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Title: A camelid single-domain antibody neutralizes botulinum neurotoxin A by blocking host receptor binding

Abstract

Antibody treatment is currently the only available countermeasure for botulism, a fatal illness caused by flaccid paralysis of muscles due to botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) intoxication. Among the seven major serotypes of BoNT/A-G, BoNT/A poses the most serious threat to humans because of its high potency and long duration of action. Prior to entering neurons and blocking neurotransmitter release, BoNT/A recognizes motoneurons via a dual-receptor binding process in which it engages both the neuron surface polysialoganglioside (PSG) and synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2 (SV2). Previously, we identified a potent neutralizing antitoxin against BoNT/A1 termed ciA-C2, derived from a camelid heavy-chain-only antibody (VHH). In this study, we demonstrate that ciA-C2 prevents BoNT/A1 intoxication by inhibiting its binding to neuronal receptor SV2. Furthermore, we determined the crystal structure of ciA-C2 in complex with the receptor-binding domain of BoNT/A1 (HCA1) at 1.68 Å resolution. The structure revealed that ciA-C2 partially occupies the SV2-binding site on H CA1, causing direct interference of HCA1 interaction with both the N-glycan and peptide-moiety of SV2. Interestingly, this neutralization mechanism is similar to that of a monoclonal antibody in clinical trials, despite that ciA-C2 is more than 10-times smaller. Taken together, these results enlighten our understanding of BoNT/A1 interactions withmore » its neuronal receptor, and further demonstrate that inhibiting toxin binding to the host receptor is an efficient countermeasure strategy.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ORCiD logo; ; ORCiD logo; ORCiD logo
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Advanced Photon Source (APS)
Sponsoring Org.:
NIAIDOTHER
OSTI Identifier:
1379429
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Scientific Reports; Journal Volume: 7; Journal Issue: 1
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
ENGLISH
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Yao, Guorui, Lam, Kwok-ho, Weisemann, Jasmin, Peng, Lisheng, Krez, Nadja, Perry, Kay, Shoemaker, Charles B., Dong, Min, Rummel, Andreas, and Jin, Rongsheng. A camelid single-domain antibody neutralizes botulinum neurotoxin A by blocking host receptor binding. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-07457-5.
Yao, Guorui, Lam, Kwok-ho, Weisemann, Jasmin, Peng, Lisheng, Krez, Nadja, Perry, Kay, Shoemaker, Charles B., Dong, Min, Rummel, Andreas, & Jin, Rongsheng. A camelid single-domain antibody neutralizes botulinum neurotoxin A by blocking host receptor binding. United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-07457-5.
Yao, Guorui, Lam, Kwok-ho, Weisemann, Jasmin, Peng, Lisheng, Krez, Nadja, Perry, Kay, Shoemaker, Charles B., Dong, Min, Rummel, Andreas, and Jin, Rongsheng. 2017. "A camelid single-domain antibody neutralizes botulinum neurotoxin A by blocking host receptor binding". United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-07457-5.
@article{osti_1379429,
title = {A camelid single-domain antibody neutralizes botulinum neurotoxin A by blocking host receptor binding},
author = {Yao, Guorui and Lam, Kwok-ho and Weisemann, Jasmin and Peng, Lisheng and Krez, Nadja and Perry, Kay and Shoemaker, Charles B. and Dong, Min and Rummel, Andreas and Jin, Rongsheng},
abstractNote = {Antibody treatment is currently the only available countermeasure for botulism, a fatal illness caused by flaccid paralysis of muscles due to botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) intoxication. Among the seven major serotypes of BoNT/A-G, BoNT/A poses the most serious threat to humans because of its high potency and long duration of action. Prior to entering neurons and blocking neurotransmitter release, BoNT/A recognizes motoneurons via a dual-receptor binding process in which it engages both the neuron surface polysialoganglioside (PSG) and synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2 (SV2). Previously, we identified a potent neutralizing antitoxin against BoNT/A1 termed ciA-C2, derived from a camelid heavy-chain-only antibody (VHH). In this study, we demonstrate that ciA-C2 prevents BoNT/A1 intoxication by inhibiting its binding to neuronal receptor SV2. Furthermore, we determined the crystal structure of ciA-C2 in complex with the receptor-binding domain of BoNT/A1 (HCA1) at 1.68 Å resolution. The structure revealed that ciA-C2 partially occupies the SV2-binding site on HCA1, causing direct interference of HCA1 interaction with both the N-glycan and peptide-moiety of SV2. Interestingly, this neutralization mechanism is similar to that of a monoclonal antibody in clinical trials, despite that ciA-C2 is more than 10-times smaller. Taken together, these results enlighten our understanding of BoNT/A1 interactions with its neuronal receptor, and further demonstrate that inhibiting toxin binding to the host receptor is an efficient countermeasure strategy.},
doi = {10.1038/s41598-017-07457-5},
journal = {Scientific Reports},
number = 1,
volume = 7,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month = 8
}
  • Ingestion or inhalation of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) results in botulism, a severe and frequently fatal disease. Current treatments rely on antitoxins, which, while effective, cannot reverse symptoms once BoNT has entered the neuron. For treatments that can reverse intoxication, interest has focused on developing inhibitors of the enzymatic BoNT light chain (BoNT Lc). Such inhibitors typically mimic substrate and bind in or around the substrate cleavage pocket. To explore the full range of binding sites for serotype A light chain (BoNT/A Lc) inhibitors, we created a library of non-immune llama single-domain VHH (camelid heavy-chain variable region derived from heavy-chain-only antibody)more » antibodies displayed on the surface of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Library selection on BoNT/A Lc yielded 15 yeast-displayed VHH with equilibrium dissociation constants (K{sub d}) from 230 to 0.03 nM measured by flow cytometry. Eight of 15 VHH inhibited the cleavage of substrate SNAP25 (synaptosome-associated protein of 25,000 Da) by BoNT/A Lc. The most potent VHH (Aa1) had a solution K{sub d} for BoNT/A Lc of 1.47 x 10{sup -10} M and an IC{sub 50} (50% inhibitory concentration) of 4.7 x 10{sup -10} M and was resistant to heat denaturation and reducing conditions. To understand the mechanism by which Aa1 inhibited catalysis, we solved the X-ray crystal structure of the BoNT/A Lc-Aa1 VHH complex at 2.6 {angstrom} resolution. The structure reveals that the Aa1 VHH binds in the {alpha}-exosite of the BoNT/A Lc, far from the active site for catalysis. The study validates the utility of non-immune llama VHH libraries as a source of enzyme inhibitors and identifies the BoNT/A Lc {alpha}-exosite as a target for inhibitor development.« less
  • Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), the causative agent of the deadly neuroparalytic disease botulism, is the most poisonous protein known for humans. Produced by different strains of the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum, BoNT effects cellular intoxication via a multistep mechanism executed by the three modules of the activated protein. Endocytosis, the first step of cellular intoxication, is triggered by the ~50 kDa, heavy-chain receptor-binding module (HCR) that is specific for a ganglioside and a protein receptor on neuronal cell surfaces. This dual receptor recognition mechanism between BoNT and the host cell’s membrane is well documented and occurs via specific intermolecular interactions withmore » the C-terminal sub-domain, Hcc, of BoNT-HCR. The N-terminal sub-domain of BoNT-HCR, Hcn, comprises ~50% of BoNT-HCR and adopts a B-sheet jelly roll fold. While suspected in assisting cell surface recognition, no unambiguous function for the Hcn sub-domain in BoNT has been indentified. To obtain insights into the potential function of the Hcn sub-domain in BoNT, the first crystal structure of a BoNT with an organic ligand bound to the Hcn sub-domain has been obtained. Here, we describe the crystal structure of BoNT/CD-HCR determined at 1.70 Å resolution with a tetraethylene glycol (PG4) molecule bound in an hydrophobic cleft between B-strands in the B-sheet jelly fold roll of the Hcn sub-domain. The molecule is completely engulfed in the cleft, making numerous hydrophobic (Y932, S959, W966, and D1042) and hydrophilic (S935, W977, L979, N1013, and I1066) contacts with the protein’s side chain and backbone that may mimic in vivo interactions with the phospholipid membranes on neuronal cell surfaces. A sulfate ion was also observed bound to residues T1176, D1177, K1196, and R1243 in the Hcc sub-domain of BoNT/CD-HCR. In the crystal structure of a similar protein, BoNT/D-HCR, a sialic acid« less
  • Highlights: {yields} We determined the crystal structure of the receptor binding domain of BoNT in complex with 3'-sialyllactose. {yields} An electron density derived from the 3'-sialyllactose was confirmed at the cleft in the C-terminal subdomain. {yields} Alanine site-directed mutagenesis showed that GBS and GBL are important for ganglioside binding. {yields} A cell binding mechanism, which involves cooperative contribution of two sites, was proposed. -- Abstract: Clostridium botulinum type D strain OFD05, which produces the D/C mosaic neurotoxin, was isolated from cattle killed by the recent botulism outbreak in Japan. The D/C mosaic neurotoxin is the most toxic of the botulinummore » neurotoxins (BoNT) characterized to date. Here, we determined the crystal structure of the receptor binding domain of BoNT from strain OFD05 in complex with 3'-sialyllactose at a resolution of 3.0 A. In the structure, an electron density derived from the 3'-sialyllactose was confirmed at the cleft in the C-terminal subdomain. Alanine site-directed mutagenesis showed the significant contribution of the residues surrounding the cleft to ganglioside recognition. In addition, a loop adjoining the cleft also plays an important role in ganglioside recognition. In contrast, little effect was observed when the residues located around the surface previously identified as the protein receptor binding site in other BoNTs were substituted. The results of cell binding analysis of the mutants were significantly correlated with the ganglioside binding properties. Based on these observations, a cell binding mechanism of BoNT from strain OFD05 is proposed, which involves cooperative contribution of two ganglioside binding sites.« less
  • Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are highly toxic proteins for humans and can cause neuroparalytic disease botulism. Due to the limitations of production and manipulation of holoenzymes, expressing non-toxic heavy chain receptor binding domains (HCR) has become a common strategy for vaccine and antibody development. Meanwhile, large quantities and highly purified soluble proteins are required for research areas such as antibody maturation and structural biology. We present high level expression and purification of the BoNT serotype D HCR in E. coli using a codon-optimized cDNA. By varying expression conditions, especially at low temperature, the protein was expressed at a high level withmore » high solubility. About 150-200 mg protein was purified to >90% purity from 1 L cell culture. The recombinant D_HCR was crystallized and the crystals diffracted to 1.65 Å resolution. The crystals belong to space group P212121 with unit cell dimensions a = 60.8 Å, b = 89.7 Å, c = 93.9 Å. Preliminary crystallographic data analysis revealed one molecule in asymmetric unit.« less