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Is Open Access

High Affinity Human Antibody Fragments to Dengue Virus Non-Structural Protein 3

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      BackgroundThe enzyme activities catalysed by flavivirus non-structural protein 3 (NS3) are essential for virus replication. They are distributed between the N-terminal protease domain in the first one-third and the C-terminal ATPase/helicase and nucleoside 5′ triphosphatase domain which forms the remainder of the 618-aa long protein.Methodology/Principal FindingsIn this study, dengue full-length NS3 protein with residues 49 to 66 of NS2B covalently attached via a flexible linker, was used as bait in biopanning with a naïve human Fab phage-display library. Using a range of truncated constructs spanning the NS2B cofactor region and the full-length NS3, 10 unique Fab were identified and characterized. Of these, monoclonal Fab 3F8 was shown to bind α3″ (residues 526 through 531) within subdomain III of the helicase domain. The antibody inhibits the ATPase and helicase activites of NS3 in biochemical assays and reduces DENV replication in HEK293 cells that were previously transfected with Fab 3F8 compared with mock transfected cells.Conclusions/SignificanceAntibodies such as 3F8 are valuable tools for studying the molecular mechanisms of flaviviral replication and for the monospecific detection of replicating dengue virus in vivo.

      Author Summary

      Dengue virus is the most prevalent mosquito transmitted infectious disease in humans and is responsible for febrile disease such as dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome. Dengue non-structural protein 3 (NS3) is an essential, multifunctional, viral enzyme with two distinct domains; a protease domain required for processing of the viral polyprotein, and a helicase domain required for replication of the viral genome. In this study ten unique human antibody fragments (Fab) that specifically bind dengue NS3 were isolated from a diverse library of Fab clones using phage display technology. The binding site of one of these antibodies, Fab 3F8, has been precisely mapped to the third α-helix within subdomain III of the helicase domain (amino acids 526–531). The antibody inhibits the helicase activity of NS3 in biochemical assays and reduces DENV replication in human embryonic kidney cells. The antibody is a valuable tool for studying dengue replication mechanisms.

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      Most cited references 31

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      CLUSTAL W: improving the sensitivity of progressive multiple sequence alignment through sequence weighting, position-specific gap penalties and weight matrix choice.

      The sensitivity of the commonly used progressive multiple sequence alignment method has been greatly improved for the alignment of divergent protein sequences. Firstly, individual weights are assigned to each sequence in a partial alignment in order to down-weight near-duplicate sequences and up-weight the most divergent ones. Secondly, amino acid substitution matrices are varied at different alignment stages according to the divergence of the sequences to be aligned. Thirdly, residue-specific gap penalties and locally reduced gap penalties in hydrophilic regions encourage new gaps in potential loop regions rather than regular secondary structure. Fourthly, positions in early alignments where gaps have been opened receive locally reduced gap penalties to encourage the opening up of new gaps at these positions. These modifications are incorporated into a new program, CLUSTAL W which is freely available.
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        Protein production by auto-induction in high density shaking cultures.

        Inducible expression systems in which T7 RNA polymerase transcribes coding sequences cloned under control of a T7lac promoter efficiently produce a wide variety of proteins in Escherichia coli. Investigation of factors that affect stability, growth, and induction of T7 expression strains in shaking vessels led to the recognition that sporadic, unintended induction of expression in complex media, previously reported by others, is almost certainly caused by small amounts of lactose. Glucose prevents induction by lactose by well-studied mechanisms. Amino acids also inhibit induction by lactose during log-phase growth, and high rates of aeration inhibit induction at low lactose concentrations. These observations, and metabolic balancing of pH, allowed development of reliable non-inducing and auto-inducing media in which batch cultures grow to high densities. Expression strains grown to saturation in non-inducing media retain plasmid and remain fully viable for weeks in the refrigerator, making it easy to prepare many freezer stocks in parallel and use working stocks for an extended period. Auto-induction allows efficient screening of many clones in parallel for expression and solubility, as cultures have only to be inoculated and grown to saturation, and yields of target protein are typically several-fold higher than obtained by conventional IPTG induction. Auto-inducing media have been developed for labeling proteins with selenomethionine, 15N or 13C, and for production of target proteins by arabinose induction of T7 RNA polymerase from the pBAD promoter in BL21-AI. Selenomethionine labeling was equally efficient in the commonly used methionine auxotroph B834(DE3) (found to be metE) or the prototroph BL21(DE3).
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          Dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever.

          Dengue fever, a very old disease, has reemerged in the past 20 years with an expanded geographic distribution of both the viruses and the mosquito vectors, increased epidemic activity, the development of hyperendemicity (the cocirculation of multiple serotypes), and the emergence of dengue hemorrhagic fever in new geographic regions. In 1998 this mosquito-borne disease is the most important tropical infectious disease after malaria, with an estimated 100 million cases of dengue fever, 500,000 cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever, and 25,000 deaths annually. The reasons for this resurgence and emergence of dengue hemorrhagic fever in the waning years of the 20th century are complex and not fully understood, but demographic, societal, and public health infrastructure changes in the past 30 years have contributed greatly. This paper reviews the changing epidemiology of dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever by geographic region, the natural history and transmission cycles, clinical diagnosis of both dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever, serologic and virologic laboratory diagnoses, pathogenesis, surveillance, prevention, and control. A major challenge for public health officials in all tropical areas of the world is to develop and implement sustainable prevention and control programs that will reverse the trend of emergent dengue hemorrhagic fever.

            Author and article information

            [1 ]Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases, DUKE-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore, Singapore
            [2 ]School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technical University, Singapore, Singapore
            Tropical Medicine Institute Pedro Kourí (IPK), Cuba
            Author notes

            Conceived and designed the experiments: NJM PNP SGS SGV. Performed the experiments: NJM MYFT EL PNP DNPD YHY. Analyzed the data: NJM MYFT EL PNP DNPD YHY SGS SGV. Wrote the paper: NJM SGV.

            Role: Editor
            PLoS Negl Trop Dis
            PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
            Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
            November 2010
            9 November 2010
            : 4
            : 11
            Moreland et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
            Pages: 10
            Research Article
            Biochemistry/Protein Chemistry
            Biochemistry/Replication and Repair
            Biotechnology/Protein Chemistry and Proteomics
            Immunology/Antigen Processing and Recognition
            Infectious Diseases/Viral Infections
            Virology/New Therapies, including Antivirals and Immunotherapy
            Virology/Viral Replication and Gene Regulation

            Infectious disease & Microbiology


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