The effect of seven monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) specific to the light chain (HA2) of influenza A haemagglutinin (HA) on its fusion activity was investigated. These MAbs, which are non-virus neutralizing, defined four distinct antigenic sites on HA2 glycopolypeptide and the corresponding epitopes were attributed to the sequence stretches on HA2. The accessibility of all seven HA2 epitopes significantly increased after trypsin cleavage and pH 5 treatment of the HA (X-31). The influence of anti-HA2 MAbs on the fusion process was followed by cell–cell fusion of CHO cells expressing precursor HA, virus-liposome fusion assay, and haemolysis mediated by virus. MAb CF2, which bound directly to the fusion peptide 1–35 of HA2, was positive in all three fusion-inhibition assays and was the only one inhibiting the polykaryon formation of CHO-X-31 cells. Two other MAbs belonging to the same antigenic site but not binding directly to the fusion peptide inhibited virus to liposome fusion (EB12) or inhibited haemolysis (BB8). Moreover, MAb IIF4 binding to distinct antigenic site within 125–175 HA2 inhibited haemolysis, too. Thus, fusion activity of HA may be inhibited by anti-HA2 MAbs, mainly those binding to or near the fusion peptide. These antibodies represent useful probes for studies of influenza virus to cell membrane fusion.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 1, 2003
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