Comprehensive mapping of functional epitopes on dengue virus glycoprotein E DIII for binding to broadly neutralizing antibodies 4E11 and 4E5A by phage display.

PMID 26339794


Here we investigated the binding of Dengue virus envelope glycoprotein domain III (DIII) by two broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs), 4E11 and 4E5A. There are four serotypes of Dengue virus (DENV-1 to -4), whose DIII sequences vary by up to 49%. We used combinatorial alanine scanning mutagenesis, a phage display approach, to map functional epitopes (those residues that contribute most significantly to the energetics of antibody-antigen interaction) on these four serotypes. Our results showed that 4E11, which binds strongly to DENV-1, -2, and -3, and moderately to DENV-4, recognized a common conserved core functional epitope involving DIII residues K310, L/I387, L389, and W391. There were also unique recognition features for each serotype, suggesting that 4E11 has flexible recognition requirements. Similar scanning studies for the related bNAb 4E5A, which binds more tightly to DENV-4, identified broader functional epitopes on DENV-1. These results provide useful information for immunogen and therapeutic antibody design.