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J Gen Virol. 2008 Mar;89(Pt 3):653-9. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.83386-0.

Broadly neutralizing human monoclonal antibodies to the hepatitis C virus E2 glycoprotein.

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Institute of Virology, University of Glasgow, Church Street, Glasgow G11 5JR, UK.


The humoral response to hepatitis C virus (HCV) may contribute to controlling infection. We previously isolated human monoclonal antibodies to conformational epitopes on the HCV E2 glycoprotein. Here, we report on their ability to inhibit infection by retroviral pseudoparticles incorporating a panel of full-length E1E2 clones representing the full spectrum of genotypes 1-6. We identified one antibody, CBH-5, that was capable of neutralizing every genotype tested. It also potently inhibited chimeric cell culture-infectious HCV, which had genotype 2b envelope proteins in a genotype 2a (JFH-1) background. Analysis using a panel of alanine-substitution mutants of HCV E2 revealed that the epitope of CBH-5 includes amino acid residues that are required for binding of E2 to CD81, a cellular receptor essential for virus entry. This suggests that CBH-5 inhibits HCV infection by competing directly with CD81 for a binding site on E2.

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