The production of human monoclonal antibodies was previously limited to very laborious and time-consuming processes involving EBV-transformation and/or hybridoma generation. Due to the development of molecular cloning techniques, it is now possible to produce human monoclonal antibody fragments quickly by panning phage display libraries against predefined antigenic specificities. Therefore, we tested this technology for producing human single chain Fv fragments (scFvs) against HLA-DRI purified molecules immobilized on solid phase. Enrichment of DR1-specific phages was measured through five selection rounds of a synthetic library and revealed a 100-fold amplification. Soluble antibody fragments were then expressed and 7 out of 48 clones were found to secrete scFvs which specifically bind to DR1 molecules in ELISA. Further analysis revealed binding of the scFvs also to DR3 but not to DR5 or DR7 molecules correlating with the presence of particular polymorphic aminoacid residues in the DRβ chain. Western blot analysis indicated that the 7 scFvs react with the DR1 α/β-dimer but not with free α- or β- chains. This study shows that the innovative approach of phage display libraries can efficiently provide scFv fragments as useful reagents for the identification and dissection of HLA polymorphic epitopes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy