Jianhua Sui 1 , William C. Hwang 2 , Sandra Perez 3 , Ge Wei 2 , Daniel Aird 1 , Li-mei Chen 3 , Eugenio Santelli 2 , Boguslaw Stec 2 , Greg Cadwell 2 , Maryam Ali 1 , Hongquan Wan 3 , Akikazu Murakami 1 , Anuradha Yammanuru 1 , Thomas Han 1 , Nancy J. Cox 3 , Laurie A. Bankston 2 , Ruben O. Donis 3 , Robert C. Liddington 2 , Wayne A. Marasco 1
22 February 2009
Influenza virus remains a constant public health threat, owing to its ability to evade immune surveillance through rapid genetic drift and reassortment. Monoclonal antibody (mAb)-based immunotherapy is a promising strategy for disease control. Here we use a human Ab phage display library and H5 hemagglutinin (HA) ectodomain to select ten neutralizing mAbs (nAbs) with a remarkably broad range among Group 1 influenza viruses, including the H5N1 “bird flu” and the H1N1 “Spanish flu” strains. Notably, nine of the Abs utilize the same germline gene, VH1-69. The crystal structure of one mAb bound to H5N1 HA reveals that only the heavy chain inserts into a highly conserved pocket in the HA stem, inhibiting the conformational changes required for membrane fusion. Our studies indicate that nAbs targeting this pocket could provide broad protection against both seasonal and pandemic influenza A infections.