The Cryptococcus neoformans capsular polysaccharide glucuronoxylomannan (GXM) has been conjugated to tetanus toxoid (GXM-TT) as an investigational vaccine. GXM-TT elicits antibodies that are protective in C. neoformans- infected mice. In an effort to characterize the fine specificity and molecular structure of human GXM-TT-elicited antibodies, we generated two GXM monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) from peripheral blood lymphocytes of a volunteer GXM-TT recipient and studied serum GXM antibody idiotype expression in 10 additional vaccinees. The MAbs, 2E9 and 3B6, are the immunoglobulin M(λ) isotype and bind capsular polysaccharides of C. neoformans serotypes other than the serotype A that was used for immunization. Neither antibody competes with murine GXM MAbs for antigen binding, suggesting that the human MAbs recognize a different epitope. The B-cell superantigen staphylococcal protein A binds both MAbs, and human immunodeficiency virus gp120 binds 2E9. MAb nucleic acid sequence analysis revealed that both antibodies use an identical V(λ)1a-J(λ) genetic element with different, somatically mutated, members of the V(H)3 gene family and different D(H) and J(H) gene elements. The gene elements used by both MAbs occur in fetal B-lymphocyte repertoires, autoantibodies, and other polysaccharide antibodies, Post-GXM-TT vaccination GXM antibodies from 10 additional vaccinees expressed a shared idiotype defined by rabbit antiserum raised against MAb 2E9. Our data suggest that the human GXM antibody response is restricted and raise questions regarding the importance of specific variable-region elements and superantigens in the generation of human antibody responses to encapsulated pathogens.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases