Epitope mapping of ibalizumab, a humanized anti-CD4 monoclonal antibody with anti-HIV-1 activity in infected patients.

Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, 455 First Avenue, New York, NY, USA.
Journal of Virology (Impact Factor: 4.65). 07/2010; 84(14):6935-42. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00453-10
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Ibalizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that binds human CD4, the primary receptor for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). With its unique specificity for domain 2 of CD4, this antibody potently and broadly blocks HIV-1 infection in vitro by inhibiting a postbinding step required for viral entry but without interfering with major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II)-mediated immune function. In clinical trials, ibalizumab has demonstrated anti-HIV-1 activity in patients without causing immunosuppression. Thus, a characterization of the ibalizumab epitope was conducted in an attempt to gain insight into the underlying mechanism of its antiviral activity as well as its safety profile. By studying mouse/human chimeric CD4 molecules and site-directed point mutants of CD4, amino acids L96, P121, P122, and Q163 in domain 2 were found to be important for ibalizumab binding, with E77 and S79 in domain 1 also contributing. All these residues appear to cluster on the interface between domains 1 and 2 of human CD4 on a surface opposite the site where gp120 and the MHC-II molecule bind on domain 1. Separately, the epitope of M-T441, a weakly neutralizing mouse monoclonal antibody that competes with ibalizumab, was localized entirely within domain 2 on residues 123 to 125 and 138 to 140. The results reported herein not only provide an appreciation for why ibalizumab has not had significant adverse immunological consequences in infected patients to date but also raise possible steric hindrance mechanisms by which this antibody blocks HIV-1 entry into a CD4-positive cell.

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