Structure-function relationships for human antibodies to pneumococcal capsular polysaccharide from transgenic mice with human immunoglobulin loci

Q. Chang, Z. Zhong, A. Lees, M. Pekna, L. Pirofski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations


To investigate the influence of antibody structure and specificity on antibody efficacy against Streptococcus pneumoniae, human monospecific antibodies (MAbs) to serotype 3 pneumococcal capsular polysaccharide (PPS-3) were generated from transgenic mice reconstituted with human immunoglobulin loci (XenoMouse mice) vaccinated with a PPS-3-tetanus toxoid conjugate and their molecular genetic structures, epitope specificities, and protective efficacies in normal and complement-deficient mice were determined. Nucleic acid sequence analysis of three MAbs (A7, 1A2, and 7C5) revealed that they use two different VH-3 genes (A7 and 1A2 both use V3-15) and three different VΚ gene segments. The MAbs were found to have similar affinities for PPS-3 but different epitope specificities and CDR3 regions. Both A7 and 7C5 had a lysine at the VH-D junction, whereas 1A2 had a threonine. Challenge experiments with serotype 3 S. pneumoniae in BALB/c mice revealed that both 10- and 1-μg doses of A7 and 7C5 were protective, while only a 10-μg dose of 1A2 was protective. Both A7 and 7C5 were also protective in mice lacking either an intact alternative (FB-/-) or classical (C4-/-) complement pathway, but 1A2 was not protective in either strain. Our data suggest that PPS-3 consists of epitopes that can elicit both highly protective and less protective antibodies and that the superior efficacies of certain antibodies may be a function of their structures and/or specificities. Further investigation of relationships between structure, specificity, and efficacy for defined MAbs to PPS may identify antibody features that might be useful surrogates for antibody (and vaccine) efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4977-4986
Number of pages10
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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