- Ekiert DC, Bhabha G, Elsliger MA, Friesen RH, Jongeneelen M, Throsby M, Goudsmit J, Wilson IA
- Antibody Recognition of a Highly Conserved Influenza Virus Epitope.
- Science. 2009 Feb 26.
- Influenza virus presents a significant and persistent threat to public health worldwide, and current vaccines provide immunity to viral isolates similar to the vaccine strain. High-affinity antibodies against a conserved epitope could provide immunity to the diverse influenza subtypes and protection against future pandemic viruses. Co-crystal structures were determined at 2.2 and 2.7 A resolutions for broadly neutralizing human antibody CR6261 Fab in complexes with the major surface antigen (hemagglutinin, HA) from viruses responsible for the 1918 H1N1 influenza pandemic and a recent lethal case of H5N1 avian influenza. In contrast to other structurally characterized influenza antibodies, CR6261 recognizes a highly conserved helical region in the membrane-proximal stem of HA1/HA2. The antibody neutralizes the virus by blocking conformational rearrangements associated with membrane fusion. The CR6261 epitope identified here should accelerate the design and implementation of improved vaccines that can elicit CR6261-like antibodies, as well as antibody-based therapies for the treatment of influenza.