Publications & Reports

Exceptionally long CDR3H of bovine scFv antigenized with BoHV-1 B-epitope generates specific immune response against the targeted epitope.

Pasman Y, Soliman C, Ramsland PA, Kaushik AK
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1, Canada.


We discovered that some bovine antibodies are amongst the largest known to exist due to the presence of an exceptionally long CDR3H (>/=49 amino acids) with multiple cysteines that provide a unique knob and stalk structure to the antigen binding site. The large CDR3H size, unlike mouse and human, provides a suitable platform for antigenization with large configurational B-epitopes. Here we report the identification of a B-epitope on the gC envelope protein of bovine herpes virus type-1 (BoHV-1) recognized by a bovine IgG1 antibody. The identified 156 amino acid long gC fragment (gC156) was expressed as a recombinant protein. Subsequently, a functional scFv fragment with a 61 amino-acid long CDR3H (scFv1H12) was expressed such that gC156 was grafted into the CDR3H, replacing the “knob” region (gC156scFv1H12 or Ag-scFv). Importantly, the Ag-scFv could be recognized by a neutralizing antibody fragment (scFv3-18L), which suggests that the engraftment of gC156 into the CDR3H of 1H12 maintained the native conformation of the BoHV-1 B-epitope. A 3D model of gC156 was generated using fold-recognition approaches and this was grafted onto the CDR3H stalk of the 1H12 Fab crystal structure to predict the 3D structure of the Ag-scFv. The grafted antigen in Ag-scFv is predicted to have a compact conformation with the ability to protrude into the solvent. Upon immunization of bovine calves, the antigenized scFv (gC156scFv1H12) induced a higher antibody response as compared to free recombinant gC156. These observations suggest that antigenization of bovine scFv with an exceptionally long CDR3H provides a novel approach to developing the next generation of vaccines against infectious agents that require induction of protective humoral immunity.

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  • Journal: Molecular Immunology
  • Published: 03/08/2016
  • Volume: 77
  • Pagination: 113-125