Article

Quantitative assessment of masking of neutralization epitopes in HIV-1.

Department of Pharmacology, New York University School of Medicine, 550 First Avenue MSB 497, New York, NY 10016, USA.
Vaccine (Impact Factor: 3.49). 09/2011; 29(39):6736-41. DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.12.052
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Despite the frequent observation of masking of HIV-1 neutralization epitopes, its extent has not been previously systematically assessed either for multiple epitopes presented by individual viruses or for individual epitopes across multiple viral strains. Using a recently developed method to identify amino acid sequence motifs required for recognition by HIV-1-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), we visualized the patterns of masking of specific epitopes targeted by mAbs in a diverse panel of HIV-1 isolates. We also calculated a specific masking intensity score for each virus based on the observed neutralization activity of mAbs against the epitopes in the virus. Finally, we combined these data with estimates of the conservation of each mAb-targeted epitope in circulating HIV-1 strains to estimate the effective neutralization potential (E(N)) for each mAb. Focusing on the V3 loop of gp120 as a prototype neutralization domain, we found that the V3 loop epitope targeted by mAb 2219 is one of the least masked mAbs and it has the highest E(N). Interestingly, although the V3 loop epitope targeted by mAb 3074 is present in over 87% of all viruses, it is 82.2% masked, so its E(N) is lower than that for mAb 2219. Notably, 50% of the viruses that mAb 3074 is able to neutralize are classified as subtype C viruses, while 70% or more of the viruses neutralized by mAbs 2219, 2557 or 447-52D are classified as subtype B. Thus, neutralization epitopes (in this case, in the V3 loop) have differential patterns of masking and also display distinct patterns of distribution among circulating HIV-1 viruses. Both factors combine to contribute to the practical vaccine value of any single epitope/mAb. Here we have developed a quantitative score for this value. These results have important implications for rational design of vaccines designed to induce neutralizing Abs by revealing epitopes that are minimally masked and maximally reactive with neutralizing Abs.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
99 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: HIV-1 envelope gp120 is the target for neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) against the virus. Various approaches have been explored to improve immunogenicity of broadly neutralizing epitopes on this antigen with limited success. We previously demonstrated that immunogenicity of gp120 and especially its V3 epitopes was enhanced when gp120 was co-administered as immune-complex vaccines with monoclonal antibodies (mAb) to the CD4-binding site (CD4bs). To define the mechanisms by which immune complexes influence V3 immunogenicity, we compared gp120 complexed with mAbs specific for the C2 region (1006-30), the V2 loop (2158), or the CD4bs (654), and found that the gp120/654 and gp120/2158 complexes elicited anti-V3 NAbs, but the gp120/654 complex was the most effective. gp120 complexed with 654 F(ab')2 was as potent, indicating that V3 immunogenicity is determined by the specificity of the mAb's Fab fragment used to form the complexes. Importantly, the gp120/654 complex not only induced anti-gp120 antibodies (Abs) to higher titers, but also of greater avidity. The Abs were cross-reactive with V3 peptides from most subtype B and some subtype C isolates. Neutralization was detected only against Tier-1 HIV-1 pseudoviruses, while Tier-2 viruses, including the homologous JRFL strain, were not neutralized. However, JRFL produced in the presence of a mannosidase inhibitor was sensitive to anti-V3 NAbs in the immune sera. These results demonstrate that the gp120/654 complex is a potent immunogen for eliciting cross-reactive functional NAbs against V3 epitopes, of which exposure is determined by the specific compositions of glycans shrouding the HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins.
    Vaccine 09/2013; · 3.49 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The extreme diversity of HIV-1 strains presents a formidable challenge for HIV-1 vaccine design. Although antibodies (Abs) can neutralize HIV-1 and potentially protect against infection, antibodies that target the immunogenic viral surface protein gp120 have widely variable and poorly predictable cross-strain reactivity. Here, we developed a novel computational approach, the Method of Dynamic Epitopes, for identification of neutralization epitopes targeted by anti-HIV-1 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). Our data demonstrate that this approach, based purely on calculated energetics and 3D structural information, accurately predicts the presence of neutralization epitopes targeted by V3-specific mAbs 2219 and 447-52D in any HIV-1 strain. The method was used to calculate the range of conservation of these specific epitopes across all circulating HIV-1 viruses. Accurately identifying an Ab-targeted neutralization epitope in a virus by computational means enables easy prediction of the breadth of reactivity of specific mAbs across the diversity of thousands of different circulating HIV-1 variants and facilitates rational design and selection of immunogens mimicking specific mAb-targeted epitopes in a multivalent HIV-1 vaccine. The defined epitopes can also be used for the purpose of epitope-specific analyses of breakthrough sequences recorded in vaccine clinical trials. Thus, our study is a prototype for a valuable tool for rational HIV-1 vaccine design.
    PLoS ONE 02/2014; 9(2):e89987. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Antibody B4e8 exhibits modest cross-neutralizing activity, with preference for HIV subtype B. This preference might be explained by B4e8׳s extensive interaction with Arg315, which occurs at the center of most subtype B V3 sequences but is replaced by Gln in subtype C. The extent to which B4e8׳s ability to neutralize subtype C strains is hindered by Gln315 and/or other factors, e.g. epitope masking, is unclear. We confirmed here that an Arg315-to-Gln substitution in a subtype B virus abrogates B4e8 neutralizing activity. Conversely, B4e8-resistant subtype C viruses were rendered sensitive upon Gln 315-to-Arg substitution. V2 region swapping between B4e8-sensitive and- resistant subtype C strains revealed a role for V2 in limiting B4e8 access, but this was less significant than the absence of Arg315. Our findings, while illustrating the importance of Arg315 for B4e8, suggest that some subtype C strains may be vulnerable to B4e8 derivatives capable of binding stronger to Gln315-containing sequences.
    Virology 06/2014; 462-463C:98-106. · 3.28 Impact Factor

Preview

Download
0 Downloads
Available from