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Type: Journal article
Title: A recombinant HCV genotype 1a E1/E2 envelope glycoprotein vaccine elicits antibodies that differentially neutralize closely related 2a strains through interactions of the N-terminal hypervariable region 1 of E2 with scavenger receptor B1
Author: Johnson, J.
Freedman, H.
Logan, M.
Wong, J.A.J.-X.
Hockman, D.
Chen, C.
He, J.
Beard, M.R.
Eyre, N.S.
Baumert, T.F.
Tyrrell, D.L.
Law, J.L.M.
Houghton, M.
Citation: Journal of Virology, 2019; 93(22):e00810-19-1-e00810-19-15
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Issue Date: 2019
ISSN: 0022-538X
Statement of
Janelle Johnson, Holly Freedman, Michael Logan, Jason Alexander Ji-Xhin Wong ... Michael R. Beard, Nicholas S. Eyre ... et al.
Abstract: The global health burden for hepatitis C virus (HCV) remains high, despite available effective treatments. To eliminate HCV, a prophylactic vaccine is needed. One major challenge in the development of a vaccine is the genetic diversity of the virus, with 7 major genotypes and many subtypes. A global vaccine must be effective against all HCV genotypes. Our previous data showed that the 1a E1/E2 glycoprotein vaccine component elicits broad cross-neutralizing antibodies in humans and animals. However, some variation is seen in the effectiveness of these antibodies to neutralize different HCV genotypes and isolates. Of interest was the differences in neutralizing activity against two closely related isolates of HCV genotype 2a, the J6 and JFH-1 strains. Using site-directed mutagenesis to generate chimeric viruses between J6 and JFH-1 strains, we found that variant amino acids within the core E2 glycoprotein domain of these two HCV genotype 2a viruses do not influence isolate-specific neutralization. Further analysis revealed that the N-terminal hypervariable region 1 (HVR1) of the E2 protein determines the sensitivity of isolate-specific neutralization and the HVR1 of the resistant J6 strain binds scavenger receptor class-B type-1 (SR-B1), while the sensitive JFH-1 stain does not. Our data provides new information on mechanisms of isolate-specific neutralization to facilitate the optimization of a much-needed HCV vaccine.Importance A vaccine is still urgently needed to overcome the HCV epidemic. It is estimated that 1.75 million new HCV infections occur each year, many of which will go undiagnosed and untreated. Untreated HCV can lead to continued spread of the disease, progressive liver fibrosis, cirrhosis and eventually end-stage liver disease and/or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Previously, our 1a E1/E2 glycoprotein vaccine was shown to elicit broadly cross-neutralizing antibodies, however, there remains variation in the effectiveness of these antibodies against different HCV genotypes. In this study, we investigated determinants of differential neutralization sensitivity between two highly related genotype 2a isolates, J6 and JFH-1. Our data indicates that HVR1 region determines neutralization sensitivity to vaccine antisera through modulation of sensitivity to antibodies and interactions with SR-B1. Our results provide additional insight into optimizing a broadly neutralizing HCV vaccine.
Keywords: Hypervariable region 1; scavenger receptor B1; genotype 2a; hepatitis C virus; isolate-specific; neutralizing antibodies; vaccine
Rights: © 2019 Johnson et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.
DOI: 10.1128/jvi.00810-19
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