Characterization of Antibody Interactions with the G Protein of Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Indiana Strain and Other Vesiculovirus G Proteins
Munis AM., Tijani M., Hassall M., Mattiuzzo G., Collins MK., Takeuchi Y.
<jats:title>ABSTRACT</jats:title> <jats:p>Vesicular stomatitis virus Indiana strain G protein (VSVind.G) is the most commonly used envelope glycoprotein to pseudotype lentiviral vectors (LV) for experimental and clinical applications. Recently, G proteins derived from other vesiculoviruses (VesG), for example, Cocal virus, have been proposed as alternative LV envelopes with possible advantages over VSVind.G. Well-characterized antibodies that recognize VesG will be useful for vesiculovirus research, development of G protein-containing advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs), and deployment of VSVind-based vaccine vectors. Here, we show that one commercially available monoclonal antibody, 8G5F11, binds to and neutralizes G proteins from three strains of VSV, as well as Cocal and Maraba viruses, whereas the other commercially available monoclonal anti-VSVind.G antibody, IE9F9, binds to and neutralizes only VSVind.G. Using a combination of G protein chimeras and site-directed mutations, we mapped the binding epitopes of IE9F9 and 8G5F11 on VSVind.G. IE9F9 binds close to the receptor binding site and competes with soluble low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) for binding to VSVind.G, explaining its mechanism of neutralization. In contrast, 8G5F11 binds close to a region known to undergo conformational changes when the G protein moves to its postfusion structure, and we propose that 8G5F11 cross-neutralizes VesGs by inhibiting this.</jats:p> <jats:p><jats:bold>IMPORTANCE</jats:bold> VSVind.G is currently regarded as the gold-standard envelope glycoprotein to pseudotype lentiviral vectors. However, recently other G proteins derived from vesiculoviruses have been proposed as alternative envelopes. Here, we investigated two commercially available anti-VSVind.G monoclonal antibodies for their ability to cross-react with other vesiculovirus G proteins, identified the epitopes they recognize, and explored their neutralization activity. We have identified 8G5F11, for the first time, as a cross-neutralizing antibody against several vesiculovirus G proteins. Furthermore, we elucidated the two different neutralization mechanisms employed by these two monoclonal antibodies. Understanding how cross-neutralizing antibodies interact with other G proteins may be of interest in the context of host-pathogen interaction and coevolution, as well as providing the opportunity to modify the G proteins and improve G protein-containing medicinal products and vaccine vectors.</jats:p>