Background: Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) infection causes an acute enteric tract infectious disease characterized by vomiting, anorexia, dehydration, weight loss and high mortality in neonatal piglets. During PEDV infection, the spike protein (S) is a major virion structural protein interacting with receptors and inducing neutralizing antibodies. However, the neutralizing B-cell epitopes within PEDV S protein have not been well studied.
Methods: To accurately identify the important immunodominant region of S1, the purified truncated S1 proteins (SA, SB, SC, SD and SE) were used to immunize BALB/c mice to prepare polyclonal antibodies. The antisera titers were determined by indirect ELISA, western blot and IFA after four immunizations to find the important immunodominant region of S1, and then purified the immunodominant region of S1 protein and immunized mice to generate the special antibodies, and then used recombinant peptides to determine the B-cell epitopes of monoclonal antibodies.
Results: Five antisera of recombinant proteins of the spike protein region of PEDV were generated and we found that only the polyclonal antibody against part of the S1 region (signed as SE protein, residues 666-789) could recognize the native PEDV. Purified SE protein was used to immunize BALB/c mice and generate mAb 2E10. Pepscan of the SE protein demonstrated that SE16 (722SSTFNSTREL731) is the minimal linear epitope required for reactivity with the mAb 2E10. Further investigation indicated that the epitope SE16 was localized on the surface of PEDV S protein in the 3D structure.
Conclusions: A mAb 2E10 that is specifically bound to PEDV was generated and identified a specific linear B-cell epitope (SE16, 722SSTFNSTREL731) of the mAb. The epitope region of PEDV S1 localized in the different regions in comparison with the earlier identified epitopes. These findings enhance the understanding of the PEDV spike protein structure for vaccine design and provide a potential use for developing diagnostic methods to detect PEDV.
Keywords: Epitope; Monoclonal antibody; PEDV; Spike protein.