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PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e53619. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053619. Epub 2013 Jan 15.

Monoclonal antibodies against Hepatitis C genotype 3a virus like particle inhibit virus entry in cell culture system.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India.

Abstract

The envelope protein (E1-E2) of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major component of the viral structure. The glycosylated envelope protein is considered to be important for initiation of infection by binding to cellular receptor(s) and also known as one of the major antigenic targets to host immune response. The present study was aimed at identifying mouse monoclonal antibodies which inhibit binding of virus like particles of HCV to target cells. The first step in this direction was to generate recombinant HCV-like particles (HCV-LPs) specific for genotypes 3a of HCV (prevalent in India) using the genes encoding core, E1 and E2 envelop proteins in a baculovirus expression system. The purified HCV-LPs were characterized by ELISA and electron microscopy and were used to generate monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) in mice. Two monoclonal antibodies (E8G9 and H1H10) specific for the E2 region of envelope protein of HCV genotype 3a, were found to reduce the virus binding to Huh7 cells. However, the mAbs generated against HCV genotype 1b (D2H3, G2C7, E1B11) were not so effective. More importantly, mAb E8G9 showed significant inhibition of the virus entry in HCV JFH1 cell culture system. Finally, the epitopic regions on E2 protein which bind to the mAbs have also been identified. Results suggest a new therapeutic strategy and provide the proof of concept that mAb against HCV-LP could be effective in preventing virus entry into liver cells to block HCV replication.

PMID:
23341957
PMCID:
PMC3546081
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0053619
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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