1. Immunology and Inflammation
  2. Microbiology and Infectious Disease
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Lamprey VLRB response to influenza virus supports universal rules of immunogenicity and antigenicity

  1. Meghan O Altman
  2. Jack R Bennink
  3. Jonathan W Yewdell  Is a corresponding author
  4. Brantley R Herrin
  1. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, United States
  2. Emory University School of Medicine, United States
Research Article
  • Cited 42
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Cite this article as: eLife 2015;4:e07467 doi: 10.7554/eLife.07467

Abstract

Immunoglobulins (Igs) are a crown jewel of jawed vertebrate evolution. Through recombination and mutation of small numbers of genes, Igs can specifically recognize a vast variety of natural and man-made organic molecules. Jawless vertebrates evolved a parallel system of humoral immunity, which recognizes antigens not with Ig, but with a structurally unrelated receptor called the variable lymphocyte receptor B (VLRB). We exploited the convergent evolution of Ig and VLRB antibodies to investigate if intrinsic chemical features of foreign proteins determine their antigenicity and immunogenicity. Surprisingly, we find lamprey VLRB and mouse Ig responses to influenza A virus are extremely similar. Each focuses ~80% of the response on hemagglutinin, mainly through recognition of the major antigenic sites in the hemagglutinin globular head domain. Our findings predict basic conservation of antibody responses to protein antigens, strongly supporting the use of animal models for understanding human antibody responses to viruses and protein immunogens.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Meghan O Altman

    Laboratory of Viral Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Jack R Bennink

    Laboratory of Viral Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Jonathan W Yewdell

    Laboratory of Viral Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, United States
    For correspondence
    jyewdell@nih.gov
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Brantley R Herrin

    Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Ethics

Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Thomas Boehm, Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Germany

Publication history

  1. Received: March 17, 2015
  2. Accepted: August 6, 2015
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: August 7, 2015 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: August 28, 2015 (version 2)

Copyright

This is an open-access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.

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