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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Oct 1;116(40):20054-20062. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1911842116. Epub 2019 Sep 4.

Differential requirements for FcγR engagement by protective antibodies against Ebola virus.

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Laboratory of Molecular Genetics and Immunology, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10065.
Virology Division, US Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, MD 21702.
Laboratory of Molecular Genetics and Immunology, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10065;


Ebola virus (EBOV) continues to pose significant threats to global public health, requiring ongoing development of multiple strategies for disease control. To date, numerous monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that target the EBOV glycoprotein (GP) have demonstrated potent protective activity in animal disease models and are thus promising candidates for the control of EBOV. However, recent work in a variety of virus diseases has highlighted the importance of coupling Fab neutralization with Fc effector activity for effective antibody-mediated protection. To determine the contribution of Fc effector activity to the protective function of mAbs to EBOV GP, we selected anti-GP mAbs targeting representative, protective epitopes and characterized their Fc receptor (FcγR) dependence in vivo in FcγR humanized mouse challenge models of EBOV disease. In contrast to previous studies, we find that anti-GP mAbs exhibited differential requirements for FcγR engagement in mediating their protective activity independent of their distance from the viral membrane. Anti-GP mAbs targeting membrane proximal epitopes or the GP mucin domain do not rely on Fc-FcγR interactions to confer activity, whereas antibodies against the GP chalice bowl and the fusion loop require FcγR engagement for optimal in vivo antiviral activity. This complexity of antibody-mediated protection from EBOV disease highlights the structural constraints of FcγR binding for specific viral epitopes and has important implications for the development of mAb-based immunotherapeutics with optimal potency and efficacy.


Fc receptors; antibodies; effector function; immunoglobulin; immunotherapy

[Available on 2020-03-04]

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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