Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies Targeting New Sites of Vulnerability in Hepatitis C Virus E1E2

Michelle D. Colbert, Andrew I. Flyak, Clinton O. Ogega, Valerie J. Kinchen, Guido Massaccesi, Mayda Hernandez, Edgar Davidson, Benjamin J. Doranz, Andrea L. Cox, James E. Crowe, Justin R. Bailey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Increasing evidence indicates that broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) play an important role in immune-mediated control of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, but the relative contribution of neutralizing antibodies targeting antigenic sites across the HCV envelope (E1 and E2) proteins is unclear. Here, we isolated thirteen E1E2-specific monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) from B cells of a single HCV-infected individual who cleared one genotype 1a infection and then became persistently infected with a second genotype 1a strain. These MAbs bound six distinct discontinuous antigenic sites on the E1 protein, the E2 protein, or the E1E2 heterodimer. Three antigenic sites, designated AS108, AS112 (an N-terminal E1 site), and AS146, were distinct from previously described antigenic regions (ARs) 1 to 5 and E1 sites. Antibodies targeting four sites (AR3, AR4-5, AS108, and AS146) were broadly neutralizing. These MAbs also displayed distinct patterns of relative neutralizing potency (i.e., neutralization profiles) across a panel of diverse HCV strains, which led to complementary neutralizing breadth when they were tested in combination. Overall, this study demonstrates that HCV bNAb epitopes are not restricted to previously described antigenic sites, expanding the number of sites that could be targeted for vaccine development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere02070
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • Broadly neutralizing antibodies
  • Epitope
  • Flaviviridae
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Hepatitis C virus clearance
  • Humoral immunity
  • Neutralizing antibodies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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