High Inter-Individual Diversity of Point Mutations, Insertions, and Deletions in Human Influenza Virus Nucleoprotein-Specific Memory B Cells

Reiche, Sven GND; Dwai, Y.; Bußmann, Bianca M.; Horn, S.; Sieg, M.; Jassoy, C.

The diversity of virus-specific antibodies and of B cells among different individuals is unknown. Using single-cell cloning of antibody genes, we generated recombinant human monoclonal antibodies from influenza nucleoprotein-specific memory B cells in four adult humans with and without preceding influenza vaccination. We examined the diversity of the antibody repertoires and found that NP-specific B cells used numerous immunoglobulin genes. The heavy chains (HCs) originated from 26 and the kappa light chains (LCs) from 19 different germ line genes. Matching HC and LC chains gave rise to 43 genetically distinct antibodies that bound influenza NP. The median lengths of the CDR3 of the HC, kappa and lambda LC were 14, 9 and 11 amino acids, respectively. We identified changes at 13.6% of the amino acid positions in the V gene of the antibody heavy chain, at 8.4 % in the kappa and at 10.6 % in the lambda V gene. We identified somatic insertions or deletions in 8.1% of the variable genes. We also found several small groups of clonal relatives that were highly diversified. Our findings demonstrate broadly diverse memory B cell repertoires for the influenza nucleoprotein. We found extensive variation within individuals with a high number of point mutations, insertions, and deletions, and extensive clonal diversification. Thus, structurally conserved proteins can elicit broadly diverse and highly mutated B-cell responses.

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Reiche, Sven / Dwai, Y. / Bußmann, Bianca M. / et al: High Inter-Individual Diversity of Point Mutations, Insertions, and Deletions in Human Influenza Virus Nucleoprotein-Specific Memory B Cells. 2015.

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