cells. Functional studies on monoclonal antibody clone E53 have shown that the prophylactical administration of this antibody protects mice against lethal WNV infection in vivo.


Isotype Mouse IgG2a, κ
Recommended Isotype Control(s) InVivoMAb mouse IgG2a isotype control, unknown specificity
Recommended Dilution Buffer InVivoPure pH 7.0 Dilution Buffer
Immunogen Recombinant WNV E protein
Reported Applications in vivo protection against WNV infection
in vitro neutralization of WNV
in vitro blocking of WNV-cell attachment
in vitro opsonization of WNV infected cells
Plaque reduction neutralization tests (PRNT)
Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE)
Flow cytometry
Formulation PBS, pH 7.0
Contains no stabilizers or preservatives
Endotoxin <2EU/mg (<0.002EU/μg)
Determined by LAL gel clotting assay
Purity >95%
Determined by SDS-PAGE
Sterility 0.2 µm filtration
Production Purified from cell culture supernatant in an animal-free facility
Purification Protein A
Molecular Weight 150 kDa
Storage The antibody solution should be stored at the stock concentration at 4°C. Do not freeze.
in vitro neutralization of WNV
Goo L, Debbink K, Kose N, Sapparapu G, Doyle MP, Wessel AW, Richner JM, Burgomaster KE, Larman BC, Dowd KA, Diamond MS, Crowe JE, Pierson TC. (2019). "A protective human monoclonal antibody targeting the West Nile virus E protein preferentially recognizes mature virions" Nat Microbiol 10.1038/s41564-018-0283-7. PubMed

West Nile virus (WNV), a member of the Flavivirus genus, is a leading cause of viral encephalitis in the United States1. The development of neutralizing antibodies against the flavivirus envelope (E) protein is critical for immunity and vaccine protection2. Previously identified candidate therapeutic mouse and human neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) target epitopes within the E domain III lateral ridge and the domain I-II hinge region, respectively3. To explore the neutralizing antibody repertoire elicited by WNV infection for potential therapeutic application, we isolated ten mAbs from WNV-infected individuals. mAb WNV-86 neutralized WNV with a 50% inhibitory concentration of 2 ng ml-1, one of the most potently neutralizing flavivirus-specific antibodies ever isolated. WNV-86 targets an epitope in E domain II, and preferentially recognizes mature virions lacking an uncleaved form of the chaperone protein prM, unlike most flavivirus-specific antibodies4. In vitro selection experiments revealed a neutralization escape mechanism involving a glycan addition to E domain II. Finally, a single dose of WNV-86 administered two days post-infection protected mice from lethal WNV challenge. This study identifies a highly potent human neutralizing mAb with therapeutic potential that targets an epitope preferentially displayed on mature virions.

in vitro neutralization of WNV
Goo L, VanBlargan LA, Dowd KA, Diamond MS, Pierson TC. (2017). "A single mutation in the envelope protein modulates flavivirus antigenicity, stability, and pathogenesis" PLoS Pathog 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006178. PubMed

The structural flexibility or 'breathing' of the envelope (E) protein of flaviviruses allows virions to sample an ensemble of conformations at equilibrium. The molecular basis and functional consequences of virus conformational dynamics are poorly understood. Here, we identified a single mutation at residue 198 (T198F) of the West Nile virus (WNV) E protein domain I-II hinge that regulates virus breathing. The T198F mutation resulted in a ~70-fold increase in sensitivity to neutralization by a monoclonal antibody targeting a cryptic epitope in the fusion loop. Increased exposure of this otherwise poorly accessible fusion loop epitope was accompanied by reduced virus stability in solution at physiological temperatures. Introduction of a mutation at the analogous residue of dengue virus (DENV), but not Zika virus (ZIKV), E protein also increased accessibility of the cryptic fusion loop epitope and decreased virus stability in solution, suggesting that this residue modulates the structural ensembles sampled by distinct flaviviruses at equilibrium in a context dependent manner. Although the T198F mutation did not substantially impair WNV growth kinetics in vitro, studies in mice revealed attenuation of WNV T198F infection. Overall, our study provides insight into the molecular basis and the in vitro and in vivo consequences of flavivirus breathing.

Poore EA, Slifka DK, Raué HP, Thomas A, Hammarlund E, Quintel BK, Torrey LL, Slifka AM, Richner JM, Dubois ME, Johnson LP, Diamond MS, Slifka MK, Amanna IJ. (2017). "Pre-clinical development of a hydrogen peroxide-inactivated West Nile virus vaccine" Vaccine 10.1016/j.vaccine.2016.11.080. PubMed

West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-transmitted pathogen with a wide geographical range that can lead to long-term disability and death in some cases. Despite the public health risk posed by WNV, including an estimated 3 million infections in the United States alone, no vaccine is available for use in humans. Here, we present a scaled manufacturing approach for production of a hydrogen peroxide-inactivated whole virion WNV vaccine, termed HydroVax-001WNV. Vaccination resulted in robust virus-specific neutralizing antibody responses and protection against WNV-associated mortality in mice or viremia in rhesus macaques (RM). A GLP-compliant toxicology study performed in rats demonstrated an excellent safety profile with clinical findings limited to minor and transient irritation at the injection site. An in vitro relative potency (IVRP) assay was developed and shown to correlate with in vivo responses following forced degradation studies. Long-term in vivo potency comparisons between the intended storage condition (2-8°C) and a thermally stressed condition (40±2°C) demonstrated no loss in vaccine efficacy or protective immunity over a 6-month span of time. Together, the positive pre-clinical findings regarding immunogenicity, safety, and stability indicate that HydroVax-001WNV is a promising vaccine candidate.

Flow Cytometry
Zhao H, Fernandez E, Dowd KA, Speer SD, Platt DJ, Gorman MJ, Govero J, Nelson CA, Pierson TC, Diamond MS, Fremont DH. (2016). "Structural Basis of Zika Virus-Specific Antibody Protection" Cell 10.1016/j.cell.2016.07.020. PubMed

Zika virus (ZIKV) infection during pregnancy has emerged as a global public health problem because of its ability to cause severe congenital disease. Here, we developed six mouse monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against ZIKV including four (ZV-48, ZV-54, ZV-64, and ZV-67) that were ZIKV specific and neutralized infection of African, Asian, and American strains to varying degrees. X-ray crystallographic and competition binding analyses of Fab fragments and scFvs defined three spatially distinct epitopes in DIII of the envelope protein corresponding to the lateral ridge (ZV-54 and ZV-67), C-C' loop (ZV-48 and ZV-64), and ABDE sheet (ZV-2) regions. In vivo passive transfer studies revealed protective activity of DIII-lateral ridge specific neutralizing mAbs in a mouse model of ZIKV infection. Our results suggest that DIII is targeted by multiple type-specific antibodies with distinct neutralizing activity, which provides a path for developing prophylactic antibodies for use in pregnancy or designing epitope-specific vaccines against ZIKV.

in vivo protection against WNV infection, in vitro neutralization of WNV, Plaque reduction neutralization tests (PRNT)
Vogt MR, Dowd KA, Engle M, Tesh RB, Johnson S, Pierson TC, Diamond MS. (2011). "Poorly neutralizing cross-reactive antibodies against the fusion loop of West Nile virus envelope protein protect in vivo via Fcgamma receptor and complement-dependent effector mechanisms" J Virol 10.1128/JVI.05859-11. PubMed

The human antibody response to flavivirus infection is dominantly directed against a cross-reactive epitope on the fusion loop of domain II (DII-FL) of the envelope (E) protein. Although antibodies against this epitope fail to recognize fully mature West Nile virus (WNV) virions and accordingly neutralize infection poorly in vitro, their functional properties in vivo remain less well understood. Here, we show that while passive transfer of poorly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (MAb) and polyclonal antibodies against the DII-FL epitope protect against lethal WNV infection in wild-type mice, they fail to protect mice lacking activating Fcγ receptors (FcγR) and the complement opsonin C1q. Consistent with this, an aglycosyl chimeric mouse-human DII-FL MAb (E28) variant that lacks the ability to engage FcγR and C1q also did not protect against WNV infection in wild-type mice. Using a series of immunodeficient mice and antibody depletions of individual immune cell populations, we demonstrate that the nonneutralizing DII-FL MAb E28 does not require T, B, or NK cells, inflammatory monocytes, or neutrophils for protection. Rather, E28 treatment decreased viral load in the serum early in the course of infection, which resulted in blunted dissemination to the brain, an effect that required phagocytic cells, C1q, and FcγRIII (CD16). Overall, these studies enhance our understanding of the functional significance of immunodominant, poorly neutralizing antibodies in the polyclonal human anti-flavivirus response and highlight the limitations of current in vitro surrogate markers of protection, such as cell-based neutralization assays, which cannot account for the beneficial effects conferred by these antibodies.

in vitro neutralization of WNV, Flow Cytometry
Dowd KA, Jost CA, Durbin AP, Whitehead SS, Pierson TC. (2011). "A dynamic landscape for antibody binding modulates antibody-mediated neutralization of West Nile virus" PLoS Pathog 10.1371/journal.ppat.1002111. PubMed

Neutralizing antibodies are a significant component of the host's protective response against flavivirus infection. Neutralization of flaviviruses occurs when individual virions are engaged by antibodies with a stoichiometry that exceeds a required threshold. From this "multiple-hit" perspective, the neutralizing activity of antibodies is governed by the affinity with which it binds its epitope and the number of times this determinant is displayed on the surface of the virion. In this study, we investigated time-dependent changes in the fate of West Nile virus (WNV) decorated with antibody in solution. Experiments with the well-characterized neutralizing monoclonal antibody (MAb) E16 revealed a significant increase in neutralization activity over time that could not be explained by the kinetics of antibody binding, virion aggregation, or the action of complement. Additional kinetic experiments using the fusion-loop specific MAb E53, which has limited neutralizing activity because it recognizes a relatively inaccessible epitope on mature virions, identified a role of virus "breathing" in regulating neutralization activity. Remarkably, MAb E53 neutralized mature WNV in a time- and temperature-dependent manner. This phenomenon was confirmed in studies with a large panel of MAbs specific for epitopes in each domain of the WNV envelope protein, with sera from recipients of a live attenuated WNV vaccine, and in experiments with dengue virus. Given enough time, significant inhibition of infection was observed even for antibodies with very limited, or no neutralizing activity in standard neutralization assays. Together, our data suggests that the structural dynamics of flaviviruses impacts antibody-mediated neutralization via exposure of otherwise inaccessible epitopes, allowing for antibodies to dock on the virion with a stoichiometry sufficient for neutralization.

in vitro opsonization of WNV infected cells, Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE)
Rodenhuis-Zybert IA, Moesker B, da Silva Voorham JM, van der Ende-Metselaar H, Diamond MS, Wilschut J, Smit JM. (2011). "A fusion-loop antibody enhances the infectious properties of immature flavivirus particles" J Virol 10.1128/JVI.05237-11. PubMed

Flavivirus-infected cells secrete a mixture of mature, partially immature, and fully immature particles into the extracellular space. Although mature virions are highly infectious, prM-containing fully immature virions are noninfectious largely because the prM protein inhibits the cell attachment and fusogenic properties of the virus. If, however, cell attachment and entry are facilitated by anti-prM antibodies, immature flavivirus becomes infectious after efficient processing of the prM protein by the endosomal protease furin. A recent study demonstrated that E53, a cross-reactive monoclonal antibody (MAb) that engages the highly conserved fusion-loop peptide within the flavivirus envelope glycoprotein, preferentially binds to immature flavivirus particles. We investigated here the infectious potential of fully immature West Nile virus (WNV) and dengue virus (DENV) particles opsonized with E53 MAb and observed that, like anti-prM antibodies, this anti-E antibody also has the capacity to render fully immature flaviviruses infectious. E53-mediated enhancement of both immature WNV and DENV depended on efficient cell entry and the enzymatic activity of the endosomal furin. Furthermore, we also observed that E53-opsonized immature DENV particles but not WNV particles required a more acidic pH for efficient cleavage of prM by furin, adding greater complexity to the dynamics of antibody-mediated infection of immature flavivirus virions.

in vitro neutralization of WNV
Mukherjee S, Lin TY, Dowd KA, Manhart CJ, Pierson TC. (2011). "The infectivity of prM-containing partially mature West Nile virus does not require the activity of cellular furin-like proteases" J Virol 10.1128/JVI.05559-11. PubMed

Cleavage of the flavivirus prM protein by a cellular furin-like protease is a hallmark of virion maturation. While this cleavage is a required step in the viral life cycle, it can be inefficient. Virions that retain uncleaved prM may be infectious. We investigated whether cleavage by furin of prM on partially mature West Nile virus (WNV) during virus entry contributes to infectivity. Using quantitative assays of WNV infection, we found that virions incorporating considerable amounts of uncleaved prM protein were insensitive to treatment of cells with a potent inhibitor of furin activity. Thus, partially mature WNV does not require furin-like proteases for infectivity.

in vitro neutralization of WNV, ELISA
Nelson S, Jost CA, Xu Q, Ess J, Martin JE, Oliphant T, Whitehead SS, Durbin AP, Graham BS, Diamond MS, Pierson TC. (2008). "Maturation of West Nile virus modulates sensitivity to antibody-mediated neutralization" PLoS Pathog 10.1371/journal.ppat.1000060. PubMed

West Nile virions incorporate 180 envelope (E) proteins that orchestrate the process of virus entry and are the primary target of neutralizing antibodies. The E proteins of newly synthesized West Nile virus (WNV) are organized into trimeric spikes composed of pre-membrane (prM) and E protein heterodimers. During egress, immature virions undergo a protease-mediated cleavage of prM that results in a reorganization of E protein into the pseudo-icosahedral arrangement characteristic of mature virions. While cleavage of prM is a required step in the virus life cycle, complete maturation is not required for infectivity and infectious virions may be heterogeneous with respect to the extent of prM cleavage. In this study, we demonstrate that virion maturation impacts the sensitivity of WNV to antibody-mediated neutralization. Complete maturation results in a significant reduction in sensitivity to neutralization by antibodies specific for poorly accessible epitopes that comprise a major component of the human antibody response following WNV infection or vaccination. This reduction in neutralization sensitivity reflects a decrease in the accessibility of epitopes on virions to levels that fall below a threshold required for neutralization. Thus, in addition to a role in facilitating viral entry, changes in E protein arrangement associated with maturation modulate neutralization sensitivity and introduce an additional layer of complexity into humoral immunity against WNV.

in vivo protection against WNV infection, Plaque reduction neutralization tests (PRNT), Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE), Flow Cytometry
Oliphant T, Nybakken GE, Engle M, Xu Q, Nelson CA, Sukupolvi-Petty S, Marri A, Lachmi BE, Olshevsky U, Fremont DH, Pierson TC, Diamond MS. (2006). "Antibody recognition and neutralization determinants on domains I and II of West Nile Virus envelope protein" J Virol 80(24):12149-59. PubMed

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.

in vitro neutralization of WNV, Flow Cytometry, ELISA
Oliphant T, Engle M, Nybakken GE, Doane C, Johnson S, Huang L, Gorlatov S, Mehlhop E, Marri A, Chung KM, Ebel GD, Kramer LD, Fremont DH, Diamond MS. (2005). "Development of a humanized monoclonal antibody with therapeutic potential against West Nile virus" Nat Med 10.1038/nm1240. PubMed

Neutralization of West Nile virus (WNV) in vivo correlates with the development of an antibody response against the viral envelope (E) protein. Using random mutagenesis and yeast surface display, we defined individual contact residues of 14 newly generated monoclonal antibodies against domain III of the WNV E protein. Monoclonal antibodies that strongly neutralized WNV localized to a surface patch on the lateral face of domain III. Convalescent antibodies from individuals who had recovered from WNV infection also detected this epitope. One monoclonal antibody, E16, neutralized 10 different strains in vitro, and showed therapeutic efficacy in mice, even when administered as a single dose 5 d after infection. A humanized version of E16 was generated that retained antigen specificity, avidity and neutralizing activity. In postexposure therapeutic trials in mice, a single dose of humanized E16 protected mice against WNV-induced mortality, and may therefore be a viable treatment option against WNV infection in humans.

in vitro blocking of WNV-cell attachment
Nybakken GE, Oliphant T, Johnson S, Burke S, Diamond MS, Fremont DH. (2005). "Structural basis of West Nile virus neutralization by a therapeutic antibody" Nature 10.1038/nature03956. PubMed

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.

Flow Cytometry
Gould LH, Sui J, Foellmer H, Oliphant T, Wang T, Ledizet M, Murakami A, Noonan K, Lambeth C, Kar K, Anderson JF, de Silva AM, Diamond MS, Koski RA, Marasco WA, Fikrig E. (2005). "Protective and therapeutic capacity of human single-chain Fv-Fc fusion proteins against West Nile virus" J Virol 10.1128/JVI.79.23.14606-14613.2005. PubMed

West Nile virus has spread rapidly across the United States, and there is currently no approved human vaccine or therapy to prevent or treat disease. Passive immunization with antibodies against the envelope protein represents a promising means to provide short-term prophylaxis and treatment for West Nile virus infection. In this study, we identified a panel of 11 unique human single-chain variable region antibody fragments (scFvs) that bind the envelope protein of West Nile virus. Selected scFvs were converted to Fc fusion proteins (scFv-Fcs) and were tested in mice for their ability to prevent lethal West Nile virus infection. Five of these scFv-Fcs, 11, 15, 71, 85, and 95, protected 100% of mice from death when given prior to infection with virus. Two of them, 11 and 15, protected 80% of mice when given at days 1 and 4 after infection. In addition, four of the scFv-Fcs cross-neutralized dengue virus, serotype 2. Binding assays using yeast surface display demonstrated that all of our scFvs bind to sites within domains I and II of West Nile virus envelope protein. These recombinant human scFvs are potential candidates for immunoprophylaxis and therapy of flavivirus infections.