Human-rat chimeric anti-occludin monoclonal antibodies inhibit hepatitis C virus infection.


Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, 162-8640, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]


Occludin (OCLN), an integral tetra-spanning plasma membrane protein, is a host entry factor essential for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, making it a promising host-targeting molecule for HCV therapeutic intervention. We previously generated rat anti-OCLN monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that strongly prevented HCV infection in vitro and in vivo. In the present study, we attempted to improve the druggability of the extracellular loop domain-recognizing anti-OCLN mAbs, namely clones 1-3 and 37-5, using genetic engineering. To avoid adverse reactions induced by antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity and enhance the antibody stability, we developed human-rat chimeric immunoglobulin G4 S228P mutant (IgG4m) forms of clones 1-3 and 37-5 (named Xi 1-3 and Xi 37-5, respectively) by grafting the variable regions of the light and heavy chains of each rat anti-OCLN mAb into those of human IgG4m. The constructed Xi 1-3 and Xi 37-5 chimeras demonstrated levels of affinity and specificity similar to each parental rat anti-OCLN mAb, and the Fcγ receptor Ⅲa was not activated by the antigen-bound chimeric mAbs, as expected. Both chimeric mAbs inhibited in vitro infection with various HCV genotypes. These results indicate that the IgG4m forms of human-rat chimeric anti-OCLN mAbs may be potential candidate molecules of host-targeting antivirals with pan-genotypic anti-HCV activity.


Antibody engineering,Antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity,Hepatitis C virus,Monoclonal antibody,Occludin,

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