Dengue virus (DENV; genus Flavivirus) contains a positive-stranded RNA genome. Binding of DENV to host cells is mediated through domain III of the viral envelope protein. Many therapeutic mAbs against domain III have been generated and characterized because of its high antigenicity. We have previously established a novel PCR method named the linear array epitope (LAE) technique for producing monoclone-like polyclonal antibodies. To prove this method could be utilized to produce antibody against epitopes with low antigenicity, a region of 10 aa (V365NIEAEPPFG374) from domain III of the envelope protein in DENV serotype 2 (DENV2) was selected to design the primers for the LAE technique. A DNA fragment encoding 10 directed repeats of these 10 aa for producing the tandem-repeated peptides was obtained and fused with glutathione S-transferase (GST)-containing vector. This fusion protein (GST-Den EIII10-His6) was purified from Escherichia coli and used as antigen for immunizing rabbits to obtain the polyclonal antibody. Furthermore, the EIII antibody could recognize envelope proteins either ectopically overexpressed or synthesized by DENV2 infection using Western blot and immunofluorescence assays. Most importantly, this antibody was also able to detect DENV2 virions by ELISA, and could block viral entry into BHK-21 cells as shown by immunofluorescence and quantitative real-time PCR assays. Taken together, the LAE technique could be applied successfully for the production of antibodies against antigens with low antigenicity, and shows high potential to produce antibodies with good quality for academic research, diagnosis and even therapeutic applications in the future.
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