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Structural and molecular basis for Ebola virus neutralization by protective human antibodies

Science  18 Mar 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6279, pp. 1343-1346
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad6117

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Antibodies block Ebola virus entry

The recent Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa illustrates the need for both an effective vaccine and therapies to treat infected individuals. Corti et al. isolated two monoclonal antibodies from a survivor of the 1995 Kikwit outbreak and demonstrated their therapeutic efficacy in Ebola virus–infected macaques. In fact, one antibody protected macaques when it was given up to 5 days after infection. Misasi et al. solved the crystal structures of fragments of the two antibodies bound to the Ebola virus glycoprotein (GP), which mediates viral cell entry. The two antibodies targeted different regions of GP, but in both cases blocked steps required for viral entry.

Science, this issue pp. 1339 & 1343

Abstract

Ebola virus causes hemorrhagic fever with a high case fatality rate for which there is no approved therapy. Two human monoclonal antibodies, mAb100 and mAb114, in combination, protect nonhuman primates against all signs of Ebola virus disease, including viremia. Here, we demonstrate that mAb100 recognizes the base of the Ebola virus glycoprotein (GP) trimer, occludes access to the cathepsin-cleavage loop, and prevents the proteolytic cleavage of GP that is required for virus entry. We show that mAb114 interacts with the glycan cap and inner chalice of GP, remains associated after proteolytic removal of the glycan cap, and inhibits binding of cleaved GP to its receptor. These results define the basis of neutralization for two protective antibodies and may facilitate development of therapies and vaccines.

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