IGHV1-69 polymorphism modulates anti-influenza antibody repertoires, correlates with IGHV utilization shifts and varies by ethnicity

Sci Rep. 2016 Feb 16;6:20842. doi: 10.1038/srep20842.


IGHV polymorphism provides a rich source of humoral immune system diversity. One important example is the IGHV1-69 germline gene where the biased use of alleles that encode the critical CDR-H2 Phe54 (F-alleles) to make broadly neutralizing antibodies (HV1-69-sBnAb) to the influenza A hemagglutinin stem domain has been clearly established. However, whether IGHV1-69 polymorphism can also modulate B cell function and Ab repertoire expression through promoter and copy number (CN) variations has not been reported, nor has whether IGHV1-69 allelic distribution is impacted by ethnicity. Here we studied a cohort of NIH H5N1 vaccinees and demonstrate for the first time the influence of IGHV1-69 polymorphism on V-segment usage, somatic hypermutation and B cell expansion that elucidates the dominance of F-alleles in HV1-69-sBnAbs. We provide evidence that Phe54/Leu54 (F/L) polymorphism correlates with shifted repertoire usage of other IGHV germline genes. In addition, we analyzed ethnically diverse individuals within the 1000 genomes project and discovered marked variations in F- and L- genotypes and CN among the various ethnic groups that may impact HV1-69-sBnAb responses. These results have immediate implications for understanding HV1-69-sBnAb responses at the individual and population level and for the design and implementation of "universal" influenza vaccine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / genetics
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / immunology
  • Antibodies, Viral / genetics*
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Gene Dosage
  • Gene Duplication
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains / genetics*
  • Influenza A Virus, H5N1 Subtype / immunology
  • Influenza A virus / immunology*
  • Influenza Vaccines / immunology
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Somatic Hypermutation, Immunoglobulin


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains
  • Influenza Vaccines