Regulation and Programming of Antibody Effector Function through IgG Glycosylation
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CitationMahan, Alison Emilia. 2014. Regulation and Programming of Antibody Effector Function through IgG Glycosylation. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
AbstractAntibodies are the defining characteristic of the humoral immune response. Their functions are diverse, including direct neutralization of pathogens and recruitment of other immune molecules or cells. While most successful vaccines induce protective neutralizing antibody responses, effective vaccine-elicited neutralizing antibodies against some pathogens, including HIV, HCV, malaria, and TB, remain elusive. Thus, researchers have begun to focus on how vaccines can elicit strong non-neutralizing antibody functions, including recruitment of innate immune factors for antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, complement deposition, and anti\-body-dependent phagocytosis. The antibody's constant region (Fc) mediates most effector functions through isotype and subclass selection or alteration of the structure of the Fc-attached N-glycan, which controls function with exquisite specificity. Glycan modifications are naturally induced during inflammatory conditions such as autoimmune disease and natural infection however, the specific signals that regulate Fc-glycosylation remain unknown.
This dissertation sought to understand how antibody glycosylation is regulated and how it can be programmed through vaccination. To do this, we first developed a technique to analyze antibody glycan structures both of bulk Fc and antigen-specific antibodies. Using this technique, we observed significant modulation of antibody glycans during viral infection as well as in vaccine-elicited antibodies. To identify specific signals important for altering the antibody glycan, we transcriptionally profiled stimulated B cells and identified a set of innate and adaptive stimuli that regulate the genes responsible for antibody glycosylation. The results described in this dissertation begin to define the specific mechanism(s) by which infection and vaccination modulate antibody glycosylation to elicit functional antibodies that can ultimately provide effective and sustained protection from infection.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:13070040
- FAS Theses and Dissertations 
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