Epitope and functional specificity of monoclonal antibodies to mouse interferon-gamma: the synthetic peptide approach

Russell, J.K.; Hayes, M.P.; Carter, J.M.; Torres, B.A.; Dunn, B.M.; Russell, S.W.; Johnson, H.M.

Journal of Immunology 136(9): 3324-3328


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-1767
PMID: 2420886
Accession: 040041763

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Spleen cells from hamsters immunized with recombinant mouse interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) were fused with mouse myeloma cells, resulting in the production of four anti-IFN-gamma monoclonal antibodies. Binding of 125I-IFN-gamma by these protein A-bound antibodies was specifically blocked by cold IFN-gamma. Binding by three of these antibodies was also blocked by a synthetic peptide corresponding to the N-terminal 1-39 amino acids of IFN-gamma, whereas a corresponding C-terminal (95-133) peptide had no effect on binding. The N-terminal specificity of these three antibodies was confirmed by their specific binding of 125I-N-terminal (1-39) peptide. One of the N-terminal specific monoclonal antibodies inhibited both antiviral and macrophage priming (for tumor cell killing) activities of IFN-gamma, whereas the other two had no effect on either biologic function. The selectivity of the inhibition of IFN-gamma function was not due to a differential ability of the N-terminal specific antibodies to bind IFN-gamma. Blocking experiments with cold IFN-gamma and N-terminal peptide suggest that the epitope specificities of the monoclonal antibodies could be determined by the conformational or topographic structure of IFN-gamma. An exact determination of the epitope specificity of the monoclonal antibody that inhibited IFN-gamma function could provide insight into the structural basis for the role of the N-terminal domain in the biologic function of IFN-gamma. Polyclonal antibodies to either the N-terminal or the C-terminal peptides also inhibited both the antiviral and the macrophage-priming activities of IFN-gamma. All of the antibodies that inhibited IFN-gamma function also blocked binding of IFN-gamma to membrane receptor on cells, whereas antibodies that did not block function also did not inhibit binding. The data suggest that both the N-terminal and the C-terminal domains of IFN-gamma play an important role in its antiviral and macrophage-priming functions, possibly in a cooperative manner.