Structural Basis of Immune Evasion at the Site of CD4 Attachment on HIV-1 gp120

Vaccine Research Center, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
Science (Impact Factor: 33.61). 11/2009; 326(5956):1123-7. DOI: 10.1126/science.1175868
Source: PubMed


The site on HIV-1 gp120 that binds to the CD4 receptor is vulnerable to antibodies. However, most antibodies that interact with this site cannot neutralize HIV-1. To understand the basis of this resistance, we determined co-crystal structures for two poorly neutralizing, CD4-binding site (CD4BS) antibodies, F105 and b13, in complexes with gp120. Both antibodies exhibited approach angles to gp120 similar to those of CD4 and a rare, broadly neutralizing CD4BS antibody, b12. Slight differences in recognition, however, resulted in substantial differences in F105- and b13-bound conformations relative to b12-bound gp120. Modeling and binding experiments revealed these conformations to be poorly compatible with the viral spike. This incompatibility, the consequence of slight differences in CD4BS recognition, renders HIV-1 resistant to all but the most accurately targeted antibodies.

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    • "Of note, either amino acid at this position works for efficient CD4 and CD4bs mAb binding in their parental NL4-3 or ADA strains. Therefore, it seems likely that our “artificial” combination of two themselves functional CD4 binding sites (NL4-3 and ADA) leads to an altered conformational arrangement of the epitope that limits CD4/CD4bs antibody binding or accessibility [32,59,60]. Consequently, also binding of CD4i mAbs to NL4-3/ADA is drastically reduced (CG10) or absent (17b). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background HIV-1 is decorated with trimeric glycoprotein spikes that enable infection by engaging CD4 and a chemokine coreceptor, either CCR5 or CXCR4. The variable loop 3 (V3) of the HIV-1 envelope protein (Env) is the main determinant for coreceptor usage. The predominant CCR5 using (R5) HIV-1 Env has been intensively studied in function and structure, whereas the trimeric architecture of the less frequent, but more cytopathic CXCR4 using (X4) HIV-1 Env is largely unknown, as are the consequences of sequence changes in and near V3 on antigenicity and trimeric Env structure. Results Soluble trimeric gp140 Env constructs were used as immunogenic mimics of the native spikes to analyze their antigenic properties in the context of their overall 3D structure. We generated soluble, uncleaved, gp140 trimers from a prototypic T-cell line-adapted (TCLA) X4 HIV-1 strain (NL4-3) and a hybrid (NL4-3/ADA), in which the V3 spanning region was substituted with that from the primary R5 isolate ADA. Compared to an ADA (R5) gp140, the NL4-3 (X4) construct revealed an overall higher antibody accessibility, which was most pronounced for the CD4 binding site (CD4bs), but also observed for mAbs against CD4 induced (CD4i) epitopes and gp41 mAbs. V3 mAbs showed significant binding differences to the three constructs, which were refined by SPR analysis. Of interest, the NL4-3/ADA construct with the hybrid NL4-3/ADA CD4bs showed impaired CD4 and CD4bs mAb reactivity despite the presence of the essential elements of the CD4bs epitope. We obtained 3D reconstructions of the NL4-3 and the NL4-3/ADA gp140 trimers via electron microscopy and single particle analysis, which indicates that both constructs inherit a propeller-like architecture. The first 3D reconstruction of an Env construct from an X4 TCLA HIV-1 strain reveals an open conformation, in contrast to recently published more closed structures from R5 Env. Exchanging the X4 V3 spanning region for that of R5 ADA did not alter the open Env architecture as deduced from its very similar 3D reconstruction. Conclusions 3D EM analysis showed an apparent open trimer configuration of X4 NL4-3 gp140 that is not modified by exchanging the V3 spanning region for R5 ADA.
    Retrovirology 05/2014; 11(1):42. DOI:10.1186/1742-4690-11-42 · 4.19 Impact Factor
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    • "Previous structure-guided attempts to stabilize gp120 in a receptor-bound conformation utilized various approaches including a combination of disulfide bridges and cavity-filling mutations [16]–[18]. The largest degree of stabilization was achieved by the formation of disulfide bridges after targeted substitution with cysteine residues [16]–[18]. While these disulfide-stabilized structures achieved exposure of the CD4-induced binding sites in gp120, they also reduced exposure of the CD4-binding sites, as measured by affinity of CD4 & CD4-binding site antibodies. "
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    ABSTRACT: Entry of HIV-1 into target cells requires binding of the viral envelope glycoprotein (Env) to cellular receptors and subsequent conformational changes that culminates in fusion of viral and target cell membranes. Recent structural information has revealed that these conformational transitions are regulated by three conserved but potentially flexible layers stacked between the receptor-binding domain (gp120) and the fusion arm (gp41) of Env. We hypothesized that artificial insertion of a covalent bond will 'snap' Env into a conformation that is less mobile and stably expose conserved sites. Therefore, we analyzed the interface between these gp120 layers (layers 1, 2 and 3) and identified residues that may form disulfide bonds when substituted with cysteines. We subsequently probed the structures of the resultant mutant gp120 proteins by assaying their binding to a variety of ligands using Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) assay. We found that a single disulfide bond strategically inserted between the highly conserved layers 1 and 2 (C65-C115) is able to 'lock' gp120 in a CD4 receptor bound conformation (in the absence of CD4), as indicated by the lower dissociation constant (Kd) for the CD4-induced (CD4i) epitope binding 17b antibody. When disulfide-stabilized monomeric (gp120) and trimeric (gp140) Envs were used to immunize rabbits, they were found to elicit a higher proportion of antibodies directed against both CD4i and CD4 binding site epitopes than the wild-type proteins. These results demonstrate that structure-guided stabilization of inter-layer interactions within HIV-1 Env can be used to expose conserved epitopes and potentially overcome the sequence diversity of these molecules.
    PLoS ONE 10/2013; 8(10):e76139. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0076139 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "The removal of glycans at position 156, 197, or 301 [51] on JR-CSF gp120 also resulted in enhanced binding in our flow cytometry analysis using Env spikes displayed on the cell surface. The observed increase in neutralization sensitivity and trimer recognition by 1F7 induced by PNGS mutations could have been assisted at least in part by a repositioning of the V1/V2 loop [18], [75]. Notably, sensitivity to mAb VRC01 was considerably increased by knockout of the PNGS at position 197, whereas mutation of N301 had a minimal and N156 no effect at all. "
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    ABSTRACT: Primary isolates of HIV-1 resist neutralization by most antibodies to the CD4 binding site (CD4bs) on gp120 due to occlusion of this site on the trimeric spike. We describe 1F7, a human CD4bs monoclonal antibody that was found to be exceptionally potent against the HIV-1 primary isolate JR-FL. However, 1F7 failed to neutralize a patient-matched primary isolate, JR-CSF even though the two isolates differ by <10% in gp120 at the protein level. In an HIV-1 cross clade panel (n = 157), 1F7 exhibited moderate breadth, but occasionally achieved considerable potency. In binding experiments using monomeric gp120s of select resistant isolates and domain-swap chimeras between JR-FL and JR-CSF, recognition by 1F7 was limited by sequence polymorphisms involving at least the C2 region of Env. Putative N-linked glycosylation site (PNGS) mutations, notably at position 197, allowed 1F7 to neutralize JR-CSF potently without improving binding to the cognate, monomeric gp120. In contrast, flow cytometry experiments using the same PNGS mutants revealed that 1F7 binding is enhanced on cognate trimeric Env. BN-PAGE mobility shift experiments revealed that 1F7 is sensitive to the diagnostic mutation D368R in the CD4 binding loop of gp120. Our data on 1F7 reinforce how exquisitely targeted CD4bs antibodies must be to achieve cross neutralization of two closely related primary isolates. High-resolution analyses of trimeric Env that show the orientation of glycans and polymorphic elements of the CD4bs that affect binding to antibodies like 1F7 are desirable to understand how to promote immunogenicity of more conserved elements of the CD4bs.
    PLoS ONE 08/2013; 8(8):e72054. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0072054 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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