Fine specificity of the human immune response to the major neutralization epitopes expressed on cytomegalovirus gp58/116 (gB), as determined with human monoclonal antibodies
- Department of Immunotechnology
The humoral immune response to human cytomegalovirus (CMV) membrane glycoprotein gp58/116 (gB) has been studied by establishing cell lines producing specific human monoclonal antibodies. These cell lines were generated from peripheral blood lymphocytes obtained from a healthy carrier. Hybridomas producing gp58/116-speciftc antibodies were detected by reactivity to procaryotically expressed proteins containing the major neutralizing epitopes of this glycoprotein complex. One antibody, ITC88, which recognized an epitope located between amino acid residues 67 and 86 of gpH6, potently neutralized the virus at 1 to 2 μg of immunoglobulin G per ml. Only four of the six human antibodies detecting the major neutralizing domain of gp58 neutralized the virus, and none of them required complement for activity. All antibodies that bound mature, processed gp58 recognized a conformational epitope involving sequences between residues 549 and 635. However, small differences existed between the antibodies in the actual minimal requirement for C- and N-terminal parts of this epitope. By peptide mapping with several of the antibodies, the epitope was shown to consist mainly of residues between amino acids 570 to 579 and 606 to 619. Despite the conformational nature of the epitope, the antibodies recognized both reduced and denatured native antigen. Presence of carbohydrates was not required for antigen binding of these gp58-specific human antibodies, but in at least one case, it greatly enhanced antigen recognition, indicating an importance of carbohydrate structures in some epitopes within the major neutralizing specificity of gp58.
- ISSN: 0022-538X