• Authors: Wec, A. Z., Herbert, A. S., Murin, C. D., Nyakatura, E. K., Abelson, D. M., Fels, J. M., He, S., James, R. M., de La Vega, M. A., Zhu, W., Bakken, R. R., Goodwin, E., Turner, H. L., Jangra, R. K., Zeitlin, L., Qiu, X., Lai, J. R., Walker, L. M., Ward, A. B., Dye, J. M., Chandran, K., Bornholdt, Z. A.
  • Year: 2017
  • Journal: Cell 169 878-890 e15
  • Applications: in vitro / DNA / PEIpro
  • Cell type: HEK-293
    Description: Human embryonic kidney Fibroblast
    Known as: HEK293, 293


One day prior to transfection, HEK-293 cells were passaged at 2.0–2.5 x 10^6 cells per ml. On the day of transfection, cells were pelleted by centrifuging at 400 x g for 5 min, and cell pellets were resuspended in fresh FreeStyle F17 mediumat a density of 4 x 10^6 cell per ml and returned to the incubator. A transfection mixture was prepared by first diluting the plasmid DNA preparations in FreeStyle F17 medium (1.33 mg total plasmid DNA per ml of culture). PEIpro was then added to the diluted DNA at a DNA:PEIpro ratio of 1:2, and the mixture was incubated at room temperature for 10 min. The transfection mixture was then added to the culture. Cultures were harvested six days post transfection.


Experimental monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapies have shown promise for treatment of lethal Ebola virus (EBOV) infections, but their species-specific recognition of the viral glycoprotein (GP) has limited their use against other divergent ebolaviruses associated with human disease. Here, we mined the human immune response to natural EBOV infection and identified mAbs with exceptionally potent pan-ebolavirus neutralizing activity and protective efficacy against three virulent ebolaviruses. These mAbs recognize an inter-protomer epitope in the GP fusion loop, a critical and conserved element of the viral membrane fusion machinery, and neutralize viral entry by targeting a proteolytically primed, fusion-competent GP intermediate (GPCL) generated in host cell endosomes. Only a few somatic hypermutations are required for broad antiviral activity, and germline-approximating variants display enhanced GPCL recognition, suggesting that such antibodies could be elicited more efficiently with suitably optimized GP immunogens. Our findings inform the development of both broadly effective immunotherapeutics and vaccines against filoviruses.