A novel monoclonal IgG1 antibody specific for Galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose questions alpha-Gal epitope expression by bacteria

Luisa Kreft, Aloys Schepers, Miriam Hils, Kyra Swiontek, Andrew Flatley, Robert Janowski, Mohammadali Khan Mirzaei, Michael Dittmar, Neera Chakrapani, Mahesh S. Desai, Stefanie Eyerich, Li Deng, Dierk Niessing, Konrad Fischer, Regina Feederle, Simon Blank, Carsten B. Schmidt-Weber, Christiane Hilger, Tilo Biedermann, Caspar Ohnmacht*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The alpha-Gal epitope (α-Gal) with the determining element galactose-α1,3-galactose can lead to clinically relevant allergic reactions and rejections in xenotransplantation. These immune reactions can develop because humans are devoid of this carbohydrate due to evolutionary loss of the enzyme α1,3-galactosyltransferase (GGTA1). In addition, up to 1% of human IgG antibodies are directed against α-Gal, but the stimulus for the induction of anti-α-Gal antibodies is still unclear. Commensal bacteria have been suggested as a causal factor for this induction as α-Gal binding tools such as lectins were found to stain cultivated bacteria isolated from the intestinal tract. Currently available tools for the detection of the definite α-Gal epitope, however, are cross-reactive, or have limited affinity and, hence, offer restricted possibilities for application. In this study, we describe a novel monoclonal IgG1 antibody (27H8) specific for the α-Gal epitope. The 27H8 antibody was generated by immunization of Ggta1 knockout mice and displays a high affinity towards synthetic and naturally occurring α-Gal in various applications. Using this novel tool, we found that intestinal bacteria reported to be α-Gal positive cannot be stained with 27H8 questioning whether commensal bacteria express the native α-Gal epitope at all.

Original languageEnglish
Article number958952
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2022

Keywords

  • alpha-Gal
  • bacteria
  • carbohydrate
  • IgG
  • monoclonal antibody
  • red meat allergy
  • xenotransplantation
  • α-Gal

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