Siro Bianchi

Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Bellinzona, Ticino, Switzerland

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Publications (6)104.89 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Broadly neutralizing antibodies reactive against most and even all variants of the same viral species have been described for influenza and HIV-1 (ref. 1). However, whether a neutralizing antibody could have the breadth of range to target different viral species was unknown. Human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) and human metapneumovirus (HMPV) are common pathogens that cause severe disease in premature newborns, hospitalized children and immune-compromised patients, and play a role in asthma exacerbations. Although antisera generated against either HRSV or HMPV are not cross-neutralizing, we speculated that, because of the repeated exposure to these viruses, cross-neutralizing antibodies may be selected in some individuals. Here we describe a human monoclonal antibody (MPE8) that potently cross-neutralizes HRSV and HMPV as well as two animal paramyxoviruses: bovine RSV (BRSV) and pneumonia virus of mice (PVM). In its germline configuration, MPE8 is HRSV-specific and its breadth is achieved by somatic mutations in the light chain variable region. MPE8 did not result in the selection of viral escape mutants that evaded antibody targeting and showed potent prophylactic efficacy in animal models of HRSV and HMPV infection, as well as prophylactic and therapeutic efficacy in the more relevant model of lethal PVM infection. The core epitope of MPE8 was mapped on two highly conserved anti-parallel β-strands on the pre-fusion viral F protein, which are rearranged in the post-fusion F protein conformation. Twenty-six out of the thirty HRSV-specific neutralizing antibodies isolated were also found to be specific for the pre-fusion F protein. Taken together, these results indicate that MPE8 might be used for the prophylaxis and therapy of severe HRSV and HMPV infections and identify the pre-fusion F protein as a candidate HRSV vaccine.
    Nature 08/2013; · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several regulators of endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation (ERAD) have a shorter half-life compared to conventional ER chaperones. At steady state, they are selectively removed from the ER by poorly defined events collectively referred to as ERAD tuning. Here we identify the complex comprising the type-I transmembrane protein SEL1L and the cytosolic protein LC3-I as an ERAD tuning receptor regulating the COPII-independent, vesicle-mediated removal of the lumenal ERAD regulators EDEM1 and OS-9 from the ER. Expression of folding-defective polypeptides enhances the lumenal content of EDEM1 and OS-9 by inhibiting their SEL1L:LC3-I-mediated segregation. This raises ERAD activity in the absence of UPR-induction. The mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) subverts ERAD tuning for replication. Consistently, SEL1L or LC3 silencing impair the MHV life cycle. Collectively, our data provide new molecular information about the ERAD tuning mechanisms that regulate ERAD in mammalian cells at the post translational level and how these mechanisms are hijacked by a pathogen.
    Molecular cell 05/2012; 46(6):809-19. · 14.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The isolation of broadly neutralizing antibodies against influenza A viruses has been a long-sought goal for therapeutic approaches and vaccine design. Using a single-cell culture method for screening large numbers of human plasma cells, we isolated a neutralizing monoclonal antibody that recognized the hemagglutinin (HA) glycoprotein of all 16 subtypes and neutralized both group 1 and group 2 influenza A viruses. Passive transfer of this antibody conferred protection to mice and ferrets. Complexes with HAs from the group 1 H1 and the group 2 H3 subtypes analyzed by x-ray crystallography showed that the antibody bound to a conserved epitope in the F subdomain. This antibody may be used for passive protection and to inform vaccine design because of its broad specificity and neutralization potency.
    Science 08/2011; 333(6044):850-6. · 31.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Monoclonal antibodies and antibody fragments are powerful biotherapeutics for various debilitating diseases. However, high production costs, functional limitations such as inadequate pharmacokinetics and tissue accessibility are the current principal disadvantages for broadening their use in clinic. We report a novel method for the long-term delivery of antibody fragments. We designed an allogenous immunoisolated implant consisting of polymer encapsulated myoblasts engineered to chronically release scFv antibodies targeted against the N-terminus of the Aβ peptide. Following a 6-month intracerebral therapy we observed a significant reduction of the production and aggregation of the Aβ peptide in the APP23 transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. In addition, functional assessment showed prevention of behavioral deficits related to anxiety and memory traits. The chronic local release of antibodies using immunoisolated polymer cell implants represents an alternative passive vaccination strategy in Alzheimer's disease. This novel technique could potentially benefit other diseases presently treated by local and systemic antibody administration.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(4):e18268. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neutralizing antibodies have been shown to protect macaques against SHIV challenge. However, genetically diverse HIV-1 clades have evolved, and a key question left unanswered is whether neutralizing antibodies can confer cross-clade protection in vivo. The novel human monoclonal antibody HGN194 was isolated from an individual infected with an HIV-1 clade AG recombinant circulating recombinant form (CRF). HGN194 targets an epitope in the third hypervariable loop (V3) of HIV-1 gp120 and neutralizes a range of relatively neutralization-sensitive and resistant viruses. We evaluated the potential of HGN194 to protect infant rhesus monkeys against a SHIV encoding a primary CCR5-tropic HIV-1 clade C envelope. After high-dose mucosal challenge, all untreated controls became highly viremic while all HGN194-treated animals (50 mg/kg) were completely protected. When HGN194 was given at 1 mg/kg, one out of two monkeys remained aviremic, whereas the other had delayed, lower peak viremia. Interestingly, all protected monkeys given high-dose HGN194 developed Gag-specific proliferative responses of both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. To test whether generation of the latter involved cryptic infection, we ablated CD8+ cells after HGN194 clearance. No viremia was detected in any protected monkeys, thus ruling out virus reservoirs. Thus, induction of CD8 T-cell immunity may have resulted from transient "Hit and Run" infection or cross priming via Ag-Ab-mediated cross-presentation. Together, our data identified the HGN194 epitope as protective and provide proof-of-concept that this anti-V3 loop mAb can prevent infection with sterilizing immunity after challenge with virus of a different clade, implying that V3 is a potential vaccine target.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(3):e18207. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Coronaviruses (CoV), including SARS and mouse hepatitis virus (MHV), are enveloped RNA viruses that induce formation of double-membrane vesicles (DMVs) and target their replication and transcription complexes (RTCs) on the DMV-limiting membranes. The DMV biogenesis has been connected with the early secretory pathway. CoV-induced DMVs, however, lack conventional endoplasmic reticulum (ER) or Golgi protein markers, leaving their membrane origins in question. We show that MHV co-opts the host cell machinery for COPII-independent vesicular ER export of a short-living regulator of ER-associated degradation (ERAD), EDEM1, to derive cellular membranes for replication. MHV infection causes accumulation of EDEM1 and OS-9, another short-living ER chaperone, in the DMVs. DMVs are coated with the nonlipidated LC3/Atg8 autophagy marker. Downregulation of LC3, but not inactivation of host cell autophagy, protects cells from CoV infection. Our study identifies the host cellular pathway hijacked for supplying CoV replication membranes and describes an autophagy-independent role for nonlipidated LC3-I.
    Cell host & microbe 06/2010; 7(6):500-8. · 13.02 Impact Factor