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Frontiers in immunology

Unveiling a Drift Resistant Cryptotope within


PMID 29038656

Abstract

Marburg virus (MARV) is a highly lethal hemorrhagic fever virus that is increasingly re-emerging in Africa, has been imported to both Europe and the US, and is also a Tier 1 bioterror threat. As a negative sense RNA virus, MARV has error prone replication which can yield progeny capable of evading countermeasures. To evaluate this vulnerability, we sought to determine the epitopes of 4 llama single-domain antibodies (sdAbs or VHH) specific for nucleoprotein (NP), each capable of forming MARV monoclonal affinity reagent sandwich assays. Here, we show that all sdAb bound the C-terminal region of NP, which was produced recombinantly to derive X-ray crystal structures of the three best performing antibody-antigen complexes. The common epitope is a trio of alpha helices that form a novel asymmetric basin-like depression that accommodates each sdAb paratope

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