Development of a structural epitope mimic: an idiotypic approach to HCV vaccine design

Cowton, V. M. et al. (2021) Development of a structural epitope mimic: an idiotypic approach to HCV vaccine design. npj Vaccines, 6, 7. (doi: 10.1038/s41541-020-00269-1) (PMID:33420102) (PMCID:PMC7794244)

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HCV vaccine development is stymied by the high genetic diversity of the virus and the variability of the envelope glycoproteins. One strategy to overcome this is to identify conserved, functionally important regions—such as the epitopes of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs)—and use these as a basis for structure-based vaccine design. Here, we report an anti-idiotype approach that has generated an antibody that mimics a highly conserved neutralizing epitope on HCV E2. Crucially, a mutagenesis screen was used to identify the antibody, designated B2.1 A, whose binding characteristics to the bNAb AP33 closely resemble those of the original antigen. Protein crystallography confirmed that B2.1 A is a structural mimic of the AP33 epitope. When used as an immunogen B2.1 A induced antibodies that recognized the same epitope and E2 residues as AP33 and most importantly protected against HCV challenge in a mouse model.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by Medical Research Council grant MC_UU12014/2 and DPFS Grant MC_EX_G0801770 awarded to AHP, and by a studentship to VF from the Programma Master and Back, Regione Autonoma della Sardegna. This study was supported by funding from a Wellcome Trust New Investigator award to MD (104771/Z/14/Z) and a starting grant from the European Research Council to MD (ERC-StG-2015-637304).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cowton, Dr Vanessa and Di Lorenzo, Miss Caterina and Cole, Mrs Sarah and Owsianka, Dr Anna and Patel, Professor Arvind
Authors: Cowton, V. M., Owsianka, A. M., Fadda, V., Ortega-Prieto, A. M., Cole, S. J., Potter, J. A., Skelton, J. K., Jeffrey, N., Di Lorenzo, C., Dorner, M., Taylor, G. L., and Patel, A. H.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:npj Vaccines
Publisher:Nature Research
ISSN (Online):2059-0105
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in npj Vaccines 6: 7
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
Data DOI:10.2210/pdb6SXI/pdb

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
656491Basis of the host range and tissue tropism for hepatitis C virusArvind PatelMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12014/2MVLS III - CENTRE FOR VIRUS RESEARCH