1887

Abstract

The antibody response to the envelope proteins of hepatitis C virus (HCV) may play an important role in controlling the infection. To allow molecular analyses of protective antibodies, we isolated human monoclonal antibodies to the E2 envelope glycoprotein of HCV from a combinatorial Fab library established from bone marrow of a chronically HCV-infected patient. Anti-E2 reactive clones were selected using recombinant E2 protein. The bone marrow donor carried HCV genotype 2b, and E2 used for selection was of genotype 1a. The antibody clones were expressed as Fab fragments in , and as Fab fragments and IgG1 in CHO cells. Seven different antibody clones were characterized, and shown to have high affinity for E2, genotype 1a. Three clones also had high affinity for E2 of genotype 1b. They all bind to conformation-dependent epitopes. Five clones compete for the same or overlapping binding sites, while two bind to one or two other epitopes of E2. Four clones corresponding to the different epitopes were tested as purified IgG1 for blocking the CD81–E2 interaction ; all four were positive at 0·3–0·5  μg/ml. Thus, the present results suggest the existence of at least two conserved epitopes in E2 that mediate inhibition of the E2–CD81 interaction, of which one appeared immunodominant in this donor.

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2000-10-01
2019-11-14
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