Targeting surface-layer proteins with single-domain antibodies : a potential therapeutic approach against Clostridium difficile-associated disease

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-015-6594-1
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TypeArticle
Journal titleApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
ISSN0175-7598
1432-0614
Volume99
Issue20
Pages85498562; # of pages: 14
SubjectClostridium difficile; Surface layer protein; Single-domain antibody; VHH; Nanobody
AbstractClostridium difficile is a leading cause of death from gastrointestinal infections in North America. Antibiotic therapy is effective, but the high incidence of relapse and the rise in hypervirulent strains warrant the search for novel treatments. Surface layer proteins (SLPs) cover the entire C. difficile bacterial surface, are composed of high-molecular-weight (HMW) and low-molecular-weight (LMW) subunits, and mediate adherence to host cells. Passive and active immunization against SLPs has enhanced hamster survival, suggesting that antibody-mediated neutralization may be an effective therapeutic strategy. Here, we isolated a panel of SLP-specific single-domain antibodies (VHHs) using an immune llama phage display library and SLPs isolated from C. difficile hypervirulent strain QCD-32g58 (027 ribotype) as a target antigen. Binding studies revealed a number of VHHs that bound QCD-32g58 SLPs with high affinity (K D = 3–6 nM) and targeted epitopes located on the LMW subunit of the SLP. The VHHs demonstrated melting temperatures as high as 75 °C, and a few were resistant to the gastrointestinal protease pepsin at physiologically relevant concentrations. In addition, we demonstrated the binding specificity of the VHHs to the major C. difficile ribotypes by whole cell ELISA, where all VHHs were found to bind 001 and 027 ribotypes, and a subset of antibodies were found to be broadly cross-reactive in binding cells representative of 012, 017, 023, and 078 ribotypes. Finally, we showed that several of the VHHs inhibited C. difficile QCD-32g58 motility in vitro. Targeting SLPs with VHHs may be a viable therapeutic approach against C. difficile-associated disease.
Publication date
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada; Human Health Therapeutics
Peer reviewedYes
NRC numberNRC-HHT-53299
NPARC number21275396
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Record identifierb403760a-7c94-4eaa-8d4f-b5611feb6453
Record created2015-06-29
Record modified2016-05-09
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