Neuromyelitis optica (NMO), an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system, is characterized by an autoantibody called NMO-IgG that recognizes the extracellular domains (ECDs) of aquaporin-4 (AQP4). In this study, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against the ECDs of mouse AQP4 were established by a baculovirus display method. Two types of mAb were obtained: one (E5415A) recognized both M1 and M23 isoforms, and the other (E5415B) almost exclusively recognized the square-array-formable M23 isoform. While E5415A enhanced endocytosis of both M1 and M23, followed by degradation in cells expressing AQP4, including astrocytes, E5415B did so to a much lesser degree, as determined by live imaging using fluorescence-labeled antibodies and by Western blotting of lysate of cells treated with these mAbs. E5415A promoted cluster formation of AQP4 on the cell surface prior to endocytosis as determined by immunofluorescent microscopic observation of bound mAbs to astrocytes as well as by Blue native PAGE analysis of AQP4 in the cells treated with the mAbs. These observations clearly indicate that an anti-AQP4-ECDs antibody possessing an ability to form a large cluster of AQP4 by cross-linking two or more tetramers outside the AQP4 arrays enhances endocytosis and the subsequent lysosomal degradation of AQP4.
ASJC Scopus subject areas