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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Antibodies to rotavirus outer capsid glycoprotein VP7 neutralize infectivity by inhibiting virion decapsidation.

The rotavirus capsid is composed of three concentric protein layers. Proteins VP4 and VP7 comprise the outer layer. VP4 forms spikes, is the viral attachment protein, and is cleaved by trypsin into VP8* and VP5*. VP7 is a glycoprotein and the major constituent of the outer protein layer. Both VP4 and VP7 induce neutralizing and protective antibodies. To gain insight into the virus neutralization mechanisms, the effects of neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) directed against VP8*, VP5*, and VP7 on the decapsidation process of purified OSU and RRV virions were studied. Changes in virion size were followed in real time by 90 degrees light scattering. The transition from triple-layered particles to double-layered particles induced by controlled low calcium concentrations was completely inhibited by anti-VP7 MAbs but not by anti-VP8* or anti-VP5* MAbs. The inhibitory effect of the MAb directed against VP7 was concentration dependent and was abolished by papain digestion of virus-bound antibody under conditions that generated Fab fragments but not under conditions that generated F(ab')(2) fragments. Electron microscopy showed that RRV virions reacted with an anti-VP7 MAb stayed as triple-layered particles in the presence of excess EDTA. Furthermore, the infectivity of rotavirus neutralized via VP8*, but not that of rotavirus neutralized via VP7, could be recovered by lipofection of neutralized particles into MA-104 cells. These data are consistent with the notion that antibodies directed at VP8* neutralize by inhibiting binding of virus to the cell. They also indicate that antibodies directed at VP7 neutralize by inhibiting virus decapsidation, in a manner that is dependent on the bivalent binding of the antibody.[1]


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