Ebola virus disease is a severe health problem in Africa. Vaccines that display the Zaire ebolavirus glycoprotein spike complex are a prime component for the effort to combat it. The VH3-15/Vλ1-40-based class of antibodies was recently discovered to be a common response in individuals who received the Ebola virus vaccines. These antibodies display attractive properties, and thus likely contribute to the efficacy of the vaccines. Here, we use cryo-EM to elucidate how three VH3-15/Vλ1-40 antibodies from different individuals target the virus and found a convergent mechanism against a partially conserved site on the spike complex. Our study rationalizes the selection of the VH3-15/Vλ1-40 germline genes for specifically targeting this site and highlights Ebolavirus species-specific sequence divergences that may restrict breadth of VH3-15/Vλ1-40-based humoral response. The results from this study could help develop improved immunization schemes and further enable the design of immunogens that would be efficacious against a broader set of Ebolavirus species.
Keywords: Ebola virus; antibodies; electron microscopy; immune response; protein structure.
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