The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | 22 SEPT 2023
Derek Croote, PhD, Joyce J.W. Wong, PhD, Cyprien Pecalvel, MSc, Edouard Leveque, PhD, Natacha Casanovas, MD, Jasper B.J. Kamphuis, PhD, Paige Creeks, BS, Johanna Romero, BS, Saba Sohail, MSc, Daniel Bedinger,PhD, Kari C. Nadeau, MD, PhD, Rebecca S. Chinthrajah, MD, Laurent L. Reber, PhD, and Henry B. Lowman, PhD
Despite their central role in peanut allergy, human monoclonal IgE antibodies have eluded characterization.
We sought to define the sequences, affinities, clonality, and functional properties of human monoclonal IgE antibodies in peanut allergy.
We applied our single-cell RNA sequencing–based SEQ SIFTER discovery platform to samples from allergic individuals who varied by age, sex, ethnicity, and geographic location in order to understand commonalities in the human IgE response to peanut allergens. Select antibodies were then recombinantly expressed and characterized for their allergen and epitope specificity, affinity, and functional properties.
We found striking convergent evolution of IgE monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) from several clonal families comprising both memory B cells and plasmablasts. These antibodies bound with subnanomolar affinity to the immunodominant peanut allergen Ara h 2, specifically a linear, repetitive motif. Further characterization of these mAbs revealed their ability to single-handedly cause affinity-dependent degranulation of human mast cells and systemic anaphylaxis on peanut allergen challenge in humanized mice. Finally, we demonstrated that these mAbs, reengineered as IgGs, inhibit significant, but variable, amounts of Ara h 2– and peanut-mediated degranulation of mast cells sensitized with allergic plasma.
Convergent evolution of IgE mAbs in peanut allergy is a common phenomenon that can reveal immunodominant epitopes on major allergenic proteins. Understanding the functional properties of these molecules is key to developing therapeutics, such as competitive IgG inhibitors, that are able to stoichiometrically outcompete endogenous IgE for allergen and thereby prevent allergic cascade in cases of accidental allergen exposure.
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