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Structural Features Of A Conformation-dependent Antigen Epitope On ORFV-B2L Recognized By The 2E4 MAb

Yongzhong Yu, Wenbo Zhao, Qiang Tan, Xue Zhang, Mengyao Wang, Xuyang Duan, Yuanyuan Liu, Zhijun Wu, Jinzhu Ma, Baifen Song, Rui Zhao, Kui Zhao, Zhengxing Lian, Yudong Cui

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Abstract Previously, we successfully prepared a monoclonal antibody (mAb) named 2E4, that directly recognizes the major envelope protein B2L of the orf virus (ORFV), but there is little information about its epitope. Here, we meticulously mapped the 2E4 epitope through combinatorial programs and identified the functional binding domain and a key amino acid residue. Briefly, the simulated epitope peptide closely resembles 84VDVQSKDKDADELR97 located at the N-terminus of B2L, strongly suggesting that the epitope is conformationally or spatially structure-dependent. Subsequently, we combined these findings with the results from the antigenicity prediction of B2L to design three truncated fragments of B2L (F1, F2 and F3) selected using 2E4, and only the F1 fragment was found to be eligible for the advanced stage. Alanine-scanning mutagenesis suggested that the D94 residue is structurally crucial for the 2E4 epitope. The other participating residues, including K61, E62, and D92, together with D94 were responsible for enabling 2E4 binding and served as factors that synergistically enabled binding to the whole 2E4 epitope. In this paper, we describe, for the first time, the architecture of an ORFV conformational epitope, and it is also expected that mAb 2E4 and its epitope can be used for applications relating to orf control.