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Virology. 1998 Sep 15;249(1):32-41.

Characterization of human monoclonal antibodies specific to the hepatitis C virus glycoprotein E2 with in vitro binding neutralization properties.

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Unité271, Institut National de la Saneéet de la Recherche Médicale, 151 Cours A. Thomas, Lyon Cedex 03, 69424, France.


Both linear and conformational determinants of hepatitis C virus (HCV) are believed to be involved in viral neutralization. After immortalization of B cells from HCV chronically infected patients with Epstein-Barr virus, we obtained two polyclonal lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCL) secreting human monoclonal antibodies (HMabs). One clone was derived from a patient infected with a genotype 4 isolate while the second was isolated from a genotype 1b-infected patient. Immunoprecipitation studies, Western blot, and immunofluorescence analysis, peptide scanning, and ELISA studies indicated that the HMabs (1) recognized conformation-dependent determinant(s), (2) were capable of recognizing genotype 1a and 1b derived antigens, and (3) were able to precipitate noncovalently associated E1E2 complexes believed to exist on the surface of virion particles. The HMab derived from the genotype 4-infected patient was in addition shown to neutralize the in vitro binding of recombinant E2 protein onto susceptible cells suggesting a potential for in vivo neutralization. These data indicate that anti-E2 antibodies directed at conserved conformational-dependent determinant(s) exist in chronic HCV infection.

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