Preparation and characterization of human monoclonal antibodies directed against the hepatitis B virus surface antigen


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ABSTRACT— The hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) is highly immunogenic and induces an antibody response which is protective in vivo against hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Human monoclonal antibodies specific for HBsAg were produced, which could have potential therapeutic applications. Lymphocytes obtained from a vaccinated donor were stimulated in vitro and fused with the human myeloma cell line GM 4672, and eight hybridomas were obtained. Three of these clones, which reacted in an ELISA against the HBsAg vaccine, were expanded, subcloned and further analyzed. The subclones E7C2, C4C10, and D5B2 were able to bind to different HBsAg preparations, which express various subtypes, and recognized the major HBsAg peptides in Western blot analysis. Cross‐inhibition experiments showed that E7C2, C4C10 and D5B2 are directed against the same epitope and have an affinity constant ranging from 5 times 107 to 3.3 times 109 M. Furthermore, these antibodies stained the surface and cytoplasm of the HBsAg‐secreting cell lines PLC/PRF/5 and 4.10. The production of immunoglobulins varies from 0.3 to 1.3 μg/ml/106 and has remained stable over a period of 8 months. These human monoclonal antibodies, which appear to be directed against an antigenic determinant common to all HBsAg subtypes, could be useful in the study of HBV‐related liver diseases as well as in their diagnosis and experimental therapy

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-152
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1986


  • HBsAg
  • human monoclonal antibodies
  • type B hepatitis


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