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Naarden, Netherlands

Pant N.,Karolinska Institutet | Marcotte H.,Karolinska Institutet | Hermans P.,BAC BV | Bezemer S.,BAC BV | And 3 more authors.
Future Microbiology | Year: 2011

Aims: Using genetically engineered lactobacilli, producing high avidity llama VHH domains (referred to as anti-rotavirus proteins; ARPs), to test the effect of multimeric antibody fragments as prophylaxis and therapy against rotavirus infection. Methods: Two ARPs, ARP1 and ARP3, shown to bind to different epitopes and act synergistically against rotavirus, were displayed on the surface of Lactobacillus paracasei as monovalent or bivalent proteins (mono- or bi-specific). Results: Although a nonsignificant difference was observed between lactobacilli producing bispecific ARP3-ARP1 and monomeric ARPs, lactobacilli producing bispecific ARP3-ARP1 were superior at reducing the rate of diarrhea when used for prophylactic and therapeutic intervention in a mouse model of rotavirus infection in comparison to nontreated animals. Conclusion: Expression of bispecific antibodies in lactobacilli resulted in slight improvement of their efficacy. Furthermore, increasing the specificity would theoretically reduce the rate of appearance of viral escape mutants and would have a broader capacity to be effective against a range of viral serotypes. © 2011 Future Medicine Ltd.

Gorlani A.,University Utrecht | Lutje Hulsik D.,Joseph Fourier University | Adams H.,BAC BV | Vriend G.,Radboud University Nijmegen | And 2 more authors.
Protein Engineering, Design and Selection | Year: 2012

Variable domains of llama heavy-chain antibodies (VHH) are becoming a potent tool for a wide range of biotechnological and medical applications. Because of structural features typical of their single-domain nature, they are relatively easy to produce in lower eukaryotes, but it is not uncommon that some molecules have poor secretion efficiency. We therefore set out to study the production yield of VHH. We computationally identified five key residues that are crucial for folding and secretion, and we validated their importance with systematic site-directed mutations. The observation that all key residues were localised in the V segment, in proximity of the J segment of VHH, led us to study the importance of J segment in secretion efficiency. Intriguingly, we found that the use of specific J segments in VHH could strongly influence the production yield. Sequence analysis and expression experiments strongly suggested that interactions with chaperones, especially with the J segment, are a crucial aspect of the production yield of VHH. © The Author 2011.

Aladin F.,Public Health England | Einerhand A.W.C.,Laboratory of Pediatrics | Bouma J.,Laboratory of Pediatrics | Bezemer S.,BAC BV | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Rotavirus is the main cause of viral gastroenteritis in young children. Therefore, the development of inexpensive antiviral products for the prevention and/or treatment of rotavirus disease remains a priority. Previously we have shown that a recombinant monovalent antibody fragment (referred to as Anti-Rotavirus Proteins or ARP1) derived from a heavy chain antibody of a llama immunised with rotavirus was able to neutralise rotavirus infection in a mouse model system. In the present work we investigated the specificity and neutralising activity of two llama antibody fragments, ARP1 and ARP3, against 13 cell culture adapted rotavirus strains of diverse genotypes. In addition, immunocapture electron microscopy (IEM) was performed to determine binding of ARP1 to clinical isolates and cell culture adapted strains. ARP1 and ARP3 were able to neutralise a broad variety of rotavirus serotypes/genotypes in vitro, and in addition, IEM showed specific binding to a variety of cell adapted strains as well as strains from clinical specimens. These results indicated that these molecules could potentially be used as immunoprophylactic and/or immunotherapeutic products for the prevention and/or treatment of infection of a broad range of clinically relevant rotavirus strains. © 2012 Aladin et al.

Klooster R.,Leiden University | Plomp J.J.,Leiden University | Huijbers M.G.,Leiden University | Huijbers M.G.,Maastricht University | And 12 more authors.
Brain | Year: 2012

Myasthenia gravis is a paralytic disorder with autoantibodies against acetylcholine receptors at the neuromuscular junction. A proportion of patients instead has antibodies against muscle-specific kinase, a protein essential for acetylcholine receptor clustering. These are generally of the immunoglobulin-G4 subclass and correlate with disease severity, suggesting specific myasthenogenic activity. However, immunoglobulin-G4 subclass antibodies are generally considered to be 'benign' and direct proof for their pathogenicity in muscle-specific kinase myasthenia gravis (or other immunoglobulin-G4-associated disorders) is lacking. Furthermore, the exact electrophysiological synaptic defects caused at neuromuscular junctions by human anti-muscle-specific kinase autoantibodies are hitherto unknown. We show that purified immunoglobulin-G4, but not immunoglobulin-G1-3, from patients with muscle-specific kinase myasthenia gravis binds to mouse neuromuscular junctions in vitro, and that injection into immunodeficient mice causes paralysis. Injected immunoglobulin-G4 caused reduced density and fragmented area of neuromuscular junction acetylcholine receptors. Detailed electrophysiological synaptic analyses revealed severe reduction of postsynaptic acetylcholine sensitivity, and exaggerated depression of presynaptic acetylcholine release during high-rate activity, together causing the (fatigable) muscle weakness. Intriguingly, compensatory transmitter release upregulation, which is the normal homeostatic response in acetylcholine receptor myasthenia gravis, was absent. This conveys extra vulnerability to neurotransmission at muscle-specific kinase myasthenia gravis neuromuscular junctions. Thus, we demonstrate that patient anti-muscle-specific kinase immunoglobulin-G4 is myasthenogenic, independent of additional immune system components, and have elucidated the underlying electrophysiological neuromuscular junction abnormalities. © 2012 The Author.

Adams H.,BAC BV | Adams H.,University Utrecht | Horrevoets W.M.,BAC BV | Adema S.M.,BAC BV | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Biotechnology | Year: 2014

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a leading cause of hospital-acquired infections in patients with compromised host defense mechanisms, including burn wound victims. In addition to its intrinsic resistance against most antibiotics, P. aeruginosa has the ability to form biofilms adhering to biotic or abiotic surfaces. These factors make treatment of P. aeruginosa infections complicated and demand new therapies and drugs. The flagellum of P. aeruginosa plays an important role in cell-cell and cell-surface interactions during the first stage of biofilm formation. In this study, we describe the selection of monoclonal anti-flagellin single-domain antibodies (VHHs) derived from the Camelid heavy-chain antibody repertoire of a llama immunized with P. aeruginosa antigens. The anti-flagellin VHHs could be produced efficiently in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and surface plasmon resonance experiments demonstrated that they have apparent affinities in the nanomolar range. Functional screens showed that the anti-flagellin VHHs are capable of inhibiting P. aeruginosa from swimming and that they prevent biofilm formation in an in vitro assay. These data open doors for the development of novel methods for the prevention of P. aeruginosa-related infections. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

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