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J Virol. 2013 Nov;87(21):11363-70. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01926-13. Epub 2013 Aug 14.

A strain-specific epitope of enterovirus 71 identified by cryo-electron microscopy of the complex with fab from neutralizing antibody.

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Department of Medicine, The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA.


Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is a picornavirus that causes outbreaks of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD), primarily in the Asia-Pacific area. Unlike coxsackievirus A16, which also causes HFMD, EV71 induces severe neuropathology leading to high fatalities, especially among children under the age of 6 years. Currently, no established vaccines or treatments are available against EV71 infection. The monoclonal antibody MA28-7 neutralizes only specific strains of EV71 that have a conserved glycine at amino acid VP1-145, a surface-exposed residue that maps to the 5-fold vertex and that has been implicated in receptor binding. The cryo-electron microscopy structure of a complex between EV71 and the Fab fragment of MA28-7 shows that only one Fab fragment occupies each 5-fold vertex. A positively charged patch, which has also been implicated in receptor binding, lies within the Fab footprint. We identify the strain-specific epitope of EV71 and discuss the possible neutralization mechanisms of the antibody.

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