The findings show precisely how a key part of the antibody, called the antigen binding fragment, or Fab, attaches to two adjacent protein molecules that make up the virus's outer shell.
This "crosslinking" attachment between molecules is repeated over the entire shell, interlocking the 30 molecular "rafts" that make up the shell and preventing structural changes needed for the virus to infect host cells, said Michael Rossmann, the Hanley Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences in Purdue's College of Science.
"The antibody crosslinking causes the virus to become rigid, and this rigidity prevents conformational changes to the virus needed to fuse with host cells," Rossmann said.
Findings are detailed in a research paper that appeared in October in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The team included postdoctoral researcher Bärbel Kaufmann, other researchers at Purdue, the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the biotechnology company Crucell Holland B.V. in The Netherlands.
Learning how antibodies neutralize viruses is important for developing effective vaccines, Rossmann said.
"There are many antibodies that can neutralize West Nile virus," he said. "These findings concern a specific antibody, called CR4354. It uses an unusual approach to neutralize the virus. Normally an antibody binds to a single molecule, but now we see this crosslinking, which is quite clever because it ties everything rigidly together."
The researchers used a process called cryoelectron microscopy to take detailed pictures of the Fab-virus complex. They also used X-ray crystallography to learn the antibody's precise crystalline structure.
West Nile belongs to a family of viruses known as flaviviruses, which includes a number of dangerous insect-borne disease-causing viruses. West Nile virus causes a potentially fatal illness and has infected thousands of people in the United States over the past five years, killing more than 400 people in that time frame, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus is endemic in parts of Africa, Asia and Europe and in the past decade has spread throughout North America and into Central and South America.
The research is funded by the National Institutes of Health.
The paper was written by Kaufmann; doctoral student Matthew R. Vogt at the Washington University School of Medicine; Jaap Goudsmit, chief scientific officer at Crucell Holland; electron microscopist Heather A. Holdaway; Purdue postdoctoral researcher Anastasia A. Aksyuka; Paul R. Chipman, director of Purdue's structural biology electron microscopy facility; Richard Kuhn, professor and head of Purdue's Department of Biological Sciences; Michael S. Diamond, professor in the departments of Medicine, Molecular Microbiology, Pathology and Immunology at Washington University School of Medicine; and Rossmann.Writer: Emil Venere, 765-494-4709, email@example.com
Emil Venere | EurekAlert!
Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München
Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences