A novel assay for detecting virus-specific antibodies triggering activation of Fcγ receptors

Eugenia Corrales-Aguilar, Mirko Trilling, Henrike Reinhard, Eva Mercé-Maldonado, Marek Widera, Heiner Schaal, Albert Zimmermann, Ofer Mandelboim, Hartmut Hengel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


IgG responses are crucial in antiviral defence and instrumental for the serodiagnosis of infections. Fcγ receptors (FcγRs), which recognize the Fc-part of IgG, differ regarding their IgG binding affinity, IgG subclass preference, cellular expression profile and pathogen elimination mechanisms elicited upon activation. Assessing their activation in vitro is of fundamental importance, but technically difficult. Therefore, a novel assay for measuring antiviral IgG antibodies triggering activation of individual host Fcγ receptors was established. The assay comprises the co-cultivation of virus-infected target cells with immune IgG antibodies and mouse BW5147 hybridoma cells stably expressing chimeric FcγR-CD3ζ chain molecules consisting of the extracellular domain of human FcγRIIIA, FcγRIIA or FcγRI, respectively, fused to the transmembrane and intracellular domains of the mouse CD3ζ chain. Triggering of the chimeric FcγR receptors by immune complexes formed on the surface of IgG-opsonized virus-infected target cells resulted in FcγR activation leading to IL-2 secretion by BW5147 cells, which was quantified as a surrogate marker in an ELISA. Target cells infected with various human pathogenic viruses including herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), measles virus (MV), and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) or displaying human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) gp120 evoke dose-dependent IgG responses demonstrating the universal applicability of the assay. Taken together, a new reliable and simple tool for measuring antibodies triggering activation of Fcγ receptors was established. This assay will be instrumental for defining novel correlates of IgG immunity and the design of new therapeutic IgGs.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)21-35
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Immunological Methods
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 31 Jan 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by funds of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft ( He 2526/6-2 , GK1045 ) and the European Commission ( QLRT-2001-01112 , MRTN-CT-2005-019248 ). ECA was supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) . The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.


  • Antibodies
  • Fcγ receptors
  • Viral infections


Dive into the research topics of 'A novel assay for detecting virus-specific antibodies triggering activation of Fcγ receptors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this