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Characterization and epitope mapping of monoclonal antibodies raised against rat hepatitis E virus capsid protein: An evaluation of their neutralizing activity in a cell culture system

Kobayashi, Tominari, Takahashi, Masaharu, Tanggis,, Mulyanto,, Jirintai, Suljid, Nagashima, Shigeo, Nishizawa, Tsutomu, Okamoto, Hiroaki
Journal of virological methods 2016 v.233 pp. 78-88
coat proteins, Orthohepevirus A, cross reaction, neutralization, trypsin, epitope mapping, hepatitis, humans, capsid, cell culture, lipids, mice, amino acids, monoclonal antibodies, viruses, deoxycholic acid, rats, virus replication
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is the causative agent of acute hepatitis. Rat HEV is a recently discovered virus related to, but distinct from, human HEV. Since laboratory rats can be reproducibly infected with rat HEV and a cell culture system has been established for rat HEV, this virus may be used as a surrogate virus for human HEV, enabling studies on virus replication and mechanism of infection. However, monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against rat HEV capsid (ORF2) protein are not available. In this study, 12 murine MAbs were generated against a recombinant ORF2 protein of rat HEV (rRatHEV-ORF2: amino acids 101–644) and were classified into at least six distinct groups by epitope mapping and a cross-reactivity analysis with human HEV ORF2 proteins. Two non-cross-reactive MAbs recognizing the protruding (P) domain detected both non-denatured and denatured rRatHEV-ORF2 protein and efficiently captured cell culture-produced rat HEV particles that had been treated with deoxycholate and trypsin, but not those without prior treatment. In addition, these two MAbs were able to efficiently neutralize replication of cell culture-generated rat HEV particles without lipid membranes (but not those with lipid membranes) in a cell culture system, similar to human HEV.