Cross-Neutralising Nanobodies Bind to a Conserved Pocket in the Hemagglutinin Stem Region Identified Using Yeast Display and Deep Mutational Scanning.


Abstract

Cross-neutralising monoclonal antibodies against influenza hemagglutinin (HA) are of considerable interest as both therapeutics and diagnostic tools. We have recently described five different single domain antibodies (nanobodies) which share this cross-neutralising activity and suggest their small size, high stability, and cleft binding properties may present distinct advantages over equivalent conventional antibodies. We have used yeast display in combination with deep mutational scanning to give residue level resolution of positions in the antibody-HA interface which are crucial for binding. In addition, we have mapped positions within HA predicted to have minimal effect on antibody binding when mutated. Our cross-neutralising nanobodies were shown to bind to a highly conserved pocket in the HA2 domain of A(H1N1)pdm09 influenza virus overlapping with the fusion peptide suggesting their mechanism of action is through the inhibition of viral membrane fusion. We also note that the epitope overlaps with that of CR6261 and F10 which are human monoclonal antibodies in clinical development as immunotherapeutics. Although all five nanobodies mapped to the same highly conserved binding pocket we observed differences in the size of the epitope footprint which has implications in comparing the relative genetic barrier each nanobody presents to a rapidly evolving influenza virus. To further refine our epitope map, we have re-created naturally occurring mutations within this HA stem epitope and tested their effect on binding using yeast display. We have shown that a D46N mutation in the HA2 stem domain uniquely interferes with binding of R2b-E8. Further testing of this substitution in the context of full length purified HA from 1918 H1N1 pandemic (Spanish flu), 2009 H1N1 pandemic (swine flu) and highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 demonstrated binding which correlated with D46 whereas binding to seasonal H1N1 strains carrying N46 was absent. In addition, our deep sequence analysis predicted that binding to the emerging H1N1 strain (A/Christchurch/16/2010) carrying the HA2-E47K mutation would not affect binding was confirmed experimentally. This demonstrates yeast display, in combination with deep sequencing, may be able to predict antibody reactivity to emerging influenza strains so assisting in the preparation for future influenza pandemics.

Submission Details

ID: Yia94mWW4

Submitter: Wesley Field

Submission Date: June 27, 2018, 3:41 p.m.

Version: 1

Publication Details
Gaiotto T;Hufton SE,PLoS One (2016) Cross-Neutralising Nanobodies Bind to a Conserved Pocket in the Hemagglutinin Stem Region Identified Using Yeast Display and Deep Mutational Scanning. PMID:27741319
Additional Information

Sequence Assay Result Units